TV presenter Kirsten O’Brien meets Sunderland’s stars of the future

Kirsten O'Brien with Graeme Thompson
Kirsten O'Brien with Graeme Thompson
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A TELEVISION presenter met the stars of the future at a glittering ceremony in Sunderland.

Children’s TV presenter Kirsten O’Brien was on Wearside for the University of Sunderland’s Oscar-style media awards, The Sparkys.

The North East-born entertainer hosted the event, which showcases the best of the work final-year television and video media students have produced, as well as journalism and radio students’ projects.

This has been a hugely successful year for the university’s media department, which has landed a number of industry accolades including 107 Spark FM which was named the best student radio station in the world.

Graeme Thompson, the dean of the University of Sunderland’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, said: “Last year’s winners have gone on to win regional and national awards, so that shows the standards are very high.

“It also highlights the way students are taught here is at the cutting edge of what they need in the industry. These awards are a showcase of their work and potential employers who attended the event may give them jobs or contracts as a result.”

The awards show the wide range of subjects and skills that are on offer to the students with categories on the night including, Best Drama, the Best Journalism Practical Project, Best Shorthand Reporting Skills and Best Radio Documentary.

Kirsten, who is well known for presenting CBBC and shows such as Smart, said she was delighted to be asked to present the awards.

She said: “My main piece of advice to any student or graduate who wants to get into the industry is to get as much experience as you possibly can.”

The awards were presented at the David Puttnam Media Centre, Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s.