KCC’s Trading Standards Service feature in new BBC 3 series.
KCC’s Trading Standards Service feature in six programmes of BBC Three’s new series, The Scam Squad
For several months, trading standards officers from Kent and Surrey were followed during their day job by a film crew from Talkback Thames Productions, the company which brings you X Factor, The Apprentice, Grand Designs and now The Scam Squad
Our officers feature in six half-hour ‘fly on the wall’ programmes which gives the public an insight into the varied day-to-day work of Trading Standards.
AN INSIGHT INTO THE SMALL SCREEN:
Here, some of those involved in the series tell us about their experiences of filming for the big screen.
Clive Phillips ” Trainee Trading Standards Officer
We worked with two members of the TalkbackThames production team and found I spent a large proportion of my time explaining to the crew exactly what I was planning to do or what duties I had just undertaken. The crew then, bearing all this in mind, tried to get the whole story across on camera. They made sure that I was asked why we were going, what we would be doing and what any outcomes were. I feel that will be particularly useful in the education of the public.
On the whole, businesses were happy to speak to the crew because it gave them a chance to explain the type of work they do and the type of pressures they are under. Hopefully it will be shown that we are here to protect consumers and support businesses.
I feel that the crew tried to cover a wide variety of work areas from sandwich producers to rogue traders. This means that the public will see that we do not just focus on one particular area but have a wide and varied role.
Jason Reilly – Operational Supervisor
Being, short, fat and forty years old I felt I was an obvious choice to appear in Scam Squad. It seems the TV crew shared my view and I was selected to be one of the ‘personalities’ to be filmed over the next few months.
The thought of being filmed really didn’t bother me. The thing that did surprise me was how very quickly you become inept at doing very mundane things. As soon as you know you are being filmed you forget to do things like unlock the door before you try to get into your car. You also begin to think twice about everything single thing you say, this leads to a kind of mental paralysis whereby you stare blankly at the camera.
Over a period of a few months our confidence in the TV crew increased and they gained access to a large number of our visits. They seemed genuinely surprised at the variety of the work that we did and the depth of knowledge required to do it.
There is always a concern that when you are filmed you will come out of the venture looking bad or that you cast your profession in a bad light. I hope the program will show the public what a diverse job we do and how well we do it.
I had the opportunity to voice some of my opinions and my 15 minutes of fame. To this end I found the experience, as a whole, to be a very positive one and would encourage anyone out there to have a go if they are approached.
Scam Squad is a six part series to be shown on BBC3 at 8pm beginning on Tuesday 15 May 2007.