Executive Producer Storyfutures Academy at Royal Holloway, University of London
I loved all of it. The small size so I knew everyone, being on first name terms with tutors, the lovely setting, fun environment and good library.
Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity
I wanted to study media arts in some form and there were very few options in 1982. The course at Leeds Trinity promised to be exciting, sounded meaty and I loved the tutors and feel when I visited campus.
My most memorable experiences from my studies
I loved all of it. The small size so I knew everyone, being on first name terms with tutors, the lovely setting, fun environment and good library with great media books. I enjoyed making a ridiculous but fun slide show project about a bank robbery using the NatWest Bank that was on site! Being allowed to keep a hamster in halls was pretty cool too!
I came from a working-class background, the middle of five children and no one had gone to university before me. Everyone seemed posh and the language used in lectures was unfamiliar. So I felt that I had a lot of catching up to do!
Great career preparation
I was prepared in so many ways! It taught me a different language, a different way of thinking, that there were different and interesting schools of thought and it opened my eyes to great films and culture. I also got to do several placements in London, one for 17 Magazine where I had an article published and then Opix films (a Film and TV company) who at the end of my third year employed me. Leeds Trinity helped me to launch my television career!
Working in TV production
I have been working in TV production for over 30 years, probably most notably as Executive Producer for Ricochet TV, where I created and was Executive Producer for Supernanny on C4 and the American version for ABC. I made a number of documentaries and series over the years including My new home following immigrant children from the moment they arrive in Britain; Breaking into Tesco; Changing Sex; Sex Tips for girls; Scrapheap Challenge; Classic Aircraft and Absolutely Animals. I was also Senior Producer of the first UK Big Brother show in 2000.
My career successes include:
- BAFTA for best short form programme Missed Call
- Learning on-screen award for ADAPT How Television was made in the past
- Rose D'or (gold standard for excellence and achievement in entertainment programming)
- RTS Best Factual Series
My advice for prospective students considering a course at Leeds Trinity
My advice is to create opportunities, seize opportunities, be social, connect with others, collect contacts (buy a contact book immediately and don’t rely on your phone contacts) build your social media profile, be enthusiastic and offer to help out in all things of interest
Find mentors and stick to them like glue! Read lots from all sources, watch a range of films and other content. Remember to do stuff you enjoy, but don’t be lazy or expect others to forge a path for you! If you are entering the world of media, whether you are studying or working in the industry, be innovative, flexible and open to taking risks.