Jess Forrester, a student at the University of Leeds, has been awarded a BBC placement in memory of former political editor Len Tingle.

Jess, 21, has just finished a degree in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Leeds. She will start the eight week internship in July and will be given experience working in radio, television and online services whilst being mentored by BBC journalists.

BBC Yorkshire launched the internship in memory of its late Political Editor Len Tingle earlier this year. The placement was open to students at the seven Yorkshire universities that run a journalism degree.

Jess, who is from Wigan in Greater Manchester, now lives in Leeds and she is looking forward to taking up the position:

“The news, particularly politics, can be intimidating and confusing for many and I have always known that I want to try and change that. To have the chance to work in such a prestigious newsroom is incredible. 

“I applied for the placement after hearing about it through my lecturers at University, some of which are ex-colleagues of Len. They spoke so highly of Len’s kindness, passion and support of young journalists, so I am very honoured to be given this amazing opportunity.” 

Len, from Cudworth near Barnsley, had been BBC Yorkshire’s Political Editor for 17 years before he died in 2018.  He was passionate about journalism, about Yorkshire and about giving opportunities to young people from diverse backgrounds.

He began his broadcasting career in 1981 with Central TV. He joined the BBC in 1989 and worked as a Business Presenter for BBC News in London. He then moved to Leeds and worked as Business and Industry correspondent for six years before taking up the role of political editor in 2001.   

Len lived in the Huddersfield area for many years and was also a regular voice on various BBC local radio stations including BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Sheffield and BBC Radio York.

Angela Tingle, Len’s wife said: “Congratulations and good luck to Jess. Great to hear she will be taking up the placement in the Leeds newsroom. My advice to Jess is to watch, listen, observe and make sure you have the opportunity to contribute. Take up every offer and put everything else on hold for these few weeks. It will take all your energy and concentration but it will be worth it.”