With the awards season hangover finally wearing off, we thought now would be the perfect time to share our story of life on the red carpet and at our theatres most sought-after honours ceremony, the Olivier Awards.

This year we joined in the 40th anniversary celebrations at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. USP Content were live from the red carpet as the stars walked stylishly into London’s iconic six columned beacon of culture that is, of course, home to the Royal Ballet. Here, we conducted pre-show interviews for Mellow Magic with some of musical theatres most prestigious stars who talked joyfully to us mere mortals in front of camera. We chatted to and filmed the West End’s finest performers, including Dame Judi Dench, Juliet Stevenson, Luke Evans, Mark Gatiss, Arlene Philips and Imelda Staunton, to name but a small yet anticipant few. The video interviews we produced went straight up online and were repackaged for Magic, the Bauer Network and Sirius XM radio station to much rapturous applause in the form of more digital claps in the form of ‘likes’ and ’shares’ – all the world is, it would appear, now a stage!

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But the fun didn’t stop there. Our presenters were on hand to bring the best of the action from the ceremony itself as well as all the action backstage before. Only once all the awards were handed out and celebrity swooning was complete, did we have the opportunity to let our hair down at the after-party. Complete with complimentary Fortnum & Mason chocolates, an excellent canapé collection and the finest selection of wine to help ease the blows from being star struck. We saw out the night feeling on a par at last with these great stage and screen performers, nay national treasures! Our A-list evening lasted only for a wonderful couple of hours before we were back to the office and back down to Earth on Monday morning.

Check out our photo gallery from the evening here

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What is southern hospitality? Where can you find the Soul from the South? A recent USP Content production commissioned by BBC Radio 4 tries to find out. It is without a doubt a different way of life and the programme goes in search around various towns, cities and events of America’s deep south, teemed with Rich Hall’s comedic understanding of the place he originally comes from.

Rich starts by aiming to explore the geographical definition for ‘southern’. Is it below the Mason Dixon line, the mid-south or deep-south and what do Brits think of the so-called Southern Charm? There are those who believe the charm, the hospitality and friendliness to be a façade for a dark past or reality.

The programme rightly delves into history. Could it be that the former gentry culture which the upper classes adopted from English country life influenced the current image of southern America? As the programme explores, you’re never too poor to be hospitable. The notion of be friendly and welcoming stems from the lonely days on the farm where those working on the land would welcome visitors to hear new stories from the outside world to order to compensate for their sheltered life.

Rich goes in search of culture in Memphis, home to Elvis Presley and the country, hill-billy and blues music scene. Is it possible that the exportation of music is the firm vibe of true southern hospitality? Down in the farmers’ market consumers give their opinions, food, family and festivals of music are all the key ingredients of a staple southern life and conversational diet. To them, it’s the freedom to approach anybody safe in the knowledge that they will talk and dance and ultimately love life, which keeps spirits high – even the most sceptical of souls.

Rich Hall goes in search of Southern Soul

Rich Hall goes in search of Southern Soul

The unique culture, which contribute to Southern Hospitality, also contrast between the old and the young. Rich discovers that real Southern Hospitality for the younger generations is less about being hospitable and more about how you view others and accept them to make them feel comfortable.

Rich goes to a ‘tailgate party’, which to those less familiar is a pre-football (American not soccer) festival of cooking, drinking and serving up music for strangers on the street. The answers to any questions he has range simply from telling their colourful life stories to simply smiling and saying ‘Hi’ in return.

So what is this well-known and well-loved concept we call Southern Hospitality? Is it food, music or friendliness? Rich neatly wraps this up while hanging out on a balcony overlooking a porch in front of the community at large. It is here that he, and therefore we, become the fabric of the community. The porch is your true living room, in front of the neighbours where the opportunity – and honour – to get an invite up to a stranger’s porch should always be taken. There is surely no better focal point to engage in the hospitality Rich went in search for, but right here!

Have a listen to the joint project between USP Content and Folder Media and judge for yourself here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b075mlth

As the techno-tentacles of Oculus Rift get ready to grip the globe into submissions of an alternative reality, USP Content got to have a play of the virtual reality kit deemed to be the future of gaming technology ahead of its official release.
Understandably, there was no training and no manual to read beforehand. But, having grown up with a Commodore 64, Super Nintendo and eventually a PlayStation, it was just going to be another computer game, right?

No. In fact, not at all. Make no illusions, no amount of preparation for this highly anticipated ultra-3D experience can get you prepared for how mind-boggling and emotionally overwhelming the whole concoction is. Transporting from the office chair to submerge into an entirely different world is nothing short of the experience.

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Place the goggles before your expectant eyes, headphones over your eager ears and…relax?
The excitement is unsettling and even for the most hardened of joystick tapping veterans of the home entertainment world it is, heart-wrenchingly good fun!

So, what did we do?

The first game played was Alien Isolation. Inside the dilapidated spaceship you look around to discover you’re stranded in some kind of green armoured metal wreck. It’s an iron fortress, galactic-hopping vehicle destroyed by a rogue alien who was on the prowl for human flesh – yours!

Turning the headpiece full–circle in order to navigate the room, you are conscious of the fact that your nodding and bobbing head probably looks ridiculous in the real world and to those watching, but humiliation is a small price to pay for staying alive when aliens are on the hunt.

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Walking around the ship using the controller, your warm seat and gravitational pull to it is the only reminder that you are not really dodging an alien assault. Push the controller forward and you walk towards a door, press a button and it opens. Then you see a new scene with which you only have a minute to comprehend fully before an alien – on this occasion – stabs you in the back before you are forced to look over your disemboweled body. Your heart, though virtually dead, is thumping in reality!

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Our next challenge was to defuse a bomb in the new game called Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. With the help of colleagues shouting instructions (or should that be destructions!) aimlessly from afar. We gave ourselves names: the man in the hot seat, Maverick, received the codes from Goose in order to stop the explosive device detonating. The bomb Maverick saw was settled on a table from which he could hit various buttons at the right time, or work out picture sequences in the right order, from only the communication between the two ‘top-gamers’ and the manual Goose had to command instructions and defuse it. No member of the USP team averted a nuclear disaster and it’s fair to say the future is safe without us interfering!

Adjusting to Reality

While this colourful piece of prose might question the reader into believing they’re harder than the average man – unlike us softies here! – duly note this: the true difficulty of virtual reality, in whatever format it comes in today or in the future, is adapting back to normality once the headphones and goggles are off. A part of you ends up questioning whether it all really happened at all, whilst a different part of course notes that it was just a game. This, much like stepping off a boat you’ve been on for three days, leaves you sea – or game – sick and a number of us here at USP Content (including a tall burly bearded beer-drinker, surely of Viking descent) enough to crash into corridor walls on our way out of the games studio.

The conscious separation of knowing that you’re somewhere physically but seeing something else confuses the mind delightfully. Look out for another USP Content production in podcast form over the coming weeks about this awesome piece of kit. One thing is clear, virtual reality gaming has arrived!

Happy New Year from everyone at USP Content! Not everyone in the office was able to party hard into the early hours of 2016 as we prepared to put on a spectacular show in Central London.

The London New Year’s Day Parade is watched by over 300 million people worldwide on TV and it boasts twice as many participants than the Thanksgiving Day parade by Macy’s in New York City.

<img src="http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot-300×300.jpg" alt="Presenters Dan Lobb and Harriet Scott in action " width="300" height="300" class="size-medium wp-image-6500" srcset="http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot-300×300.jpg 300w, http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot-150×150.jpg 150w, http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot-768×768.jpg 768w, http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot-500×500.jpg 500w, http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot-600×600.jpg 600w, http://www.uspcontent.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/LNYDP-Dan-and-Harriot Find Out More.jpg 960w” sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” />

Presenters Dan Lobb and Harriet Scott in action

The turn of the year tradition celebrated its 30th year on January 1st. The London New Year’s Day Parade consisted of an amalgamation of marching bands from the USA, cheerleaders, historic cars and motorbikes, large helium balloons and a daring escape from international illusionist Darcy Oake. The Canadian daredevil performed a sensational escape from being handcuffed and in stocks whilst his head was submerged in a water tank for the half a million members of the public lining the London streets.

USP Content produced the worldwide TV coverage of the event across all channels and streams, alongside delivering broadcast PR coverage in the run up to the event.

USP Content Production Crew in action

USP Content Production Crew in action

Last week, we had the pleasure of working with plastic construction company LEGO for the launch of their Christmas Build in Covent Garden. This year’s festive treat was unveiled as a Santa Express Train, made with over 500,000 LEGO bricks. It features three carriages, an engine and driver’s cabin, a carriage full of presents and a carriage delivering a Christmas Tree. The Santa Express is complete with special effects including smoke from the funnel, sounds and lights. Check out the video from the launch here.

USP Content were present for the unveiling at a fresh, cold and cloudy Covent Garden at 6:30am. After earning live spots with Good Morning Britain and conducting interviews for an upcoming Boxing Day feature on Channel 4, the sun rose enough to allow photographers to get shots of the impressive build, blanketed by snow…of the machine variety, not natural climatic conditions. We even managed to gain some coverage ourselves (see below).

USP at the LEGO Launch

After achieving a hard day’s work in the early morning, we took the mastermind LEGO builder Duncan Titmarsh back to our studios to conduct over 20 interviews for radio stations up and down the UK, who wanted to hear more about his enviable job.

Audiences across Britain heard more about Duncan’s awesome life as the UK’s only LEGO Certified Professional. Talking about how he came to discovering the joy of building LEGO towers at the tender age of four to setting up his own company ‘Bright Bricks’ and embarking on the journey to become the UK’s one and only Official Certified LEGO Builder.

In 2010 he had to prove that he was operating his own LEGO building business and submit a portfolio of his creative builds for assessment. He also had to demonstrate his understanding of the LEGO Company and its values.

Duncan in our studios

Duncan in our studios

His full-time job has now meant that he has taken on LEGO fans to work alongside him at his unit near Farnham, Surrey. He has helped LEGO build all of their Christmas builds since it began in 2011.
Managing to achieve video, TV and online coverage, alongside extensive radio broadcast, the event was a large success.

This year’s Santa Express train is situated in North-East Covent Garden Piazza until December 29th 2015, go check it out!

White Men In Capes

19 Nov 2015

USP Content recently delivered a BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra Story called White Men in Capes.

It was a co-production with Folder Media

The programme dealt with the lack of Ethnic Diversity amongst mainstream comic book characters:

“We now live in a comic book crazy world. The comic industry is a billion dollar business thanks to its money spinning movie franchises. But to be a billion dollar business, you need people of all colour and creed to buy into your product. So where are the black superheroes? Where are the Asian superheroes? Where are the Latino superheroes?

In this Radio 1 and 1Xtra Story, DJ Semtex, a self confessed comic book fanatic, delves into the world of comic books and asks where are the mainstream black and ethnic superheroes? We hear from students at Dundee University who are studying for a masters in comic book studies, a host of comic book writers and artists, as well as the Superhero factory that is DC Comics”

You can hear the programme in full here:

Wireless Carol Concert

5 Nov 2015

On Thursday 10th December USP Content will be heading to central London to record the annual Age UK Love Christmas Celebrity Carol Concert, which this year will be held at the St Marylebone Parish Church in Marylebone, London.

The concert will be featured on The Wireless from Age UK on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The host for the evening will be Penny Smith and Lesley Garrett CBE will be performing on the night. They will be joined by Barbara Windsor MBE, Jon Culshaw, Kathy Lette and Kevin Whately, making it a night to remember.

USP’s team have extensive experience of live music recording and outside broadcast, you can read about all of our production projects here

You can find out more about the concert from the Age UK <a href="http://www.ageuk.org team project management.uk/get-involved/events-and-challenges/love-christmas/” target=”_blank”>website

Radio Warfare

30 Oct 2015

History

For all of its unparalleled qualities, radio is much maligned in the eyes of the modern man. Today, we live in an age where we all crave immediacy, an age where the Internet supplements our need for the latest up-to-date information on life, the universe and everything. Naturally in such an age, anything other than the Internet is perceived as backward.

The radio has existed since Gugliemo Marconi used radio waves to transmit Morse code through a small box called ‘the wireless telegraph’ from his parents’ attic in 1895. Later, this device was developed enough to be cast into most homes around the world. We hear the radio on a daily basis, whether in our cars, workplaces or homes. Its ability to wield an audience within its grasp was never more evident than the night before Halloween 77 years ago, in 1938.

“If you had read the newspapers the next day, you would have thought I was Judas Iscariot and that my life was over” – Orson Welles 

 

On October 30th, Orson Welles directed and narrated a radio adaptation of the 1898 science fiction thriller ‘The War of the Worlds’ by HG Wells. The dramatization was recorded as part of the ‘Mercury Theatre on the Air’ programme, an hour-long broadcast that aired on Sunday evenings in the USA.

 

CBS, the radio station operator, wanted to mitigate the potential damage the show would create by issuing warnings that the programme was indeed a work of fiction at the start of the broadcast and again 40 and 55 minutes in.

 

Radio Terror

 

The show itself began with a modest description of humans going about their daily business, walking and working whilst always aware of the presences watching from outside of Earth. The programme ramped up the tension as details of unusual activity from Mars are aired:

“We interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News. At twenty minutes before eight, Central Time, Professor Farrell of the Mount Jennings Observatory, Chicago, Illinois, reports observing several explosions of incandescent gas, occurring at regular intervals on the planet Mars. The spectroscope indicates the gas to be hydrogen and moving towards the Earth with enormous velocity…”

This account is later followed by reports of extreme weather patterns over the east coast of America. Long musical interludes follow, interrupted continuously by on-the-scene news bulletin updates. The reports compelled audiences to believe that deadly Martians had landed near New Jersey and were continuing their swift and deadly advance towards New York City. Past the half way mark listeners were reminded once more that they were listening to a CBS presentation by Orson Welles of ‘The War of the Worlds’ by HG Wells and not a real life tale of death and destruction.

The final third of the show was dedicated to Welles performing long, dramatic monologues as Professor Pierson, who described the attacks and their aftermath on the people and places of America. Uncomfortably taking in the intense and slow oration:

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed…Someone’s crawling out of the hollow top…The whole field’s caught fire…It’s coming this way. About twenty yards to my right“

Followed by silence. The creepy event begins its climax. The transmission concluded with the alien invaders falling victim to Earths pathogenic germs, to which they had no immunity to. Thrilling and spine chilling, the nature of the broadcast had the intention to captivate audiences and allure them into a sense of fear.

Immediately after the programme, Welles announced to the audience that the broadcast was a creation specifically designed for the Halloween period. CBS executives also wanted to announce a disclaimer as they became acutely aware of the panic the show was creating for the nation’s listeners.

The gripping drama owes a large degree of its success to the use of news and weather reports interrupting live music throughout, generating a realistic tone. The inspiration for this insipid feature came as a result of the American public continuously receiving sporadic news messages during radio broadcasts around the time to inform them of the goings-on in the beginnings of wartime in Europe.

Reception

A minority of listeners had succumb to the radio drama’s power and mistook the news bulletin interruptions for reality. Police officers, newspaper offices and radio stations all received concerned phone calls from anxious listeners. The sheer volume of calls assured journalists that the hysteria must have replicated across the country, and therefore warranted extensive news coverage.

The New York Times newspaper headline the following day was “Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact”, the San Francisco Chronicle ran with “US Terrorized By Radio’s ‘Men From Mars’”, whilst the Chicago Herald and Examiner went to press with “Radio Fake Scares Nation”. However, the transmission’s impact has been largely disputed as the radio program actually had relatively few live listeners. The hysteria was lapped up by the newspaper outlets of America as they seized upon the opportunity to scorn radio. The medium introduced a growing threat to newspaper’s advertising revenue and its immediacy threatened news values. Newspapers printed disproportionate reports of panic-stricken Americans, without really providing sufficient evidence to back their claims. The reportage subsequently led to an outcry. The American public were so enraged that they were duped by the broadcast called upon the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the airwaves.

The New York Times Front Page on Halloween Morning

New York Times Front Page on 31st October

 

The effects on the listening populous that night were vast. The streets of New York City were reputedly empty, whilst reports of a man dying from a heart attack and rumours of people taken to hospital to be treated for shock were all false. Some members of the public even called the police to find out where they could donate blood. Whilst the Mercury Theatre itself received calls from listeners, congratulating them on producing such a superb Halloween programme.

As the broadcast picked up nationwide coverage, Orson Welles was credited as a dramatist genius for directing such a theatrical masterpiece over the radio airwaves. The program was nothing short of a success. At a press conference the morning after the show, Welles denied that he had ever intended to deceive his audience, although this is continually disputed. The dramatization sparked his Hollywood career, directing and acting in Citizen Kane, which received plaudits from the masses and critical success. The year following the CBS broadcast, Welles revelled in his new-found fame, himself describing that “houses were emptying, churches were filling up; from Nashville to Minneapolis there was wailing in the streets and the rending of garments.”

Replication

Incidentally ‘The War of the Worlds’ transmission was not the world’s first radio hoax. In January 1926, the BBC broadcast a talk on 18th Century literature, which was interrupted by fictitious news reports about a riot in London. The reports depicted scenes where the Savoy Hotel was burnt to the ground, Big Ben was blown up and even a politician lynched onto a post.

There have also been attempts to recreate Welles’ work into different cultures. In 1949, two Ecuadorian radio producers re-wrote the drama into Spanish and played it on Radio Quito. The broadcast alarmed the nation, with tragic circumstances. Police and fire fighters rushed out to fend off the supposed alien attack. When the broadcast was revealed to be a work of fiction, angry mobs spread violence across the country. The riots led to seven deaths whilst the offices of Radio Quito and the local newspaper El Comercio, who propagated the reality of the broadcast, were burnt to the ground.

It is hard to imagine such a lurid piece of drama being broadcast so well to an unknowing audience today. The entrancing nature of ‘The War of the Worlds’ show and its intense narration recited so dramatically made it an overwhelming success. Never has radio more expressly been capable of captivating unknowing audiences into a sense of fear and distress online project work. Orson Welles propelled radio into a position in which it could finally assert its power in the broadcast world.

Radio may not be used so cynically these days and for that, we should all be so grateful.

Click here to find out more about USP Content’s radio and broadcast PR capabilities.

The Wireless

27 Aug 2015

The Wireless from Age UK is ‘radio for grown ups’ – dedicated to playing a mix of music, entertainment and information, to improve later life in the UK with presenters including ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton, Graham Dene and Paul Burnett.

Available on DAB in London and Yorkshire regions, as well as online and via the tune-in app on smart phones.

Every evening from 7pm there are two hours of specialist music: Folk with Mike Norris, Country with Lee Williams, Jazz with David Freeman, Swingtime with Sheila Tracy, Show-tunes with Esta Charkham and Classical with Ian Rutter. All airing from USP Content studios.

Speech programmes every night from 6pm include Martyn Lewis discussing the topical issues affecting later life in Agenda, The Health Show, Business Matters (tackle issues for the older consumer), The Silver Travel Show, We’ve Got Mail where Age UK experts answer your questions and 20 Questions With.. where previous guests have included Terrance Stamp, Susan Hampshire, Jeff Wayne, Maureen Lipman and Lionel Blair look these up.

USP Content have been commission by Bauer and the Magic Network to produce a brand new show.

Claire Sweeney will host Magic of the Musicals, where every Sunday from 3pm we will be celebrating the world of Musical Theatre.

You can keep up with the show here.

The show is full of guest interviews and brilliant music all packaged for an hour of the best radio. Our guest interviews feature the stars of the Musical Theatre world and these are captured in full HD video. It is all produced by our USP Content team from our central London recording studios.

If you need a specialist production team or a top notch studio facility get in touch for a chat.

USP Content are back on the grid for another season of coverage of Formula 1 for BBC Radio 5 Live.

Our on air team of James Allen, Jennie Gow and Allan McNish will be providing live coverage across the season from around the globe.

Coverage began from Melbourne, which saw Lewis Hamilton cruise to victory and whatever happens next, it is going to be an explosive season and USP Content will bring you every moment live.

You can keep up to date with our coverage throughout the season here.

USP are specialists in sports broadcast coverage, give us a call for a chat about how we can bring your event to a worldwide audience.

The blue half of Manchester will be walking on air going into Saturday’s game on <a href="http://www team management app.absoluteradio.co.uk” title=”Absolute Radio” target=”_blank”>Absolute Radio.

USP Content heads to Villa Park as Rock n Roll Football brings you live & exclusive national commentary of Aston Villa v Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League.

Manuel Pellegrini’s reign at City exploded into life with a 4-1 victory over rivals Manchester United.

They are the bookies favourites for the title and they face an Aston Villa side who are devastating on their travels but struggling at home.

Join Russ Williams with all the build-up this Saturday from 1.30.

Jim Proudfoot is in the commentary box with Tony Dorigo and then from 5, it’s the inimitable Ian Wright alongside Ian Stone with all your calls and reaction.

Listen on 105.8 FM, 1215 medium wave nationwide, online, on digital and on mobile.

Will round 13 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship prove to be unlucky for runaway leader Sebastian Vettel?

USP Content travels to the Far East for the Singapore Grand Prix on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Red Bull’s three time world champion looks unstoppable with a 53 point lead at the top of the driver’s standings.

How will his nearest challenger Fernando Alonso respond – not just to Vettel but to the addition of Kimi Raikkonen to the Ferrari team in 2014?

James Allen, Gary Anderson and Jennie Gow bring you all the action across what’s sure to be another dramatic weekend.

Qualifying is on Saturday at 2.15 pm on 5 Live and then full race commentary follows again on 5 Live from 12.55 pm this Sunday.

It was a great night for USP Content, picking up two awards at the prestigious New York Radio Festival.

The company secured the GOLD Award for Best History Programme for The Austerity Games – the 1948 Olympics.

Presented by Barry Davies for <a href="http://www.bbc team task management.co.uk/radio2″ title=”BBC Radio 2″ target=”_blank”>BBC Radio 2, the show told the story of the last time London hosted the Olympics, a very different Games in a post-war environment.

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In addition, A Week With The Cheeseheads won BRONZE in the fiercely competitive field of Sports Programming, a particularly impressive feat for a piece of non-Olympic programming in 2012.

Darren Fletcher traveled to Green Bay, home of the legendary Packers of the NFL. It’s a city that lives almost solely for the Packers, as BBC Radio 5 Live listeners discovered.

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USP Content are in the Big Easy this weekend for the biggest annual event in sport – the NFL Superbowl.

The US television audience alone is twice the population of the UK and for the first time ever, sport’s biggest game sees two siblings go head to head. But there won’t be much brotherly love amongst the head coaches, as Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers take on John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens.

We will be providing six hours of continuous coverage from New Orleans including live commentary for <a href="http://www.bbc.co see page.uk/5live/” title=”5 Live” target=”_blank”>5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra from 22.00 on Sunday night as Darren Fletcher and former Superbowl winner Rocky Boiman call the action from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

USP Content continues to provide in-depth sports coverage with three live international netball games on 5 Live Sports Extra this weekend.

Joanna Adams, Head of Commercial at England Netball said: “England Netball is delighted that the upcoming International Series against Australia will be aired live on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra.”

“Over the previous couple of years, netball has witnessed phenomenal growth of participation figures in our country.”

“The growing numbers taking up the game have led to an expanded fan-base which craves more and more media coverage of the sport.”

Katharine Merry will lead the coverage from Bath and London, with Jennie Gow presenting from Birmingham, with expert input from former England international Tracey Neville for all three matches.

Jonathan Wall, Acting Controller of Radio 5 live and Sports Extra said: “Netball is such a popular team sport across the UK and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to bring live coverage of this ‘Ashes’ style series to our listeners.

“It will also be a big hit at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which we are already planning for. It’s just part of our commitment to cover a wider range of sports, particularly women’s sport.”

BBC Radio 5 Live’s Olympics and Paralympics coordinator Chessie Bent has joined USP Content as Director of Production.

She’ll now be part of the team at USP which produces live coverage of Formula 1, NFL and MLB for BBC Radio 5 Live and Absolute Radio’s Rock n Roll Football coverage of the Barclays Premier League.

Rob Jones, CEO of USP Content said, “I am delighted to welcome Chessie to USP. I have admired her excellent work for the BBC for a couple of years. She will be working on some interesting projects for us this year”.

Acting Head of 5 Live Jonathan Wall said: “With her experience and contacts across the sports spectrum, Chessie has done a sterling job for 5 Live and BBC Sport over a number of years and we wish her well at USP Content”.

A Week with the Cheeseheads aired on BBC Radio 5 Live twice over the festive period, with an extended version playing on 5 Live Sports Extra this week.

USP Content’s Simon Crosse traveled with 5 Live commentator Darren Fletcher to Green Bay, Wisconsin, two hundred miles north of Chicago on Lake Michigan, to spend a week with the players, management and fans of the famous NFL team, the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers have won more NFL Championships than any other American Football team, and yet their home is a small town of just 100,000 people.

Simon and Darren met fans such as Bea who has missed just one game at Lambeau Field since 1957 (she had to attend a swimming gala!) and Al who is in his fiftieth year of selling beer in section 119 at Lambeau. They also spent time with the Packer-mad Mayor of Green Bay as well as the players, such as star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and winner of American hit TV show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ – Donald Driver.

“Nowhere in Green Bay is more than ten minutes away, we kept on arriving early for appointments, and Lambeau Field is the only tall building in town” says Simon. ”It’s the size of Crawley or Halifax and yet they have this huge, legendary team there, miles from anywhere but with a season ticket waiting list as long as the population of Green Bay itself.

The programme is still available online or as a podcast here.

The Wireless from Age UK is produced by USP Content and hits the DAB network this week:

Created by USP Content and led by CEO, Rob Jones, the radio station aims to share the significant amount of helpful information and advice provided by Age UK, on practical issues affecting those over 50, in particular, lifestyle and health, as well as offering light entertainment that reflects the tastes and lifestyles of those in later life.

Marking this significant first, The Wireless from Age UK has united some of the country’s most experienced broadcasters to present programmes on the radio station. Presenters include Martyn Lewis, Diana Moran, Sheila Tracy, David Hamilton, Graham Dene and David Freeman.

Rob Jones CEO at USP Content comments;
“It has been such a pleasure to bring a group of British broadcasting legends together to deliver a channel that really engages with its target audience. We have applied strong broadcasting principles to a subject matter that is entertaining and interesting whilst addressing the issues of later life in a sensitive and informative manner. It has been a team effort at USP Content with Merrily Grout, Joanne Caplan and Julie Banks becoming totally immersed in creating the channel with a little guidance from me.

We are now looking forward to providing a platform for listeners to express their own views and develop their own programmes as the channel moves into a new phase broadcasting both on-line and on DAB in the London and Yorkshire regions.”

· The Wireless from Age UK launched 7th May 2012 on-line
· Launched on DAB in London and Yorkshire 24th September 2012
· Listen to The Wireless from Age UK at www.ageuk.org.uk/thewireless
· Tune In on iphone/iPad vis the TuneIn application
· Listen in Age UK shops nationwide
· The Wireless from Age UK is produced by www.uspcontent.com
· On behalf of www.ageuk.org.uk

In <a href="http://www Look At This.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jhygm” title=”How To Be England Manager” target=”_blank”>HOW TO BE ENGLAND MANAGER – passionate England fan Tim Lovejoy pulls together advice from former England Managers, players and celebrity fans to offer Roy Hodgson the best best possible support as he takes on the challenge of the country’s second most important job. Contributions from Sven-Goran Eriksson, Graham Taylor, John Gorman, John Barnes, Alan Davies, Al Murray, Ian Wright, Robbie Savage and many more.

Graham Taylor talks about how difficult it is to pick a squad after a long season when the players are either tired or injured or both! Sven remembers the heartbreak of telling players they weren’t in the team and reminds us that professional footballers need to be spoken to like adults. “You mustn’t talk sh*t to them”, as he puts it.

Tim will cover how the managers got the job – one manager thought he was being wound up when he received the call. He’ll discuss who is really in charge – is it the players? How helpful are the suits at the Sweet FA and how hacked off do managers and players get with the media?

What are the potential banana skins – penalties, Poles or in the case of Steve McClaren, precipitation? How do you keep the fans singing your praises and what style should the England manager display. Stylist Nicky Hambleton-Jones says there is a direction correlation between lack of style and good results!

The Wireless, a new online radio station, has launched this week providing informative features and music aimed at those in later life.

From breakfast to drive-time, The Wireless features a range of rich and diverse radio content, including light-hearted celebrity interviews, competitions and more serious topical discussions, documentaries and consumer issues.

Created by USP Content on behalf of Age UK, the charity dedicated to improving later life, and led by CEO, Rob Jones, the new station reflects the tastes and lifestyles of those aged over 50, sharing helpful information and advice for an older audience, as well as offering light entertainment to listeners.

Programmes feature a variety of exciting and informative content including:

• Music from across the decades – soulful melodies from the 50s and 60s, right up to current day hits.
• Topical consumer discussions that tackle important issues including ‘Money Saving Tips’ and an ‘Around the Table’ discussion forums.
• Celebrity interviews including legendary 1966 World Cup winner George Cohen and actor Larry Lamb
• Gardening tips with Christine Walkden, for the green fingered listeners
• Volunteers, supporters and users talking about Age UK services available in the local community
• Insights into some of the fundraising work that Age UK does, such as campaigning for social care reform.

In addition, there are a number of specialist shows available. Listeners can tune in to travel talk on the ‘Silver Travel Show’ and business matters for the older consumer in ‘Business Matters’, or kick back and enjoy interviews with various authors in ‘Behind the Book’ and music shows dedicated to specific genres, from classical to jazz.

Speaking about the launch of The Wireless, Tom Wright CBE, Group Chief Executive of Age UK, said: “Research shows that people over 55 years of age listen to radio more than any other age group, so we wanted to create a platform that caters for this audience. We are thrilled to launch an entertaining and informative new radio station that provides the UK’s older demographic with more choice about what they want to listen to.

The Wireless will provide an entertaining outlet that helps us to share some of our extensive information and advice on improving later life, as well as encouraging our supporters to get involved in our campaigning and fundraising. We also want to hand the microphone over to people in later life, providing a platform for listeners to express their own views and help shape what content we produce and air so it’s as much their station as the charity’s.”

The station’s flagship schedule will be hosted by radio veterans David Hamilton, ex BBC Radio and Graham Dene, previously at Smooth FM, who present the mid-morning and afternoon shows respectively.

David Hamilton, radio presenter on The Wireless and former Radio 1 DJ, said: “I’m really excited to be involved with The Wireless. It’s a brilliant new radio station that offers a unique selection of great music, interesting features and expert advice project management team. There’s a great selection of music from across the decades, some of which I remember better than others, so it really has something for everyone!”

USP Content are delighted to announce that Jaime Alguersuari will join Radio 5 live’s Formula 1 commentary team as an expert summariser, to complete the team of pit lane reporter Jennie Gow and lead commentator James Allen, who as F1 correspondent will also report on F1 across the station throughtout the season.

Jaime Alguersuari said: “It’s great to be part of the BBC’s F1 commentary team on Radio 5 live. It will be interesting to look at the action from a different angle and bring that excitement and insight to listeners. Given that I’m still only 21, this agreement permits me to return to F1. It promises to be another exciting season and I can’t wait for it to start.”

The season gets under way on the 18th March in Melbourne and USP Content will producing live coverage of all 20 Grands Prix  for BBC Radio 5 live.

USP Content has recruited former ITV commentator James Allen as our new Formula 1 commentator and correspondent for BBC Radio 5 live. Jennie Gow joins full time after stepping in for two races last year. Jennie was BBC tv’s MotoGP presenter. The season gets under way in Melbourne on 18th March and USP Content will be delivering every race live for BBC Radio 5 live. The team will travel the planet through until 25 November when the season ends in Sao Paulo, Brasil.

There’s another chance to listen to USP Content’s Sony Award winning show on Kraftwerk this Sunday.

Hosted by Jarvis Cocker, we hear from all the major players in the German Electronic Revolution, 30 years after ‘The Model’ by Kraftwerk was number 1 in the charts. The band’s influence on pop music can still be heard today.

Tune in Sunday from noon on BBC 6 Music as part of 6 Music celebrates Kraftwerk this weekend.

USP Content will be in San Francisco this weekend with Greg Brady & Darren Fletcher for full live commentary on the NFL Championship game on Sunday between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants.

Prior to the game at Candlestick Park, Nat Coombs and former New York Jets player Johnnie Mitchell host Westwood One coverage of the game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. The winners of these matches will meet in the Superbowl on February 5th.

It will be  a marathon seven hour broadcast from 20.00 on Sunday on BBC Radio 5live Sports Extra with BBC Radio 5live joining the broadcast after midnight.

Another year of f1…

7 Dec 2011

USP Content has been re-commissioned to produce Formula 1 for BBC Radio 5 Live for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The company has been producing 5 Live Formula 1 for the BBC since 2006 and this latest deal comes at a time when the BBC’s radio coverage assumes added importance, with Sky Sports’ acquisition of TV rights from 2012 onwards.

USP Content as they embark on their 7th year of live Formula 1 coverage with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne this March.