Media Parents

IWD flexible working in TV survey

by Amy Walker

Media Parents celebrated International Women’s Day this year by launching a survey about flexible working in TV. It’s your opportunity to tell us – as a freelancer or an employer – what you’re doing flexibly, what you want, and what you want to know.

For the Media Parents FREELANCER flexible working survey CLICK HERE

For the Media Parents EMPLOYER flexible working survey CLICK HERE

Thanks for taking the time to fill it in, together we can change things for the better.

SAVE THE DATE for our late late International Women’s Day Celebrations on March 28th, see site emails for details. To sign up to our mailing list go here:

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March 11, 2019 @ 9:36 am Posted in Events, News Comments Off

5 minutes with Petal Felix on diversity in TV

by Amy Walker

When I go into a production office or when I look at the staff page of production companies I am constantly dismayed to see the lack of diversity, writes Petal Felix.  Some seem to be entirely staffed by white people and that feels quite off-putting to see nobody who looks like me. If women are under represented in the media, then that is an even greater problem for black women.

Petal Felix with Media Parents' Joanna Gretton at Back to Work Drinks

When there was such a furore about the gender paygap I read with interest the features in the newspapers but, the reality for many like me, is if we can’t even get through the front door it is immaterial what the pay is.

There is a very clear cultural disconnect between the people who make TV programmes and the millions who watch them.  Creativity needs diversity in thinking and for that to manifest onto the screen you need a diverse workforce, which I just don’t see at the moment.

Petal with HoP Mags Scholes and Skillset HETV Drama Returner Fred Archer, celebrating his placement at Tiger Aspect

After several years out I have decided its time to go back to doing the thing I trained to do and the job I loved - TV production. Most of my working life has been spent as a journalist, first in radio and then TV making films for the BBC and independents. But I haven’t worked in TV for ten years, and although the experience can’t be taken away, aspects of production have changed. Although I am happy to upskill I already feel at a disadvantage

A friend said I must join Media Parents. So I go to the Media Parents ‘Back to Work’ drinks, which is initially daunting but turns out to be hugely enjoyable and gives me a boost.    Meeting people who are in the same boat as me, having taken time out for family, albeit most have young children where I am at the other end, having just seen the last child off to college.

There’s another chance to network, a  Media Parents CV event,  hosted by Shiver and there are a number of other production companies represented there. I talk to the companies I think best suit my interests and skills and the following day email the contacts I made.  I have been given  good advice on how to rework my CV  and also been told I have good experience and my training as a Journalist should stand me in good stead.

Petal Felix talks to the Raw TV talent team at Media Parents CV Event

Still, getting my CV ready to send out, it looks woefully inadequate compared to the many I see with very recent TV credits.  It does feel good networking, entirely different to years back when I would avoid any work-related social event. Now I am much more confident and also eager to speak with others going through the same experience.

I have started emailing production companies and meet with Heads of Production, Creative Directors and Talent Executives. All seem interested in my experience and are generous with their time, but there is still a slight nagging feeling, which I am constantly battling with.

Eventually, after meeting with the Managing Director and Creative Director of Factory Films in Brighton I go in, initially for two weeks unpaid work.  I am given several programmes to work on  for the  BBC and Channel 4, short films and documentaries.  I love it and it reminds me I can do this. It’s the week before Christmas and they ask me to stay on for another weeks paid work. I am ecstatic, and its not about the money.

So  here we are in January. I am applying for jobs and I don’t mind taking a job below my Producer scale but I also know I’m more likely to be successful if I can get across the threshold and meet people face to face. I have great skills and experience  and am always full of ideas so I hope TV can deliver for me.

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January 16, 2019 @ 5:04 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Bristol Media Parents event gallery

by Amy Walker

Warm thanks to everyone who attended our Bristol Media Parents at BBC Bristol at the end of November. The evening was kindly sponsored by Wall to Wall Television / Warner Bros Television Production U.K. Head of Wall to Wall West, Emily Shields, Deputy Head of Production Emma Fenton and Head of Talent Susie Worster met freelancers, and Wall to Wall’s Media Parents Back to Work Scheme mentee Melissa Bishop is Bristol-based and attended the event. We’d also like to thank Outline Productions for sponsoring and attending, the EndemolShineUK team and PACT. Thanks to Seadog TV & Film and RDF West for supporting too. Here are some photos from the night, the majority kindly taken by Clare Adams

"It was great to meet new people and to reconnect. I met some people in person for the first time who I'd wanted to meet for a while." Emily Shields, Head of Wall to Wall West

Helen Veale, Creative Director, Outline Productions: "I just want to say a huge thank you for the Bristol event. We met so many such great people who we’d love to work with. And it was a really fun evening. We’re so grateful to be hooked into your network and thank you for organising things so brilliantly."

"Thanks for organising it. There seemed to be a good mix of people there" Susie Worster, Head of Talent, Wall to Wall Television

"I wanted to say a huge thank you for hosting the Bristol event. I’ve felt very ‘out of the loop’ over the last few years and realised I’d lost a bit of confidence about working in TV. The Media Parents event was such a tonic for me, I bumped into a few friends, chatted to people who said they’d felt the same and all your representatives were really friendly and encouraging. It has really lifted my confidence and I really enjoyed it." Carolyn, Returner

Tanya Gottlieb, Talent Manager Endemol Shine "We crew across the board in Bristol in factual, fact ent and specialist factual (for Tigress) so it's great to meet talented grown-ups."

"Just wanted to thank Media Parents for putting on this event, and thanks to Wall to Wall and Outline and the other companies for taking part. It was a brilliant evening. I met so many new people and as Ive only been in Bristol a couple of years it was really useful for making contacts with South West media companies as well as fellow workers. Really excellent night! Thank you!" Graciela Watson, Edit Producer

"We had a great night. We'll definitely be using Media Parents at Seadog when we're next crewing up" Linda Stephens, Head of Production, Seadog TV & Film

"Thank you - it was definitely worth the journey from Wiltshire to be a part of the evening." Donna Bernard, Presenter

"As a Bristol-based Exec it was great to meet people outside my network and catch up with other freelancers I know. There was so much talent in the room, it was brilliant." Katy Fryer, Exec Producer, Outline Productions

"What a brilliant night, and what a great organisation Media Parents is. I'll be telling all my friends!" Philip Jones, Story Producer

"Thank you for organising the event, it was great to catch up with my Back to Work Mentor Emma Fenton from Wall to Wall, and also other Bristol production companies that were new to me." Melissa Bishop, Returning AP / Researcher

"I made some really great contacts and have signed up to Media Parents". Maddi Knibbs, Series Producer

"It's always great to come to your events, thank you, it's so good to meet the talent". Emily Knight, Talent Manager, RDF West

"Thank you so much for connecting me to other freelancers at the event. We have already been in touch and are talking about collaborating on a project". Jon Nicholls, Composer

Thank you to Rob and Jasmine at BBC Bristol Club, David Postlethwaite and Matt Holden for all their help at the event. Thanks also to Clare Adams for the wonderful photos. Until the next time!

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December 11, 2018 @ 5:05 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Ginny Bing: Producer Director&Edit Producer

by Amy Walker

I am a self-confessed property addict with a real passion for houses, interiors and antiques writes PD / Edit Producer Ginny Bing.  My interest has led me to working on many series on these subjects.  I’ve filmed people doing up houses, buying property and antiques at auction, I’ve debated interiors styles and filmed with many leading interior designers.

PD Ginny Bing networking at the Media Parents Cardiff event.

I love nothing better than looking at property online, in the flesh, debating areas and assessing whether a house is a bargain, a potential gold mine or a disaster zone. Although I was born and brought up in London I  developed a taste for looking at property in the country. What kind of house would I live in if I could live anywhere?

What kind of house would I live in if I could live anywhere? Ginny Bing, PD & Property Developer

The poacher turned gamekeeper and I became a property search agent, using my contacts in London and abroad to find the most amazing houses for wealthy clients.  It was a chance to see how the other half live. I accompanied one client on a private jet out to Lake Como so that I could show him a house I had heard about on the grapevine.  I hunted for dream homes in London, Italy and the South of France.

My TV experience spans a wide range of factual entertainment and obs docs for BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five as well as channels overseas. Recent TV jobs include: Edit Producer on a new series for Channel 4: ‘Sun, Sea And Brides To Be’, which is currently airing on Saturdays at 3.30pm on Channel 4.

I recently renovated a former coach house in the Wiltshire countryside outside Bath. When I’m not working in TV you can find me working on my current house in Wiltshire and advising people on buying and selling property in Bath and the surrounding areas.

Access Ginny Bing’s profile via Media Parents here:

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February 8, 2019 @ 1:03 pm Posted in Freelancer Profiles Leave a comment

january event : negotiating with media parents, Maverick TV & Spelthorne Community TV

by Amy Walker

Happy New Year! Following the success of last year’s event we’re inviting you to Negotiate with Media Parents, Maverick and Spelthorne Community Television on Wednesday January 23rd. Maverick TV’s Head of Production Maria French will join Spelthorne PM and Unit List guru Jude Winstanley and Media Parents Director Amy Walker for a brilliant training session on negotiating rates and flexibility as a freelancer.

Maverick TV's HoP Maria French at Media Parents 2018 Negotiating training with Exec Matt Holden, and returner Emma Sayce who went on to work flexibly at Maverick

"Make friends with Production Managers, they have the intel on rates" suggested Jude Winstanley. Pictured with Media Parents Director Amy Walker at Media Parents Negotiation event in 2017.

Join us for this year's Negotiating event on Weds Jan 23rd, see below for ticket link.

Get your tickets here :

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January 16, 2019 @ 2:25 pm Posted in Events, TV Training Comments Off

Media Parents Christmas Drinks on December 3rd

by Amy Walker

Join us and be merry at Media Parents Christmas Drinks, kindly hosted by Clearcut and sponsored by Alias Hire! Hurrah! We’ll be joined by freelancers and companies including the BBC, Dragonfly, Merman, Kantar Media, Renowned Films, Lime Pictures, Outline Productions, CTVC, Maverick Television, Raw TV, Rawcut TV and Media Parents. No CVs this time, just drinks and chat.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Media Parents Christmas Drinks last year - we will raise a glass to Trevor Showler this year!

Drop us a line c/o to join us at Media Parents Christmas Drinks

Alias Hire is a multifaceted company providing excellent service across three divisions; Equipment Rental, Training and Live Services.

We’re based in the ever-expanding creative world in Hackney, East London, where we service local, greater London and national clients. We supply cotemporary camera stock and associated equipment as well as provide in-house training on a wide range of technical, production and post-production courses. We boast the highest-spec for live streaming and we can stream from ANYWHERE there’s a mobile phone data signal

Alias Hire really is a one-stop shop for all your production needs!

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December 1, 2018 @ 4:51 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Bristol Media Parents Event Thursday 29th November

by Amy Walker

Media Parents presents a brilliant FREE opportunity for freelancers to network with companies hiring in Bristol and South Wales on Thursday 29th November, thanks to support from production companies.

Major sponsors Wall to Wall / Warner Bros Television Production UK Ltd are keen to meet experienced factual, specialist factual and fact ent freelancers working in production and editorial in Bristol – SPs, (shooting) PDs, edit producers, PMs, LPs and more. Head of Wall to Wall West, Emily Shields, Deputy Head of Production Emma Fenton and Head of Creative Talent Susie Worster will attend to meet freelancers.

Drop us your CV c/o the address below to sign up for this FREE event

Outline Productions wltm factual PCs, PMs, SPs, shooting PDs and edit producers, as well as freelancers working in other roles in South Wales or Bristol. MD Laura Mansfield and Creative Director Helen Veale will attend with Executive Producer Katy Fryer and Production Executive Emily Freshwater.

Tigress Productions’ Production Executive Isa Snow Campbell and EndemolShine‘s Talent Manager Tanya Gottlieb are looking for PDs and DV Directors with natural history / story telling experience, as well as experienced edit producers.

PACT will be represented by Media Parents Director Amy Walker, if you would like your CV passed to Anjani Patel, Head of Diversity please let Amy know.

The event will be kindly hosted by the BBC. Due to unforeseen circumstances no BBC staff are able to attend, but freelance Series Producer Jane Lomas, currently working at the BBC will pass on CVs.

Seadog TV & Film Productions‘ Head of Production Linda Stephens and Operations Director Suze Scott will attend. Seadog are not currently crewing but are keen to meet freelancers for future shows. RDF West‘s Emily Knight will also attend. Freelancers should bring paper copies of their CV and email them in advance to

Media Parents Director Amy Walker (right) with freelancers at a Media Parents event in Bristol

To support Media Parents please join by clicking the photo below.

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November 20, 2018 @ 4:46 pm Posted in Events, News Comments Off

media parents CV event gallery

by Amy Walker

Huge thanks to ITV Shiver‘s job sharing talent managers Ros Malthouse and Emma Astaire for hosting Media Parents’ October CV event, and to everyone who attended for creating a great buzz on the evening. BBC Scripted Production Exec Jacquie Glanville and Talent Manager Noelle Bartlett met scripted talent, along with Kindle Entertainment‘s Production Exec Keri Atkins. Back to Work Scheme sponsors Raw TV were represented by Nicky Searle and Didem Gormus, Expectation Factual‘s Anna Bonnadio joined us unexpectedly, in addition to Two Four‘s Vanessa Colosi, Fremantle‘s Jenny Spader and of course the Shiver and Media Parents teams met freelancers. RDF West’s Emily Knight was unable to attend due to problems at Paddington but she has sent a PDF of RDF’s CV tips that can be downloaded at the end of this article. Here are some photos and testimonials to give you a flavour of the event if you missed it. Click here for more CV tips from the attending companies.

Thank you to ITV Shiver's Ros Malthouse and Emma Astaire, job sharing talent managers, for hosting the event and meeting freelancers "We really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and have been following up..."

“Thank you for the event last night, it was really useful and I made a couple of good contacts.” Petal Felix

"First of all a big thank you for last night, it was my first Media Parents event and I can honestly say it was the best networking event I’ve ever been to. Well bloody done!" Mark Aldridge, Writer & Producer

Thanks for arranging last night’s CV event. It was a great opportunity and for me to start mingling again. A lot of the work I do these days is solitary, so it was great to put faces to names. It was also good to get so much positive feedback about my CV. Thanks again for this event and I look forward to coming to another one in the future. Justine Sullivan, Celebrity Producer

"Media Parents has completely changed the way I look at my CV. Thank you" Ash Smith

Back to Work Scheme Winner Melissa Bishop with TwoFour.

Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winner, Coordinator Jenny Madalura with Shiver.

"Thank for you, for a very busy and interesting evening last night! Think the collective noun for Freelancers must be a swarm." Shanti Ramakuri, PM

Returner Hannah Williams was celebrating her new flexible job at Merman.

Please click here for RDF West TV CV Tips. For information about Media Parents next event please sign up to our email list or see our watercooler at

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October 29, 2018 @ 9:58 am Posted in Events, How To, News Leave a comment

When You Actually Want Your Career to go Sideways… Mark Aldridge

by Amy Walker

Sooo, I just finished my first novel writes Exec / Series Producer Mark Aldridge.

Mark Aldridge, left of frame, at Media Parents CV Event

The small group of friends and trusted colleagues who have read it, really rate it. I hold the 292 pages of manuscript in my hands like it’s a new baby. It’s warm, it’s got a nice smell. It’s not exactly cuddly and adorable but it’s much loved all the same. There’s over nine months of development there and … Yeah, that’s enough of the baby similarities I think. Having finished the obligatory tweaking, proofing and editing, I send it over to my agent. Warren’s been reading it as we go along, full of his usual encouragement, but I’m looking forward to his opinion on what I consider to be the finished article… But that feedback will have to wait a couple of weeks.

I’m a father of 8-year-old twins and they were front-of-mind when I took a sideways step with my career. Perhaps inevitably, stepping sideways also means taking a hit with your income. I made a deal with my partner, we agreed I could do the book for a limited period of time, in our case a year. I just made it.

Now, it’s all about finding a job back in TV. I’ve had a steady stream of freelance work that’s fitted in around writing the book, but now it’s finished, I need to get back to the day job. So, the next few weeks are all about re-establishing connections and getting myself back on people’s radars as an Exec / SP in Production or Development.

I’m a story-teller. In the end, isn’t all TV about telling a good yarn? So, if anyone’s reading this who’s on the lookout, I’m combining my EP experience with my writing and looking for development roles, as well as broader EP or SP gigs. The storytelling was front and centre when I developed Channel 4’s ‘Utopia’ and I recently put it into action again working with the ‘Simon’s Cat’ team at Endemol Shine. But I’ve also applied storytelling on a wider scale. With ‘Rooftop Rainforest’, we told a compelling tale that ran right through the backbone of Sky TV. We built a living, breathing rainforest, with over a thousand plants and trees, on top of the Westfield shopping centre. The story encompassed Sky’s rainforest charity, gave the CEO an ideal location to address the great and the good and, of course, delivered two hours of high-end documentary to SkyOne.

Mark Aldridge and the Football Tonight team

So, whilst I wait for the response to putting the TV wheels in motion, I thought I’d note down some lessons I’ve learned over the year.

When You Actually Want Your Career to go Sideways…

If you’re considering a sideways step, be prepared to start near the bottom. You may be a hotshot in your established career, but you’re a noob in the other one. Sure, there will be a ton of transferable skills, but you will be competing with those who are already established.

Before you begin, set yourself a timeline for how long you (and family) are prepared to give it. Real change, change for good, change for the better, takes time. And your new career choice will have consequences for those who around you. They will need to be flexible too.

If you give yourself twelve months, like I did, know that you have a great deal of time there for development. If you stay focussed, you are going to be improving dramatically in that time. For me, the important thing was simply to get going. Then it got better. What was really curious was looking back at those early first steps and seeing how my writing had evolved over the year.

There’s another benefit too, this one’s probably the best one, your year of going sideways will certainly put what you did before into perspective. You’ll be able to see all the plus points and identify some of the negatives from your previous job. That can help guide you going forward. Hell, you’ll probably find what you’ve learned over the year supports your original career and that can only be a good thing.

I’ve set up a site,, that’s me. Two of the hats have gone sideways from TV production. Consultancy is one. Writing is the other.

So, I’ve got three hats right now. That’s enough. Any more and I’d be spread too thinly. As I say on the website, I’d be a very skinny hat, I’d be a Beret.

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@ 9:34 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Leave a comment

Back to Work as a HETV Drama Coordinator by Zenna Barry

by Amy Walker

I’d had a 10 year break from TV writes Coordinator Zenna Barry. I’d worked in factual as a Coordinator but I’d always loved drama and originally wanted to work in film – so after an ex-colleague told me about the Media Parents website, I found that they were looking for coordinators on a ‘HETV Drama Back To Work Scheme’ funded by ScreenSkills which sounded perfect for me.

Zenna Barry was on placement on Tiger Aspect's drama Curfew with Sean Bean

I’d never worked in drama production before and I was advised to get some work experience before applying, which I did. Michaela Eccleston, Head of Production at Red Productions was then kind enough to become my mentor, and throughout the scheme she has been on the end of a text or call whenever I’ve needed guidance and encouragement.  We’ve also had face-to-face meetings at her offices which have really helped me understand drama production and carve out my plan for the future.

Mentor Michaela Eccleston, Red Productions' HOP with mentee Zenna Barry (right)

The scheme kicked off at the end of Feb, with CV and interview training and networking events in London that would re-align my mindset.  Media Parents then set up a 4 week placement on ‘Curfew’ for me – a high end TV drama being shot at Space Studios for Tiger Aspect.  The placement went well – even though it felt quite daunting to be back in the production office again.  But my mind was focussed on learning and so I just got stuck in.  Everyone looked so young and had already been working on the show for a few months and - I’m not going to lie to you – it was a challenging time, juggling childcare and new learning in a genre I haven’t worked in before – but I stayed cheerful throughout and made the most of my time there with the team – who were great with me:)

Zenna Barry with the production team on Tiger Aspect's Curfew

After the placement, reality hit home - it was now time to get a real job!!!  In my past I had been a Coordinator/ PM mainly in factuals and live programming.  But because I didn’t want to take this route again and with the large gap in my CV, my mentor advised me that I would have to go backwards before I could go forwards.  This was sound advice as I felt that I really needed to understand the drama processes before I took on any kind of role of responsibility.

On location for a Curfew night shoot

Media Parents contacted me and suggested I applied for a free Line Producers course run by Addie Orfila for the Indie Training Fund, also funded by ScreenSkills.  What a great week in Media City – with seven other aspiring LPs, learning all about how to PM and Line Producer in drama, it really helped with my knowledge gap.  I made some great contacts on the course which led to two weeks’ work on a children’s drama for the BBC – ‘The 4 O’Clock Club’.  Again a lovely production team – learning on the job, locally filmed, enjoying the catering (!) and loving being back in production!

Line Producer training at Media City

Courtesy of the Media Parents jobs page I then managed to secure 6 weeks work as an Assistant Coordinator on a Sky One comedy drama ‘Brassic’.  With a 4-day handover, I was then left coordinating the show whilst the main coordinator was on holiday for 4 weeks! I loved every minute of it, again working with a great team.  It was a tough job though, with long 12 hour days, which was tough on my family, but I was really starting to find my feet now and felt confident putting all that I had learned since the beginning of the year into practice.

ITV then got in touch and wanted me to interview for a Coordinator’s role on Emmerdale.  The commute would be tricky – Manchester to Leeds everyday – but the role sounded ideal, spending much more time down on set and learning directly from the senior PM,  so I decided to go for it.  After the toughest interview of my life (1.5 hours on Skype with a panel of three from ITV) I was delighted to hear that I got the job – a permanent in-house contract for ITV drama – wow!!  I’m so grateful and now well on my way to becoming a PM in drama which was my dream at the beginning of the year!!  Thanks partly to the negotiating skills I honed on the Media Parents HETV Drama Return to Work Programme the contract at ITV can offer me some flexibility and the work/ life balance that I so desperately crave.  To be there for my family in the evenings and at weekends whilst being part of a creative team – I’m so excited at what the future may bring!!

Thank you Media Parents for everything you have done for me this year – I will always be truly grateful for this scheme that helps parents like me get back into the game.

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@ 9:34 am Posted in Freelancer Profiles, How To Leave a comment