UBTV: “We Want Everyone To Know Who We Are”

UBTV may be less than a year old but has already been a resounding success. The Tab decided to find out how it all got started.

As the BBC becomes mired in moral controversy, Bristol’s new station, UBTV, has steadily grown since its rebirth this March. As for Bristol’s old station, well, Blink and you missed it really.

Headed by Kirsty Morrissey, third year English student, and Bianca Athanasiou, third year Philosophy Student, the station now has 7 departments, and churns out new videos every day.

These two alone swept up the ashes of Bristol’s previous TV station Blink, built a brand new website and recruited their own team.

With two motivated and committed BNOCs at the helm, one could imagine a real power struggle at the very top of UBTV. However, all appears to be rosy.

‘We’ve now adjusted into our own roles, but it was never discussed’ explains Bianca. ‘I’m technically the President, whilst Kirsty is the Station Manager. It’s just really worked out by itself’.

“The President literally just disappeared”

UBTV was born, fittingly, in the Spring of this year, and despite their powerhouse of a working partnership, Bianca explains ‘we didn’t know each other before-hand’.

‘I was the treasurer of Blink, but they didn’t do anything. The President literally just disappeared. He said ‘I’m dropping out’ and then it just had to stop.

‘I really wanted to carry it on and Kirsty had expressed an interest, so that’s why I got in contact with her.’

The first programme, ‘Comedy Chunks’, was filmed by Kirsty with the aid of Emily Robinson, now head of UBTV Entertainment, in a much simpler time for UBTV.

‘After that, I said, do you want to do this together?’ And we did.’

However, it wasn’t plain sailing. The pair are quick to admit to the vast amounts of time put in during the station’s infancy. ‘I feel like it started when Bianca came to my house in the Easter holidays, and we built the website’ says Kirsty.

Whilst both agree it was a constant part of their summer, they appear adamant the station has not impacted on either their academic or social life.

The workload may be more spread out now that there is a committee of 18, but in reality ‘it just means there are more people to manage’ reveals Kirsty. Bianca agrees, ‘now it’s such a huge scale operation it’s actually impacting us a lot more’.

Meet the team…

In terms of the name, The Tab questioned how they ended up with something so unconventional, so abstract. ‘We were like, oh Buzz TV, something else TV… but eventually we realised UBTV was much better. At least it’s not cringe’. Agreed.

The most popular videos so far are their nightclub interviews. ‘In Freshers we did a lot of club nights, now we do one or two a week’. However, they are keen to do more than film inebriated first years shouting ‘We love UBTV’ outside Lounge.

“We used to beg people to let us film them”

When asked about future stars in the UBTV fold, Kirsty informs the Tab, ‘Jake Miller has got some sort of cult following’ but she is unwilling to lavish too much praise on any individual, choosing the diplomatic answer of ‘I think all our presenters are great’.

‘The worst UBTV experiences have been when you film something, plug it in and realise there’s no sound, where the microphone just wasn’t plugged in properly’. In terms of the content, ‘there are things you think are hilarious when you film them, you go back and watch them and realise they’re not’.

‘I remember being outside Dojos in the rain and being told we couldn’t film’, ‘Pam Pams have done it to us too, we’d arranged it with the promoters but they hadn’t checked with the club that it was okay’.

The future looks bright for Bristol’s TV station. ‘We used to beg people to let us film them, mostly our friends, but now people are always emailing us. The aim for each department is to be the go-to place in that area’.

‘We want everyone to know who we are’.

The Tab knows who you are, you be TV.