This week has seen BBC Radio 1 send Scott Mills and Chris Stark up and down the country on a whistle-stop university tour, visiting five universities in Stirling, Liverpool, Shropshire, Aberystwyth and finally here in Southampton – Mills’ hometown and the very university Stark obtained his degree in Politics.
The Bridge was transformed into a lounge setting, complete with a parrot, vinyl and a ping pong table. Students had queued all morning to get their hands on the sparkly black and gold wristbands in order to gain entrance to the live broadcast, which made for a very claustrophobic and warm setting. Spirits were high however, as the broadcast began with a video of the two presenters outside Southampton’s favourite late-night curry house, Tariq Manzil’s, where Stark proceeded to stick a blue plaque on the front of the restaurant declaring it as the place he had his first ever curry (a chicken korma, if you’re interested).
After interludes of music Mills revealed that he had drawn up a PowerPoint slide for Stark to present at a 9am Maths lecture that very morning. A second video commenced, showing some dreary-eyed, confused maths students sat in a lecture theatre with Stark at the front going through what Mills had prepared. The “prepture” as Stark referred to it during the show, lead to much awkwardness on his part due to the self-indulgent nature of the slides and content. The highlight of the PowerPoint went to an image Mills had found on Stark’s Facebook page of his sidekick drunkenly cuddling a large Tigger toy and caressing its chest. The video concluded with a message to the students from boyband The Vamps.
Throughout the week, Scott had been in contact with a Southampton student about a “hot lecture guy” who she wished to ask out on a date. Unfortunately, as it transpired, he was already in a relationship. So what Mills arranged next caused even more awkward moments as she was forced into an eight-way date around a tiny table of his mum’s spread, consisting of a few sandwiches and fake candles. The following hour and a half or so saw Laura whittle down the eligible bachelors to just one lucky man who would get to take her on a date. She successfully managed to choose her guy and Mills was able to get the romantic ending he was hoping for.
Following Ed Sheeran’s surprise appearance at Harper Adams University earlier on in the week, expectations were high as to who would be the special guest on the last day of the student tour. As it turns out, “That’s going straight in my basket!” star Anto Sharp was the man to make a cameo appearance at the University of Southampton. He and Stark walked up and down the aisles of the SUSU Shop, picking up items Mills had previously picked out to put in their baskets. This arguably drew the most laughter and entertainment of the broadcast as Stark and Sharp proceeded to get louder and louder, with more and more emphasis on the catchphrase.
As the end of the broadcast quickly approached, Student Union President Benjamin Franklin was invited onto the sofa to play ‘Real or No Real’ against former student Stark. Unfortunately for our president, he lost 30 points to 10, which included a question about the world’s favourite cat – SUSU. Regrettably for her she was on the end of a ‘No Real’ as Stark and Franklin were told that she had more Twitter followers than Professor Green…
As the broadcast drew to a close, a highlights video of the week’s events was displayed on the screen to Rihanna’s hit single ‘Take A Bow’, which seemed to draw a lot of emotion from the two presenters, as well as the entirety of the crew who had a massive group hug at the end.
You can rewatch all of the broadcast on the BBC iPlayer and on the BBC Radio 1 YouTube channel.