Student’s voice heard on international podcast

PRIESTLEY College student James Scanlan got a birthday surprise when he featured on a podcast with an international audience and two of the most well-respected BBC journalists at the helm.

No wonder the Priestley College student was buzzing after he was heard asking a question on a recent edition of Americast.

“I was revising when I heard it and had to stop,” he said. “I was laughing because I couldn’t believe I was on Americast.”

James, who also studies History and Media A-Levels at Priestley College, posed a question that was answered by journalists Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel along with the BBC’s senior North American reporter Anthony Zurcher.

Earlier they joked about how James, who is aiming for a career in politics, was planning to send in a question every week until one was discussed on the show.

“I got back from work on the Tuesday night and had a message from Americast saying they really liked my question and would I record it for them,” said James.
“I thought if it was used in that week’s episode it would be a great birthday present for me.”

It was, indeed, a great birthday present. The popular trio – whose knowledge and chemistry entertains and informs listeners every week – spent around 10 minutes on the ‘Americanswer’ as it is known to the podcast’s listeners.

James had asked who they thought the rising stars in American politics were given the age of the current crop of leaders.

Among those namechecked as likely future presidential candidates were Ron Desantis, Mike Pompeo and Pete Buttigieg.

For James, a former pupil at Lymm High School, it was a great moment to hear his question answered, but he’s not finished yet.

“I’ve messaged them saying I know my question can’t be answered every week because everyone needs a chance, but if I do have a good one I will send it in,” he said.

“Then I asked ‘who they think Trump’s running mate might be if he runs again in 2024?’ so we will see if they answer that.”


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