Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight: Polly Bayfield

In The Spotlight: Polly Bayfield

This month, Polly Bayfield (2010-12) is in the spotlight:  

Tell us about what you do now. Has your time at the School influenced your life today?

 At the moment I work as a newsreader and reporter for BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat. Primarily I'm out on the road most days reporting on stories that matter most for the young audience who make up the majority of listeners for Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra and Asian Network. No two days are the same, which is what I love about the job. One day I can be reporting on worldwide conflicts, speaking to young people who have fled war, or about climate change and how it's affecting everyone from farmers to people just going on their summer holiday amd the next at an annual competition in Alaska called 'Fat Bear Week'. It really is that varied. Some original stories I work on have the opportunity to go not just on Newsbeat but across the wider BBC, too. Recently I had a report on BBC Newsnight which investigated rental bidding wars. I also write and read the news as well, sometimes in the morning but mostly in the afternoon. So if you ever hear me, reach out and say hi! My time at BMS definitely had a role in what I do now. I loved studying English Language and Literature, as well as Theatre Studies for my A Levels. Both of those subjects made me look wider at what I wanted to do at University, and both helped me lay the foundation of skills needed for a career in Broadcasting and Journalism.

Tell us about your time at BMS. Do you have any special memories you would like to share?

My time at BMS was very short in comparison to others. I was only there for two years when I joined Sixth Form with my best mate, but I absolutely loved it. I got stuck in with the rowing team briefly and as soon as I knew I wanted to be a journalist, I made all the use I could of the stellar English and Drama departments. I loved getting to work with Jason Riddington-Smith and Helen Rees-Bidder - they were so much fun to have classes with so I signed up for the end of year show which was Evita. Now, you know you've had a genuinely good time when, even with a small part and holding a sign the wrong way round on opening night (which my family still make fun of to this day) it still makes you laugh 12 years on. A career in acting was never going to come to fruition. 

What do you do like to do in your spare time?

  I have to say, even in my spare time I'm still a bit of a news nerd. I absolutely love listening to podcasts about worldwide stories which I may have missed at work. But when I'm nowhere near the news then most of the time I'll be spending it at my friend's yard, helping her with the horses. Reading, or breaking up fights between my cat and the neighbour's. I live in Birmingham, as well, which has a really cool comedy and arts scene so I go to as many shows as I can. The Glee Club there is awesome.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The main piece of advice I'd give to my younger self, apart from dump your boyfriend, would be to not take life too seriously. You've got more than one dream with time on your side to work and build your career so take the experiences, whatever they may be, and have fun. Work hard and the rest will come.

Are there any other thoughts you would like to share with the OBM and BMS community?

If you've read this far, thanks, because my last few words would be to the current BMS community. In my job I have the pleasure of working with so many young people around the world. Most of them are the ages of those in sixth form. There is so much going on in the world right now and a lot of them talk to me about the anxiety they feel around that, whether it's climate change, war, or even things closer to home like exams. But I'll tell you what, when I'm out reporting, most of the time it's young people who, despite those worries, are out there trying to make the world a better place no matter how big or small their actions. From petitions to marches, to starting up businesses, to making TikToks about mental health - it's pretty amazing how much power young people have to create change. So if you don't like something, talk about it, if you're struggling, reach out, and if you find yourself questioning things, start a conversation.

Similar stories

This website is powered by