We had an unexpected surprise at our March meeting this year, which just happened to be on budget day. We had just started proceedings when a couple of ladies from ITV turned up and asked if they could do some filming for a feature they were doing for News at Ten. We were told they would like to talk to some of us to get our views on the Chancellor’s announcements concerning major changes to pensions and new savings products aimed at our generation. I have to say we were less than enthusiastic at first, especially as none of us had even heard any of the budget, explaining that we’d much prefer to get on with our meeting.
We then had an enjoyable session led by Elaine Brown, in which we compared and rated a range of branded products against lower cost supermarket own-brand equivalents. However as we now know TV people don’t take no for an answer and it wasn’t long before they returned with a new approach – this time they’d like us to carry on with our meeting as normal but let them do some filming. Our protests that we’d pretty much finished by then didn’t budge them one iota and it wasn’t long before Elaine was repeating some of her presentation and a few of us began tasting the leftovers for the cameras.
And so it came to pass that several members of the Risborough and District U3A Food & Wine Group appeared on ITV’s flagship evening news programme! Admittedly their appearance lasted for a few seconds only and there was no mention at all of who they were, where they were from or what they were doing. Just a collection of third agers nibbling some food and having a good time. Which is what our U3A is all about really isn’t it?
I suppose it was interesting to see how the TV people operate these days – in this case just a couple of young ladies with a shoulder-held video camera rather than all the lights and paraphernalia of the outside broadcast crews of the old days. It also makes you realise how much time and effort goes into producing just a few seconds of a news programme. At least some of us managed to set the video recorder in time.
So why not come and join us sometime. We meet on the third Wednesday of the month, have a varied and interesting programme and you never know, you just might get yourself on the telly!