DMU experts telling stories at new Leicester festival

A free festival of storytelling is being held in Leicester to mark 50 years of BBC Radio being based in the city.

Leicester StoryFest begins on Friday at 10am, with events running at Leicester Cathedral and BBC Leicester until 8pm on Saturday, with many professionals attending to talk and get involved.


David Hayward, lecturer in Investigative Journalism at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and a former BBC producer, is one of the festival organisers, alongside Fran Acheson from the BBC Academy and Kamlesh Purohit of BBC Radio Leicester.

He said: “I think storytelling is fascinating and I think there is a real art to it which everybody should be able to do.

"This event is a celebration of stories from the 50 years of BBC Leicester to the great story of the Leicester Cathedral.

“A whole range of things are being covered such as telling stories through the art of music. There will also be a number of professional BBC journalists, such as Hugh Sykes, who is a well-respected journalist, discussing how to tell stories through the radio.”

The event also features a project run through #DMUlocal, which works across Leicester on projects to promote and improve the city, in partnership with Leicester City Council and other organisations.  

Leicester Stories collects people’s own experiences of how they came to the city from around the world. It is being run alongside BBC Radio Leicester

DMU’s Reader in Creative Technology, Dr Sophy Smith, set up the project in partnership with the BBC after being inspired by a news story about Narborough Road, Leicester, being named the most diverse in Britain.

Dr Smith said: “We were looking for stories about how people journey to Leicester and why they chose to live here. We decided to aim it at people from all across the city, rather than just one part.

People from all walks of life chose to get involved with the project, including a man who shared his story with Dr Smith and the team about his journey from Somalia to Leicester.

Dr Smith said: “The event proved to be a real success and we heard a lot of stories, both serious and funny.

“One man chose to speak to us about how he had travelled through Holland from Somalia on his journey to Leicester and he told us about the struggles he had faced. He now lives in Leicester and really loves the city. I found his story incredible.”

Last week DMU students and staff were on board a BBC bus parked in Humberstone Gate. People were invited to go along and share their stories which will be broadcast on the radio and form part of an exhibition in the city.

And today (Feb 28), the Leicester Stories team will be collecting stories at DMU from 1pm to 2pm in Queens Building 0.17.

The De Montfort University Gospel Choir will be among the groups taking part in a series of sessions and workshops for people of all ages, all based around a storytelling theme.

Tickets should be booked in advance on the StoryFest website which has more details.

Posted on Thursday 2nd March 2017

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