Beauty Beneath the Surface

My radio show ‘Beauty Beneath the Surface’ is here!

   In a society which has deeply ingrained such unrealistic beauty standards and has put so much pressure on us to always look picture-perfect, it’s sometimes very easy to lose yourself, compare yourself to others especially on social media platforms and constantly feel like you’re not good enough. While easy to get yourself into this downward spiral of hate and body shame, it’s up to you to make a choice: either stay down or rise higher and learn to embrace your flaws and love who you are. As someone who has struggled with my appearance, I understand that while this choice may be difficult at times, it is one of the most important choices we make in life. I trust you will choose carefully.
I produced this radio programme broadcast on Utter Radio for the past few months as part of my final project at university and as a reminder that regardless of what shape, size or culture we belong to, our real beauty resides within us and it is not defined by a number on a scale or by the opinion of other people. We are born to stand out, not to fit in – so just be proud of your perfectly imperfect self. Look closely beneath your own surface and you’ll soon find that you have everything you need to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Many thanks to all my guests for sharing their inspirational stories and valuable advice about the true meaning of beauty and proving that loving yourself is the best thing you can do.

✨No love should be greater or scarier to lose than the love we need to have for ourselves✨

   I hope this will inspire you to be kind to yourself and to your body. Have a listen if you’d like on SoundCloud below:

Any feedback is much appreciated!

Much love,

Claudia xx


To my twenties

Today it’s my birthday. My teenage years are officially over. I cannot believe it! Where did time fly?

   As I am turning 20 years old today, I am enveloped by a sense of gratitude that makes my heart smile. I feel so grateful for every single blessing that I have the power to count in my life: me being healthy, having a beating and strong heart and above all, being surrounded by my wonderful family while pursuing my greatest dreams. The unwavering love and support that I get from my family fills me with such an intense feeling of joy, as well as it gives me strength to look forward confidently towards a bright and exciting future.

   As I am leaving my teens behind me, I look back on all of the moments that have somehow shaped me into the person I am today. Although there have been challenges that I had to face or some obstacles that inevitably appeared in my way, I strongly believe that they have been my greatest teachers. Each of the mistakes I have made and every unexpected bump in my road taught me something valuable about myself. They helped me more often that I let myself to believe by showing me that once you get down, you have a choice: you can either stay down or pick yourself up and stand up taller than ever before. On the brighter side, the past year has been a very rewarding year, where I got to move in one of the most beautiful cities from the UK and to literally live my dream of studying abroad and following my passion.

   Right now, I am stepping into my twenties filled with positive energy, love, confidence, gratitude and being more determined than ever to do big things. To never give up on what makes my heart race. To reach high for my dreams even when they seem unreachable. To always pray and hope for the best even in the worst situations. To love deeply, unconditionally and madly whatever or whoever I feel to. To not forget to treat myself every once in a while ( or all the time in my case) and to have fun. To go out more, meet interesting people and create unforgettable memories together. To strive to become the best version of myself – everyday. To acknowledge, accept and learn from my mistakes. To step out of my comfort zone more often than I ever did before. To travel the whole wide world in order to broaden my horizons and to become richer in knowledge and memories. To have the courage to never let go of my hopes and dreams and to be crazy enough to believe that they will actually come true. To laugh wholeheartedly while enjoying the best years of my life.

   Last but not least, to always, but always be myself. This will get me through anything.

   Cheers to a better me! 🥂

The role of the conflict in storytelling

   This week, it is all about how the content you create needs to be carefully crafted and developed in order for the story to become successful and to get its message across multiple platforms.

   Our guide book throughout our first year of university that contains valuable lessons, tips and advice towards how to best tell a story through a television factual programme was certainly “C.O.N.F.L.I.C.T.” written by the storytelling expert also known as the “TV Troubleshooter” Robert Thirkell.

  “CONFLICT” provides an invaluable insight into the television and filmmaking industry, more precisely it reveals the process of making a programme from scratch, starting from discovering what story you want to tell, the characters that can bring your story to life, structuring the script, filming techniques to the best way it can be delivered to the wide audience. As the title subtly suggests, the book covers 8 essential areas that are described in detail by Thirkell using as support examples and case studies international leading TV series such as Kitchen Nightmares, Wife Swap, The Apprentice, Coastguards, Oprah’s Big Give Fat March, Jamie’s School Dinners and When Big Chef Met Little Chef.

  All of these elements, namely Characters, Out of the Box, Narrative, Front, Love,  Interviews, Care and Timeline work together towards creating the conflict that keeps a story alive and the audience on their seats. Therefore, the development of a good story contains multiple stages that any content creator needs to go through and to work hard in order to ensure that the final piece will be impactful and long-lasting.

   Regarding my university assignment, namely to create a story and to shoot a music video for the emotional ballad “Leave a light on” by Tom Walker, storytelling is essential and therefore, this is my version of events that I imagine would work the best for the piece.

  Once upon a time, there were two teenagers and best friends,Tara and Kyle, who grew up together and who had a very strong bond since the first day they met.They lived very close to each other in a small town from Manchester and since they were small children,they used to do everything together. They always relied on each other and knew that if one was to ever be in trouble, the other one would come to the rescue in no time. Their friendship was something that both of them valued deeply and there was no day when they did not meet to play together or  just wake up and go on a random adventure. There was no Kyle without Tara and everybody admired their long-lasting friendship which turned soon into something more.

   However, one unpredictable event managed to change everything in a short matter of time. After spending months looking for a job, Kyle’s dad got a job offer as a manager in a German company and consequently, his family decided to move to Germany when he was only 16 years old. Tara and Kyle needed to say goodbye to each other, even though none of them knew exactly how. Although they made countless promises to each other that they would visit and they would try their best to keep their love alive, truth is ,their relationship did not manage to survive the time’s trial. Tara made several attempts throughout the years to contact Kyle and to see how is his life in a new country, but had never heard back from him. As years passed by, Tara moved on with his life and made new friends at college, but deep inside, he knew that no one would ever be the same as his good old friend and lover, Kyle. On the other side , Kyle became so angry from the day he found out that he has to move that he decided to completely change his lifestyle and due to some bad influences he met, he chose to follow a dangerous path. He soon started using drugs and alcohol as a desperate attempt to numb the loneliness he felt and the pain of losing his best friend. His addiction became something that he couldn’t control anymore so he knew that he needs to get help if he wanted to survive. Although his parents spent so much money on the best rehab facilities that could help their son, nothing seemed to work for him. 

    What Kyle did not know was that his parents got in touch with Tara’s family and as soon as Tara heard the news about Kyle’s state, she went there hoping that she can save the one she always loved the most.The reunion was something that Kyle never believed would happen, but this gave him the strength to fight for his own life. With the support of Tara and his family, he managed to fully recover and to realize that the love he and Tara shared was something that he could never give up again. Even though they were young, they had each other and that was enough for both of them. When Kyle turned 18, he and Tara moved together in Manchester where they lived happily ever after.

 I graduated! 

    The last few weeks were eventful, chaotic, full of bittersweet memories, yet the one thing that was on my mind the whole time was the fact that I made it.

      I graduated from high school.

     Earnestly speaking, I cannot comprehend how or where the time had flew. It looks like yesterday I was a junior, with an enthusiastic and overly excited face, bad hair and funny clothes, waiting to embark on this new adventure. I was just a happy child, with no clue about what I was going to experience, learn or discover. I have to admit that the thought of growing up scared me at times. I just didn’t want to.Who would like to give up childhood? Who wants to be a grown up?

    Nevertheless, high school came with so much more that I could have predicted at the beggining. Happy days, proud achievements, long lasting friends, precious life lessons, a whirlwind of emotions are just a few of the moments that truly shaped me into a better, wiser and happier human being.

    As far as I can tell, I had some amazing opportunities during high school to evolve and to exploit the abilities I didn’t believe I had. For instance, I was involved in a couple of national projects from whom I have learned a lot about team work, social skills and patience. My creativity, determination, inspiration and strive were on high demand, always pushing me to outreach myself. The emotional side was developed in ways I didn’t experience before during a particular project, where I discovered that I am blessed in more ways than I can count and that happiness always hides in the littlest of things. You just have to acknowledge this unique feeling and treasure it deeply each day. The results of my work were proudly shown through recognition from my teachers and some diplomas, yet the most important outcome was the feeling of accomplishment and utter excitement while discovering my own self, my own passions and my own desires. These memories would certaintly not leave me anytime soon.

      Regarding the lessons that I have come to learn through great and sometimes, difficult ways, I believe they are the essence of my high school years.They weren’t always easy or pleasant enough to bear at the time, yet the fact that I lived them at that certain stage of my life helped me to understand myself better and to prioritize my needs. I realised what path I want to follow. What carreer would make me feel like everyday I’m on a vacation rather than at a boring work place, as well as what is going to bring out the best of me. Some dreams already became reality, some of them not yet. Sure thing is that I am on the right track. Ambition, perseverance, patience and faith never fail to do their magic.

   Finally, four years went by faster than the wind. Four years filled with memories, beautiful events, complicated feelings, sleepless nights, I was able to get through it all. At the end of this chapter, it is supposed that I am going to be mature and to pave my way towards the future that I am wishing and looking for. This is exactly what I am doing. The funny thing? I am still a child. I always will be. At least this thought eases the guilt whenever I mess something up.

        To mark my words, take a look at some of the pictures I have and that shows me even more excited than when I eat ice-cream. One in a million sight,that’s for sure.

”Back in Time for Tea” on BBC Two

  Back in Time for Tea is a popular television programme that was originally broadcast on BBC Two and which closely follows the Ellis family who ”travel back in time to discover how changing food in the north of England reveals what life was like for working class families over the past 100 years.” (BBC,n.d.) The series have far more copyrighted items that the radio show ”Desert Island Dics”, for instance the show uses archive footage, food, old brands and music that aim to illustrate the 1900s and the families that lived in those times as accurate as possible. ”Starting in 1918 they’ll experience first-hand the lives of previous generations, from the food people ate to the jobs they did and how they kicked back and enjoyed themselves.” ( BBC Media Centre,n.d.) The show is suitable for BBC Two because it aims to build the knowledge and understanding of the audience for an era where people had to work hard and endure poverty in order to have a decent life and for the head of the family to be able to support his entire family. ”BBC Two’s remit is to be a mixed-genre channel appealing to a broad adult audience with programmes of depth and substance. It should carry the greatest amount and range of knowledge-building programming of any BBC television channel, complemented by distinctive comedy, drama and arts programming.” (BBC,n.d.)

The Ellis family/ Photo taken from BBC

   Back in Time for Tea puts a lot of emphasis on the footage that they incorporate throughout the series in order to show to the audience those past times exactly as they were without any alterations, as well as to bring authenticity to the whole story. If the footage were to come from the BBC Archive, then the programme would not have any copyright issues, except the clearance that can be requested personally in order to access and to use all this content. Furthermore, the use of music that was specific in the 1980s is another element that adds authenticity to the story telling, but which nonetheless, it requires copyright in order to be properly used on the screen. For that to happen, the producers would need to have the approval from both PRS and PPL since they are the main organisations that  “ensure that the creators and performers of music are paid when their music is used in public” (PPL & PRS, n.d.).


BBC. (2018). Back in Time for Tea – BBC Two. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018]. (2018). BBC – Back In Time For Tea – Media Centre. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018]. (2018). BBC – BBC Two Programme Policy 2010/2011 – Inside the BBC. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

PPL PRS. (2018). About PPL PRS Ltd | What we do | PPL PRS | United for Music. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

”Desert Island Dics” on BBC Radio 4

    This week is all about copyright and clearance, namely how the copyrighted material has been cleared and used in the story telling of a programme. Therefore, I listened to the radio programme named ”Desert Island Dics” on BBC Radio 4 , more exactly the episode that features Jack Whitehall and which was broadcast on 9th of February 2018.

Photo taken from BBC 

  ”Eight tracks, a book and a luxury: what would you take to a desert island? Kirsty Young invites her guests to share the soundtrack of their lives.” ( BBC, n.d.) – this is the question that revolves around the show hosted by Kirsty Young and where each week, a new guest has to pick the one song that describes best their entire life at the actual moment. According to the BBC Radio 4’s remit, which is to appeal ” to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres which inform, educate and entertain.”(BBC Trust,2016), Desert Island Dics fits the criteria because its main aim is to allow the audience to connect with the artist that is in the studio, while the guest to be open and ready to share his stories and favorite music.

   Jack Whitehall is a well known British stand-up comedian, television presenter, actor and writer. ”His work includes a string of sell-out stand-up tours, writing and acting in the hit sitcom Bad Education and appearing in the upcoming Good Omens series.” (BBC,n.d.)

   The music that the radio show uses is the one thing that needs to be cleared in order for the BBC to avoid legal action and the consequences that come if you did not give the credit when it is due. Therefore, the organisations where the music can be cleared through the radio programme is Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) because the money they collect is ”to pay those writers or musicians whose copyrighted music has been used.” (BBC Academy, 2016) Moreover, the host Kirsty Young makes sure that before every track played on the show, she states the artist and songwriter/producers of the songs in order to inform the audience and to recognise the talent and hardwork that are put in each and every song.



BBC. (2018). Desert Island Discs – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018]. (2018). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

BBC. (2018). Desert Island Discs – 10 things we learned from Jack Whitehall’s Desert Island Discs – BBC Radio 4. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Mar. 2018].

BBC Academy. (2016). A guide to music copyright. Retrieved 15 March 2018, from

”SAS:Who Dares Wins” on Channel 4

 Ant Middleton, second left, and his team will be putting 25 ordinary Brits through their paces in gruelling conditions
Photo taken from Channel 4 

   ”SAS:Who Dares Wins” is a five-part documentary series that is broadcast on Channel 4 and with every new season, it aims to push 25 Brits to face their fears and to break all their boundaries in order to survive under extreme conditions. The show has come to its third season and the challenging series is filmed ”in the punishing climate of the dusty Atlas Mountains.” (The Sun,2018) , more precisely ” The SAS show is filmed in Southern Morocco – and the contestants will be staying in a makeshift training camp within a 150-year-old Kasbar, or fortress, in the foothills of the mountains.” ( The Sun,2018)

 The candidates will be staying in a makeshift Kasbar, or fortress, in the foothills of the mountains
Photo taken from Channel 4

    The North African location where the programme was filmed contributed to the development of the series and at the same time, it greatly influenced the quality of the content that it has been produced for the show. ” The location took 8 crew members 5 days to rig, using 32 cameras and 40 camera positions. Filming took place over 7 interior rooms, the Recruits Dorm, Recruits Mess, DS Dorm, Prayer Room, Mirror Room and 2 extra interrogation spaces. There was also a ‘Beasting’ Area that had light coverage for interior physical work. ” (The Complete Camera Company, n.d.) Apart from the isolated nature of the remote location, ”SAS:Who Dares Wins” use of the Morrocan stretch of the Alas Mountains helped to attract the audience because of the impressive views and set the action in a place that the viewers can identify and therefore, they can truly believe the story. ”Through sleep deprivation, interrogation and relentless circuits, SAS: Who Dares Wins uncovered the truth about what is really required – and to the surprise of the audience, physical fitness came secondary to psychological resilience. Audiences relished the opportunity to watch the punishing trials, see candidates reach their breaking point, and celebrate some surprise successes in equal measure.” (The Complete Camera Company,n.d.)


Griffiths, J. (2018). Inside the stunning Moroccan filming location for who SAS: Who Dares Wins. [online] The Sun. Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

The Complete Camera Company. (2018). SAS: Who Dares Wins – The Complete Camera Company. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

”The Last Post” – Drama series on BBC One

”The Last Post” is a British drama show that was first broadcast on BBC One on 1 October 2017. Set in the mid-sixties, the television drama tells the story of the officers from a unit of Royal Military Police who have to take care of their own families while dealing with the challenges and conflicts that the politics, love and war have to bring into their lives.  However, the story is being told through the perspective of a man that lived during those difficult times. namely the focus is on the childhood memories of Peter Moffat, one of the writers of the drama, that remembers his father’s career as an officer in the Royal Military Police.

The Last Post
Photo taken from BBC

The BBC One series has the action set in a particular impressive place that reveals how important is the use of locations in telling a compelling story. Therefore, ”The Last Post” drama series takes place in Aden, a town from Yemen but was filmed in Cape Town , South Africa. ” While Yemeni port city Aden is located in Western Asia, the series is filmed (very probably due to the sad fact that this area of the world continues to be ravaged by wars) in South Africa.” (Evening Standard,2017) According to Margery Bone, the executive producer, the landscape of Yemen had to contain ”a mixture of coastal, mountain and desert settings ” (Express,2017) and so Cape Town was the place that could fit the story in the best way. Moreover, “Finding a disused British naval base that overlooked Simon’s Town Bay enabled us to give our drama the kind of scale it is normally difficult to achieve on a television shoot.” ( Express,2017)

The period drama has an interesting story behind it ”In the Sixties, Britain began dismantling its Empire, of which Aden was part. The end of British rule in the territory was partly brought about by an uprising in the area known as the Aden Emergency. Forces were sent to the region to try and control an uprising against the British rule.” (Evening Standard,2017)


Evening Standard. (2018). The Last Post: cast, locations and 3 other things you need to know. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

Daly, H. (2018). Where is The Last Post filmed? Stunning locations for BBC drama REVEALED. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

”The Archers” on BBC Radio 4

  ” The Archers” is the longest British radio soap-opera that was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4. The radio drama follows closely the Archers family while trying to face all the modern pressures of the rural life. Set in the English village of Ambridge, ”The Archers” has been created by Godfrey Baseley and since its first episode aired in 1951, the drama has quickly became one of the most popular radio shows in the British culture. According to the radio station’ s remit, ”The service should appeal to listeners seeking intelligent programmes in many genres which inform, educate and entertain.” (BBC Trust,2016)

       This drama has put great emphasis on research, with a thin line between fiction and reality that makes the characters and the situations believable and on the whole, it  enhances the listening experience. For instance, while making the episode about the sale of the Bridge Farm, the writer Carole Simpson Solazzo wanted to make sure that the scene is going to be as realistic as possible for the listeners. Therefore, ”As soon as our agricultural advisor Steve Peacock began talking about the Bridge Farm dispersal sale in our script meeting, I decided I needed to see one in action. I love this kind of research, and there is no way a writer could conjure scenes like this out of the imagination. You need to be there, in the thick of it, watching, listening, absorbing.” (BBC Blogs,2013) Her trip to Cumbria to see how an actual farm sale looks like and to discover their lifestyle, the warm atmosphere and the solidarity of people helped her greatly with the storyline and made her research be as accurate as it can be. ” It was as much about celebrating the lifetime’s achievement of one their own, as a business opportunity to buy a piece of kit or a cow.” (BBC Blogs,2013)

     When she got to the writing part, Carole used the notes from her research and applied them to the auction episode they wanted to create for ”The Archers”, like what are the real sounds during an auction, the way people talk or behave, while still focusing on the main characters and their honest reactions in front of this difficult event. ”We knew our listeners would be interested in the authentic sound of the auction itself. But more importantly, they would want to follow our characters through what was a very emotional day, one way or another, for each of the principals. ” (BBC Blogs,2013) The use of a real world event in an fictional drama was crucial in creating audio content that it is going to attract the audience and to make them feel like they are in the middle of the action, fact which makes ”The Archers” a successful and compelling drama that deserves all the recognition that it gets.


  1. (2018). BBC – BBC Radio 4 – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  2. The Archers. (2018). Researching the Bridge Farm sale. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].

”Line of Duty” on BBC Two – Drama Series

Line of Duty
Cast of ”Line of Duty” / Photo : BBC

” Line of Duty” is the high acclaimed British drama series that was originally broadcast on BBC Two and which premiered on 26 June 2012. Created by Jed Mercurio, the drama follows the investigations of AC-12, one of the most controversial police anti corruption units and their fight for justice and equality.

    Set in a world where the corruption and the evil are everywhere, ”Line of Duty” is a drama based on fiction but which is able to integrate realist elements within it because it brings to the surface the issues that the actual society is currently facing with. “Line of Duty is a social realist drama so it’s set in a world that has the recognisable features of the authentic world we see around us. Within that world there is historic child sex abuse that has been perpetrated by certain public figures. I didn’t invent that.” (The Telegraph,2018) This proves that a lot of research and fact has been put into making this drama in order to create content that it is believable and which can be understood by the wide audience.

    Apart from the huge amount of research that goes into it, what makes this drama worth watching is the tension and mystery that each episode brings based on the secrets and plot twists that were never revealed or even hinted to the large public. ”Part of Line of Duty’s nerve-shredding tension comes because at a time when television is blighted by plot details leaking online, the BBC Two show has proved particularly good at keeping its secrets. ” (The Telegraph,2016) How can this be possible? According to the creator, Jed Mercurio, it ”is simple to lie”. (The Telegraph,2016) This approach encourages the audience to keep watching and in terms of the content, it adds a layer of suspense to the whole drama that has the outcome desired by the creator and the producers, namely for the audience to believe what it is shown and to immerse themselves into the storyline.

      In terms of the audience, ” BBC Two’s remit is to be a mixed-genre channel appealing to a broad adult audience with programmes of depth and substance.” ( BBC Trust, 2016) The drama has currently finished its fourth season, but due to its popularity and the passion of both the creator and the fans, it has been renewed by BBC for another two seasons. ”The broadcaster’s decision to do another two series comes shortly after Mercurio said it would be “nice to know” it’s not the end before he starts penning the fifth instalment.” ( The List,2017) Furthermore, the season four’ finale has managed to score the highest viewing figures in the drama’s history. ” The BBC police drama’s sixth and final instalment on Sunday night was viewed by 7.5 million people, according to overnight ratings, nearly a million more than the penultimate episode the previous week – at 6.6 million.The number, the highest overnight figure in the show’s history, is expected to grow after viewers watching on catchup are taken into account next week.” (The Guardian,2017)


  1. Wilson, B. (2018). Jed Mercurio: Lies have been the making of Line of Duty. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  2. (2018). BBC – BBC Two – BBC Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  3. The List. (2018). Line of Duty gets another 2 series. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].
  4. the Guardian. (2018). Line of Duty season four finale cops 7.5 million viewers. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Feb. 2018].