The equinox this week signals that autumn has officially begun and that means one thing here in Manchester: the MM £10 Challenge was probably going to need to be indoors.
Call me a pessimist but after seeing the rain lashing down pretty much every day this week I wasn’t going to take any chances, irregardless of the forecast.
With the Beeb now settled in their new MediaCityUK gaff in Salford Quays (the vicar counselling offered to employees for the ‘traumatic’ move north aside) they have opened their doors to the public for official tours.
For £8.50 (for adults – students, concessions and children are all cheaper) this is something a little bit out of the ordinary: the chance to peek behind the scenes of shows like Match of the Day, Dragon’s Den and BBC Breakfast and to trace the footsteps of the celebrities (their words, not mine) who frequent this building on a regular basis.
There’s also the opportunity to find out more about the northern move itself, which represented one of the most ambitious projects in the BBC’s history.
Oh, and you can take part in your own television production in the interactive studios too. No biggy.
If you need to entertain kids aged six to 11 there’s always the CBBC tour, which lets children sneak behind the scenes of programmes like Blue Peter and Newsround as well as getting the chance to try their hand at reading the news.
You never know, you could have the next little George Alagiah or and Huw Edwards on your hands.
All tours last approximately one and a half hours, and pre-booking is essential. To book go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/
You’ve still got change left over from a tenner so why not head back into the city and get yourself some grub. It’s a challenge to find something warm and filling on £1.50 but SHLURP! on Brazennose Street might be a good place to start.
A soup bar which opened in 2002, SHLURP! specialises in fast but fresh food made from healthy and natural ingredients and offers a range of soups, stews, casseroles, wraps, pitas and salad boxes.
Currently there’s a roasted pumpkin and ginger soup on the menu which for £1.70 sounds divine, although admittedly is 20p over budget. To stick within the £10 limit go for a bagel with cream cheese for £1.20 instead. 20p more than the sorry, soggy affairs they serve for McDonald’s breakfasts admittedly, but 30p under budget and a heck of a lot more delicious.