BBC Broadcast Shows 'Scranton’s Got Talent'

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The University of Scranton students who participated in the live BBC radio broadcast from the DeNaples Center are, from left, Will Grogan, Keri Taylor, TJ Yablonski, Rosemary Shaver, Shohin Hodizoda-Vance and Doug Jones, seen here with the show’s host Richard Bacon.
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BBC 5 Live host Richard Bacon introduces an estimated audience of 1.5 million listeners to Scranton and The University of Scranton in the show’s opening segment. From left are, Bacon, Will Grogan, vide president of student government, Scranton alumnus and Marketing Director for Times Shamrock Communications Tim Holmes, and Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty.

Scranton — both the City and the University — shined in a live BBC radio broadcast that sought American viewpoints on President Obama’s first year in office, his proposal for health care reform, the economy, the NBC show The Office, and the Fox TV show Glee, which just began airing in Britain.

The broadcast aired on the BBC’s 5 Live radio program hosted by Richard Bacon, which has an estimated audience of 1.5 million listeners. 

Will Grogan, a communications major from Mount Laurel, N.J., and vice president of Student Government, was interviewed in the first segment of the show, along with Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty and University of Scranton alumnus Tim Holmes, marketing director for Times Shamrock Communications, who helped organize the BBC broadcast. Grogan talked about The University of Scranton.

University of Scranton students who were interviewed in segments about President Obama’s first year in office and the economy were TJ Yablonski, a political science and history double major from Gouldsboro and president of the College Democrats; Shohin Hodizoda-Vance, an international studies major from Hershey and president of the College Republicans; Rosemary A. Shaver, a history and political science double major from Shavertown and editor of the Forum section of the Aquinas; Doug Jones, a international studies major from West Wyoming; and Keri Taylor, a political science major from Scranton and vice president of the College Democrats. University of Scranton alumna Elizabeth Zygmunt, editor of the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, also participated in this segment of the broadcast.

Cheryl Boga, performance music director, who was interviewed for the segment on Glee, discussed the importance of music education.

“Real education is not just about information, but more importantly about formation and transformation, and few if any disciplines are better suited toward accomplishing those ends than that of the universal language of music,” said Boga.

The 52 members of the Scranton High School closed the broadcast with a rousing rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.”

According to Bacon, Scranton was selected to represent middle America. He had heard about the city through frequent references made when he was in the states covering the 2008 Presidential Election. 

“Vice President Biden is from Scranton as is Hilary Clinton’s family,” said Bacon, who is also aware the city’s connection to The Office. Greg Daniels, the show’s producer, was interviewed by phone during the BBC broadcast.

The broadcast can be heard until Wednesday, Jan. 27, on the BBC 5 Live Web site at www.bbc.co.uk/5live/programmes/schedules/2010/01/20.