Today was a very special day. I visited the House of Lords – but not for sightseeing. I was there to interview a real Lord. How I got into the private halls of the building? I will tell you the story.
Everything started, when I decided to make a radio package about the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Azerbaijan for my assignment.
The event is critisised by a few organisations due to human rights violations in the country and the question of Eurovision fans across Europe is now: Is it right to give a country, that supresses freedom of speech, the chance to promote this international event without taking a note?
It’s all about coincidence
Looking for a reliable statement on the issue, I came across the Anglo-Azerbaijani Society – an organisation which supports the relationship between the two countries and tries to raise the awareness of Azerbaijan in the British eyes.
A few persistent phone calls and E-Mails later a friendly woman from the Society told me, that the Chairman himself would like to talk to me – who turned out to be a Lord. I was amazed.
And I was even more surprised when I got an invitation to the House of Lords for the interview.
The role of the House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the UK Parliament, which exists since the 14th century and is part of the oldest parliamentary democracy in the world.
One of the most familiar images of the House of Lords is certainly the State Opening of Parliament by the Queen – a splendid ceremony where the Queen’s Speech announces the Parliament’s agenda for the coming year.
My hour at the House of Lords
But besides all the grand ceremonies, how does a usual day at the House of Lords look like? I was about to get an insight.
Entering the Peers Entrance, I had to pass about 5 policemen and a strict security control before I could walk into the entrance hall. The lobby was already very impressive with its historical architecture, the red carpet and the pompous leather seats next to the fireplace.
Lord Fraser himself was welcoming me very friendly before he guided me to his office. Following him I felt like in a labyrinth, with all the dark little corridors and impressive bookcases along the hallways.
The interview itself didn’t take long and after a nice chat about the Lord’s journeys through Azerbaijan my one-hour visit at the House of Lords was over as quickly as it had begun.
The secret about kindness
Usually journalism students have a hard time finding the interview partners they need for a reliable report.
My secret? I don’t have one. I was just kind and honest from the very beginning. I said, I am an international broadcast student who needs a reliable interview for a radio assignment at university.
Sometimes being confident and friendly is simply enough. And my kindness and positivity were repaid – with an unforgettable experience I will certainly never forget.