‘BBC South Today’ heads to great outdoors for ‘green’ broadcast

BBC South Today” pulled the plug — quite literally — on its own studio as part of a segment about the carbon footprint of humans.

Jon Cuthill, a presenter for the Southampton-based broadcast, started out the segment as he might normally do — standing in the studio in front of its LED video tower and walls, with the familiar red graphic on it shifting, quite appropriately, to green.

That didn’t last long, however, as he pointed out that, to go truly green, the broadcast couldn’t use most of the traditional gear it’s used to.

When he mentioned that the video wall “screens” couldn’t be used, they flicked off.

When he noted the lights were a no-no, the studio grid lighting was cut. The camera, powered by the building’s electrical system, also couldn’t be used, Cuthill noted, as he picked up a large power cable connection and pulled it apart, all in the name of reducing the show’s carbon footprint. 

The screen then cut to what appeared to be a simulated “no signal” slate with bars and tone before cutting to a handheld view from behind the studio’s primary cameras. 

He then proceed to walk out the open load-in doors (which appeared to be channeling light into the now dark studio) to the adjacent street.

As he walked down the street, the view switched briefly to a camera positioned high in the neighboring parking structure with the number “1.5” digitally inserted onto the exterior wall of the BBC building, a reference to a widely used goal of not having the average temperature increase more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial period levels by the end of the 21st century.

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He then walked by an electric vehicle from the BBC fleet before strolling past a portable diesel generator, which he noted would normally be used to power a remote broadcast.

As he continued walking, the camera swung around to reveal a hydrogen-powered generator along with a collection of bright red tanks set up near a remote production vehicle.

Another portion included a view from a drone flying high above the buildings before eventually flying up toward the top level of the parking garage where Cuthill was set up to a do a live-shot style standup with the Port of Southampton complete with some fuel-guzzling cruise ships in the background.

This served as a toss into a package about carbon and climate change before returning to the outdoor setup next to the BBC studios.

Later, the appropriately-named Alexis Green then cycled up to the compound, which was now set up with one of the network’s signature red curvy sofas and cylindrical coffee tables. Green later delivered a low-tech weather forecast using “stick on” weather symbols set up on an easel-mounted surface.

Lewis Coombes also made an appearance. 

Finally, a closing montage included behind-the-scenes footage of the “South Today” team commuting to work on bikes mixed with shots of how the segment was produced.