Media Parents

Development Exec Kirsty Calvert Ansari C4 Back to Work Winner

November 8, 2016 @ 10:02 am Posted in News Comments

Having been on maternity leave since the end of last year I’ve been excited but apprehensive about heading back to work. Whilst TV hasn’t really changed much over the past 12 months I feel like my life really has, and it’s been daunting trying to imagine how my new home life will fit around a job. So being sponsored by Channel 4 on the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme was an unexpected godsend and a much needed introduction back into the world of tv writes Kirsty Calvert Ansari.

Development Executive Kirsty Calvert Ansari was one of this year's Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners.

Firstly, I’ll start by saying the trip to Edinburgh TV Festival was so much more than I’d anticipated. Not only was it great meeting MDs and Creative Directors of companies full of brilliant advice and support, but also it was about meeting a group of lovely supportive people in totally the same position as me. It was a place to reconnect with old contacts, to have coffee with commissioners and talent agents and to circulate my cv and tell people ‘’I’m back’’ and looking for a job.
But it wasn’t all just about networking, it was also good to be able to attend lectures. From channel controllers and commissioners, to format masterclasses, Amazon, Hans Rosenfeldt’s Crime Noir, Youtube and Sharon Horgan, the schedule was certainly varied. But with such a busy schedule there were hard decisions to make too (such as whether attend the lip-sync battle with Mel B and Prof Green and experience a cringe-fest of commissioners in lycra or to hear Patrick Holland’s needs for BBC2).

Kirsty’s Edinburgh digest :

Quick upsum:  ITV definitely want a load more crime; formats are king; Sky 1 admitted to being ‘more Homer than Marge’; Cassian Harrison wants us to be surprising (but not ‘too’ surprising); Ben Frow is fed up with copycat jibes; and finally to a packed auditorium Vice’s Shane Smith sounded a warning to legacy media that it needs to adapt.

Read more about the 2016 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at

Among the many super helpful people I met were Alex Gardiner MD at Shiver, Kate Beal Blyth at Woodcut Media, Lorraine Chalker-Phillips at Label1, Will Smith at ITN Productions, Helen Hawken at Discovery, Lucy Leveugle at C4, Claire Laycock at TLC and my mentor from C4 Ralph Lee who was extremely encouraging and insightful.
Fuelled by free coffee, ice-cream, toast and skittles, Edinburgh has reinvigorated me and boosted my confidence. My plan in the short term is to look for a Head of Development role and then hopefully in the future a role in commissioning. My mentor Ralph Lee has already pointed me in the direction of a C4 commissioning attachment scheme that looks really interesting.
Since writing this, Kirsty has landed a flexible development exec job at Twenty Twenty.

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by Amy Walker

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