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UEL journalism graduate 'kicks it' at the BBC with sport celebrities

Aimee Wilmott in swimming pool

University of East London graduate Liam MacDevitt won a coveted place on the BBC's graduate scheme

Liam MacDevitt graduated from the University of East London in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism – and has since been rubbing shoulders with star athletes such as Anthony Joshua and Raheem Sterling. 

Liam (pictured left, with Mr Joshua) works for the BBC on the Match of The Day (MOTD) kick-about series, where he interviews sports stars. He said he always knew his career would go in the direction of media, and the time he spent in the University of East London’s journalism course interviewing, videoing and creating audio content helped him break into television.

Prior to starting studies at the University, Liam played semi-professional football with clubs Lewes FC and St Albans City, but had to give up professional football after he was injured. He said he knew that if he was going to study for a degree, he wanted to go somewhere with excellent sporting facilities, so he could build his physical strength back.

Liam ultimately played for the University’s football team, and said that scoring the winning goal that took the team to the premiership is his fondest memory of his time on campus. Liam said the balance at the University of East London between sports and studies is brilliant.

Liam said, “I’m really grateful to the University of East London for helping me to re-enter professional football at the same time as getting my degree. This ultimately led me to get my dream job at the BBC.”  

Liam spoke fondly of his lecturers but gave special praise to Dr Andrew Calcutt, principal lecturer in journalism. Liam appreciated the flexibility that Dr Calcutt gave him and the encouragement he received to create as much video content as possible.

Liam’s love of football was still strong after graduation, and he moved to New Zealand, where he played for Southern United and Tasman United as a striker in the national league. While in New Zealand, Liam honed his media skills working for a local news company before returning to the UK to begin his television career.

Liam is currently on the BBC diversity graduate scheme where he is learning a range of skills including writing techniques, interviewing skills, and presenting to camera. He has already interviewed members of the Lionesses, England’s national women’s football team, boxer Anthony Joshua and footballer Raheem Sterling.

Giving advice to new and prospective university students, Liam said, “I would be as proactive as possible. University is a place where mistakes don’t matter too much. Enjoy it, try as many different things as possible and make the most out of the patience and dedication from the lecturers as well as the resources available.”