Media Parents

Monthly Archives: March 2011

5 minutes with… Richard Nash, Producer Director


Media Parents TALENT, Richard Nash, in his own words…

"I'm a Producer/Director, Writer and Dad". Richard Nash can be found in the TALENT section of

I’m a Producer/Director, Writer and Dad.

My children, Nia (11) and Ivor (8), are used to me being away on shoots from time to time, but I spend as much time with them as I can. I am fortunate that my wife, archive producer Lisa Clayton-Jones, is able to work flexibly for parent-friendly companies like Blakeway, RAW, Out of Office Films and WAG.

I love the madly varied nature of being a freelance producer/director. In the past couple of years, I’ve made a Come Dine With Me featuring frozen rodents and a lorry boss with a sideline selling supersized knickers; a BBC investigation into Mexican human trafficking cartels in and around Juarez (a Mexican border city with the highest murder rate in the western hemisphere, although the Mayor looked oddly like former Countdown host Richard Whiteley); a teenage reality show next door to Hezbollah’s HQ in Beirut (topless sunbathing didn’t go down well); a Secret Millionaire about asylum seekers with an Iranian nightclub owner; a World’s Strictest Parents with Afro-American Baptist preachers; a BAFTA-winning children’s entertainment series in which Vince Cable sold vegetables and Ken Livingstone campaigned about toilets and a surrealist dating show in which I had to organize a fake mugging every Sunday for six weeks.  To quote Vinnie Jones, “It’s been emotional”.

World's Strictest Parents, Atlanta. Produced and Directed by Richard Nash.

Illustrator Miles Cole's caricature of Richard Nash.

I started out as a BBC Production Trainee in 1991 and went freelance in 1994, directing on the BBC2 cinema series Moving Pictures. I’ve had opportunities to move up the ladder, but I love making programmes – my dream is to direct something everybody talks about and remembers.

I write scripts of all kinds for everyone from British Pathe to the European Space Agency. A screenplay I co-wrote with Ronald Top is due to go into production in Holland soon and I’m represented by Louise Greenberg Books.  I’ve launched an internet comedy viral website ( and I’m developing it commercially with the help of a producer from Google.

You're invited to the Writers' Ink screenings on Wednesday 23rd March 2011.

The site wouldn’t have got off the ground without the help of Writers’ Ink, London (, an organization helping writers use new technology to promote their work.

I’d like to invite all members of Media Parents to a free Writers’ Ink Short Film and Networking Event this Wednesday  (23rd) in Notting Hill.  It gets going at 7pm at The Portobello Lounge, 269 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 1LR. Please register (it’s free & quick) here :

We’re showing six short films and the makers will all be there. Hope to see some of you there. Richard

Richard Nash can be found in the TALENT section of for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

March 22, 2011 @ 1:44 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with… catherine gee, presenter of 60 Minute Makeover


Media Parents NETWORKER Catherine Gee, petite blonde of Escape to the Country and The Farmer Wants a Wife fame, has thrown herself whole-heartedly into the organised mayhem of 60 Minute Makeover, presenting the new series which starts on ITV1 today.

Media Parents NETWORKER Catherine Gee: "It was made very clear to me when I started that on this show - 'the makeover is king – if you get a faceful of paint that’s your own affair'. But I loved it, loved the immediacy of it. After the terrifying first two… you forget the cameras are there."

I was daunted about joining 60 Minute Makeover because it’s a huge team of people, and a lot of people have been on it since inception – some people were virtually born on it, the director started as a runner.  I did feel like the only new girl at school going on to a well-oiled team.  Starting the series was a massive baptism of fire – it’s different to the way I’ve filmed before – The Farmer Wants a Wife was obs doc, and then I’ve moved on to shows with property tours – 60 Minute Makeover is very much of the moment, filmed as-live with a stopwatch going the whole time, monitored by me and three other people.

It was made very clear to me when I started that on this show – “the makeover is king – if you stand in a tray of paint that’s your own affair”.  But I loved it, loved the immediacy of it.  After the terrifying first two… you forget the cameras are there.

My role is to be conduit between the person who’s being surprised (the homeowner) and the designer – to make sure the person whose house it is will like what’s being done.  I’m also the voice of the viewer, so if a designer says they’re going for a boudoir-look I try really hard to say “What is a boudoir look, and how are you going to do it?”   Apart from that I tend to make the beds and get squashed against walls.  There are nail biting moments when we’re hitting the few minutes.  When we overrun it’s only ever by minutes and as we’ve got OFCOM breathing down our necks we are always clear to explain that.

I hadn’t realised the impact the makeover would have on the people being surprised.  Although it’s cheesy to say, it is hard work, but it generally all becomes worthwhile when you see people’s reaction – I haven’t experienced that immediacy of emotion before.  There have been plenty of tears brushed away at the end of filming, but fortunately the camera’s not really on me at the end because it’s really emotional.  Sometimes it’s just the simplest thing – “I wanted to do this for you, Mum” – that can set me off.  But I try not to weep on camera – too worried about the make-up!

Catherine Gee, Media Parents NETWORKER, presenter of 60 Minute Makeover: "It's really emotional. Sometimes it’s just the simplest thing – “I wanted to do this for you, Mum” – that can set me off. But I’m not weeping on camera – too worried about the make-up!"

I’ve loved the new challenge of 60 Minute Makeover.  I’m always happy to try new things, and if it comes back I’d love to do another.  My first job in TV came about by chance – I was running the Farmer Wants a Wife dating campaign for Country Living, and ITV made a documentary about me running the dating service.  The actual Country Living campaign ran for 3 years and we had lots of success stories – at least twenty marriages.

After that I got a call from Talkback Thames about making a show for BBC2 – Escape to the Country.   I thought it was a prank call!  Escape will always have a big place in my heart, I do feel proud of being part of establishing that series.  Talkback were amazing when I had my first child, Charlie.  I took him with me on location and they organised the shooting day around his feeding and nap times.

"Talkback were amazing when I had my first child... the shooting shedule was organised around my breastfeeding times!"

I have two children now, Charlie, 6 and Billy, 2, and I don’t think my career has been affected.  Having children hasn’t affected my availability – I’ve worked on through – but it has made everything more complicated.  It’s bad enough leaving a boyfriend or a husband, but it’s worse leaving little people who don’t understand.

60 Minute Makeover has been a dream in that respect – they always shoot Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Knowing that was how I would be working two months in advance meant I could sort out my childcare.  It works well for everyone and there are quite a few parents on the team actually.  It’s much harder when the production company pencils your time but can’t exactly say when they want you more than four days in advance.  I don’t have a nanny, I use a network of four or five local girls.  They’re not tied to me but they are tried and trusted.  When I first started doing that I thought no continuity could be incredibly bad, but they were backed up by my husband and two fit grannies, and I think it’s done both children a lot of good in terms of independence.  And we choose to work in telly, and if you want to do that you’ve got to make it work.

My low point at work is always saying “goodbye”  – especially to my first child when he was little, knowing that I would be away for four weeks.  But I don’t feel guilty.  In all the times I’ve worked I’ve been confident that Charlie was absolutely happy.  And he is now old enough to understand what I do and he’s quite proud – I hear him telling schoolfriends!  The massive upside of what I do is that I can balance contracts with time off – I work like a nut for 12 weeks and then I know I’ll be at home with them for 12 weeks.  So when they get me, they get me a lot.    CATHERINE GEE

Presenter Catherine Gee is a NETWORKER on

Catherine Gee is a television presenter and property expert who took over as the host of the popular ITV1 daytime makeover show 60 Minute Makeover in 2011. Prior to this she was best known for presenting the BBC relocation programme, Escape to the Country and being the location presenter on the long running BBC Two series Through the Keyhole.  She also ran Country Living‘s The Farmer Wants a Wife matchmaking campaign, presenting the related television programme which was nominated for a BAFTA in 2002.  Catherine Gee is a NETWORKER on for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

March 21, 2011 @ 8:08 am Posted in News 35 Comments

Research reveals childcare gap for shift workers


Research reveals childcare gap for shift workers for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

A new report out today from childcare charity Daycare Trust has cast light on the difficulties faced by parents who work atypical hours – through either shift work, or working regular unsociable hours.

‘Open all hours? Flexible childcare in the 24/7 era’ assesses the demand for childcare outside of standard 8am-6pm opening times, and explores the reasons for these difficulties. It comprises a survey of 400 affected parents, including NHS employees, airport workers, television production crew including Media Parents TALENT Leo Carlyon, care home workers, and HGV drivers, in addition to parent and provider interviews and analysis of Childcare Sufficiency Assessments and the Labour Force Survey.

An experienced factual and docs editor, Leo Carlyon has chosen to be a stay at home dad for some time, and with his second child now starting school, he is now looking for editing work – preferably flexible.  He’s quoted in the Evening Standard  on this issue here:

Leo Carlyon, Editor at a Media Parents networking event with Rebecca Mulraine, Head of Production, Factual and Features at Tiger Aspect.

Key findings of the Daycare Trust survey:

  • 16% of parents work shifts, one in ten parents work over 40 hours per week and four in ten parents work hours which vary from week to week.
  • Lone parents and low income families are most likely to be found in jobs which demand that they work some atypical hours.
  • 67% of parents working atypical hours struggled to find childcare to meet their needs. This included 66% who struggled to access childcare after 6pm, 53% before 8am, 40% at weekends, and 32% overnight.
  • Over half of parents said that childcare needed to be more affordable to enable them to access it, and four in ten said that an inability to access childcare at short notice was a barrier.

Daycare Trust recommendations:

  • For parents to have the right to request flexible work from day one of employment, including the right to reject any atypical hours and request more regular hours.
  • For central government to provide more support and guidance to childcare providers and larger employers; increase promotion of the financial support for childcare; and to make the free early education entitlement available from 7am-7pm.
  • For local authorities to assess demand for childcare more closely; promote and support childminder networks; and offer ‘pump-priming’ grants to support local providers in establishing atypical childcare schemes.

Anand Shukla, acting Chief Executive of Daycare Trust said:

“Our report demonstrates the enormous barriers that parents who work outside typical ‘9-to-5’ hours face in accessing childcare – barriers that largely go ignored.

Daycare Trust is highlighting this hidden problem faced by so many shift workers ahead of this week’s budget. Many of these are parents in a weak labour market position, and it is crucial for our economic recovery that parents are practically supported to stay in work.

With four in ten parents working hours that vary from week to week, this issue affects large numbers of families. Local authorities and central government must act now to ensure that childcare providers are supported to deliver a service that fully meets the needs of parents.”

Daycare Trust is the national childcare charity, campaigning for quality affordable accessible childcare for all and raising the voices of children, parents and carers.  We advise parents and carers, providers, employers, trade unions and policymakers on childcare issues.  We recognise that everyone is unique and we value difference in our communities.  We listen to all views and are committed to act without prejudice. for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

Leo Carlyon, Editor in his own words:

20 years experience, mostly offline (Avid or FCP), but online too.

Doc Series & Single Docs – especially observational, also entertainment and some comedy. Able to work unattended or self-produce. Can work from home.

Availability very limited just now but will be better from September.

Leo Carlyon can be found in the TALENT section of

March 20, 2011 @ 8:28 am Posted in News 2 Comments

Media Parents on the Southbank for International Women’s Day


Annie Lennox  and her Equals charity posed the question “When will we really know men and women are equal?”  Media Parents members met on the Southbank on March 8th to discuss it and network.  Here is the story of our 100th International Women’s Day told in pictures by Media Parents TALENT John Ferguson.

Annie Lennox posed the question "When will we really know men and women are equal?" Annie Lennox by John Ferguson. The following speech bubbles represent some of our answers to that question.

Suzette Coon, Writer by John Ferguson. Suzette is in the TALENT section of

Phil Stein, PD by John Ferguson. Phil is in the TALENT section of

"When I can continue my media career after having kids". Amy Walker, Media Parents Director, by John Ferguson. Amy Walker is in the NETWORK section of

Jeremy Westgate, Camera Operator by John Ferguson. Jeremy is in the TALENT section of

Farrah Jaufurally, AP, by John Ferguson. Farrah is in the TALENT section of

Jean Manthorpe, Editor, centre, and Media Parents by John Ferguson. Jean is in the TALENT section of

With many thanks to John Ferguson, Photographer. John can be found in the TALENT section of for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

March 18, 2011 @ 1:15 am Posted in Events, News 1 Comment

Brighton Media Parents coffee morning for IWD


Media Parents TALENT Debbie Deeney organised the first Media Parents coffee morning in Brighton on March 8th, and writes here about the experience.

People who dropped in for coffee with Brighton Media Parents: Debbie Deeney, Mary Hui, Catherine Head, Helen Page, Annabel Laister, Maggie Bowler and her friend, Jacqui Partridge and Farrah Jaufurally who has just got a job in Brighton through Media Parents.

So as well as a lovely sunny day and a great coffee house, I celebrated International Women’s day on the 8thMarch by meeting some truly lovely ladies in Brighton and having a chat over coffee and cake.

I would have normally have spent the day looking for work, looking for a matching pair of kids gloves out of the 7 ‘ left hands’ by my front door, or looking for divine intervention as to what to make for tea!   Today was a refreshing break and reminded me that the people make the media industry a great place to work.

The topics of chat were (but not limited to) modern technology training, skillset bursaries, pressures on youth of today, local office/desk space, childcare, post office queues, losing confidence when job hunting, effects of the financial downturn on the industry and worrying women.   We also talked about some of our Dreams for our Daughters in support of the White Ribbon Alliance and dreams on a whole for women of the future.

The beautiful children that came with their mums have to be the most chilled smiley bunch I have ever met (so very pleased mine weren’t there to ruin this) and it was a really relaxed, informal setting for a lovely time and a catch up with new people.

I hope there will be more coffee mornings in Brighton.

If you’re interested in events in Brighton please email

Debbie Deeney is a Production Manager / Exec who can be found in the TALENT section of for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

@ 12:07 am Posted in Events, News Leave a comment

Gaby Roslin… When will we be equals?


Gaby Roslin shares her thoughts with Media Parents on when we will know that men and women are really equals.  More photos coming soon.

"So, Gaby Roslin, when will we know that men and women are really equals?"

It was a great atmosphere on the southbank today, thanks to everyone who came down to celebrate International Women’s Day and to everyone who made it to Brighton at lunchtime too – a special mention must go to Farrah Jaufurally who made it to both events – the Phil Collins of Media Parents…

March 8, 2011 @ 5:34 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Happy International Women’s Day from Media Parents


Happy International Women’s Day from Media Parents!  Hope you have a great day. for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

The first email about Media Parents as an idea went out on International Women’s Day a year ago today, and since then Media Parents has become a fully automated website with more than 300 talented subscribers and a reach of thousands, working with more than 100 indies, hosting great events detailed on our blog which gets more than 12,000 hits a week.

If you can’t join us on the southbank or in Brighton to celebrate International Women’s Day today (scroll down the blog for details of events) then why not take some positive action and tell a friend or a new company about us?

We’re placing experienced people in good jobs all the time and getting great feedback from employers so do encourage employers to give Media Parents a go – it’s all FREE, so why not? Working with Media Parents is also one way to show that your company is fulfilling the Cultural Diversity Network’s pledge.

Contact us at or on 0207 281 0540 for more information on the site, or about holding your own networking event with Media Parents talent – have a look at the photos of our last one here :

Have a great day,

Amy Walker

Director, Media Parents for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

@ 9:17 am Posted in Events, News Comments Off

The 1st Bond film directed by a Woman


The two-minute short, specially commissioned for International Women’s Day, sees 007 star Daniel Craig undergo a dramatic makeover as he puts himself, quite literally, in a woman’s shoes.

Directed by acclaimed ‘Nowhere Boy’ director/conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood, scripted by Jane Goldman (‘Kick Ass’) and featuring the voice of Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as ‘M’, the film will be screened in cinemas and streamed online in a bid to highlight the levels of inequality that persist between men and women in the UK and worldwide. It is the first film featuring Bond to be directed by a woman.

In the film ‘M’ interrogates Bond with a series of searching questions on gender issues, from pay inequality to domestic violence. ‘M’ asks: “For someone with such a fondness for women, I wonder if you’ve ever considered what it means to be one?” Bond then appears in a blonde wig, a dress and women’s shoes, in a sequence that is both highly emotional and deeply disturbing. As he/she stands silent, Dench continues to read a list of brutal statistics relating to the role of women and their treatment in our society.

Sam Taylor-Wood said: “Bond is challenged by ‘M’ to think about gender inequality, and I hope that the film encourages viewers to do the same. Despite great advances in women’s rights, statistics show that when it comes to the balance of power between the sexes, equality is far from being a global reality. As ‘M’ reminds Bond, facing up to gender issues and the sometimes covert nature of sexism in the 21st century is something that we all have to recognise, confront and challenge.”

The film was commissioned by EQUALS, a coalition of charities and organisations brought together by Annie Lennox to step up the call for equality between men and women. Produced by Barbara Broccoli, the woman behind box-office hits ‘Casino Royale’, ‘Quantum of Solace’ and the forthcoming ‘Bond 23’, and shot by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, the film will be released at midday on Monday 7 March to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day the following day.

EQUALS spokeswoman Esme Peach said: “We are thrilled that Sam Taylor-Wood, Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and such a prestigious production team agreed to create this powerful short film for EQUALS. We feel it is crucial to involve men in the movement for women’s rights and EQUALS is about men and women working together for positive change. So who better to convey that message than the partnership of Bond and ‘M’, two iconic British characters with global appeal and influence – and who better to conceive and direct the film than Sam Taylor-Wood, an artist and film-maker whose work is questioning, often provocative and deeply moving?”

To watch the film, please click here

The film will receive its cinema premiere at the Birds Eye View Film Festival at the BFI Southbank on International Women’s Day, 8 March.

Sam Taylor-Wood is a renowned British filmmaker, photographer and conceptual artist. In 2009 she produced Crying Men, a powerful series of photographic portraits featuring leading film actors, which received worldwide acclaim. Her directorial feature film debut was the 2009 Nowhere Boy, for which she received a BAFTA award nomination.

EQUALS is a partnership of leading charities that have come together to step-up the call to demand a more equal world. Brought together by Annie Lennox OBE, International Women’s Day will be a day of debate as well as a day of celebration.

The EQUALS coalition is evolving every day and includes ActionAid, Amnesty International, CARE International UK, the Fawcett Society, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, The White Ribbon Alliance, Women’s Aid, Women for Women International, 1Goal, Bond, Dance4Life, Every Mother Counts, The GREAT Initiative, Media Parents, Merlin, Mumsnet, National Union of Students, OBJECT, One World Action, Platform51, the Royal Commonwealth Society, UKFeminista, VSO, WomanKind, Women for Refugee Women, and staff from The Elders. We are also supported by arts partners such as Brightwide, Birds Eye View, Good Screenings, Bond, FILMCLUB, Funny Women, SouthBank Centre and Sphinx Theatre.

March 7, 2011 @ 5:11 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 Minutes with… John Ferguson, Photographer


John Ferguson, photographer to the stars has agreed to give his time to photograph Media Parents at tomorrow’s 100th International Women’s Day lunch on the southbank.  (For details please see next posting on this blog or and do come and join us).

Photographer John Ferguson is in the TALENT section of

John is an experienced documentary and environmental portrait photographer working out of London and the UK.  He has travelled extensively working for leading national and international newspapers and magazines as well as NGOs.
Covering subjects from the rise of the Aids/HIV pandemic in Africa and Asia, to feature stories from conflicts zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.

John has a talent for conceptualisation and delivering strong and innovative ideas and works well in a team environment, taking direction as well as working independently.

His work has also covered various celebrities and high-end editorial and commercial work.

America's 'King of Pop' photographed in London by John Ferguson.

In 2009 John’s first solo exhibition ‘Black Britannia’ was opened by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown at London City Hall.

Pele as photographed by John Ferguson, talent on the Media Parents site.

He is currently finishing a two year personal project which has gained interest from a leading Sunday Supplement in the UK.

Sharon Osbourne as photographed by John Ferguson.

John is keen to work with tv and film production companies producing stills for promotional, documentary, factual and production purposes.  He can be contacted via his profile on the Media Parents site and at

What Pink thinks of Media Parents talent... American rock chic Pink in the back of her limo, on her way to the launch of her new album concert, "I'm not dead" in Paris. Picture by John Ferguson. for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

@ 9:29 am Posted in News Comments Off

100th International Women’s Day March 8th


What are you doing to celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day on March 8th?  All you need is a camera…

Annie Lennox is leading the Equals campaign at

All you need is a camera (stills or video) on March 8th, to celebrate the 100th International Women’s Day.

Everyone is encouraged to take stills photos for Annie Lennox’s Equals – just write on a piece of paper what equality means to you and snap it.  See our blog for Annie Lennox’s take on it.

You can also record short video messages ‘Dreams for my Daughter’ for the White Ribbon Alliance which are wishes for women’s futures – i.e. “I hope my daughter won’t have a battle to continue her media career when she becomes a mother”.  Email us at for more info on where to send the footage and Equals photos.

A series of events is being held on the Southbank on March 8th (and all next week) in recognition of International Women’s Day including the Equals Soul Train event which takes place on the 8th from 3 – 6pm at Jubilee Gardens on the Southbank.  Everyone is welcome.  For more info about the Soul Train Event please click here: soultrain_eflyer To help out by filming this event please see jobs section.

The Media Parents IWD Do

Media Parents are gathering at the Southbank Centre on March 8th, to celebrate the 100thInternational Women’s Day.

If you’d like to come along to meet more Media Parents please join us at the Riverside Terrace Cafe in the Southbank Centre (Royal Festival Hall) between 1 and 2:30 pm on Tuesday March 8th, and Media Parents who would like to attend should bag a FREE ticket so that we can find each other. Children are welcome at the event – please create tickets for them and indicate CHILD as part of name.  If you have difficulty finding us please call 020 7281 0540.

Supporting Oxfam’s initiative “A Bit of a Do” everyone is encouraged to eat lunch together and take photos for Annie Lennox’s Equals debate which encourages people to discuss when we’ll know that men and women are really equals.

Media Parents will also be recording short video messages ‘Dreams for my Daughter’ for the White Ribbon Alliance which are wishes for women’s futures – i.e. “I hope my daughter won’t have a battle to continue her media career when she becomes a mother”.

The Media Parents IWD Do is part of a series of women’s events being held on the Southbank on March 8th, including the Equals Soul Train event which takes place from 3 – 6pm at Jubilee Gardens on the Southbank.  Everyone is welcome.

More information about Media Parents: is a jobs and social networking website for people who want to work flexibly in media.  It is an independent site which aims to keep experienced talent in media by making it easier for people to find flexible work, and be part of a brilliant network.  The site currently offers jobs in TV and film, working with more than 100 companies including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

Brighton Media Parents have taken up the baton and will also be celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th.  Meet for coffee at Add the Colour, 64-65 North Road BN1 1YD (between Church and Trafalgar Streets) between 10:30 and 2pm.  Debbie Deeney is organizing for Media Parents, let her know you’re coming at or just drop by.  Children welcome.

There will also be a Media Parents / Green Room evening event in Brighton at Madame Geisha, 75 East Street, Brighton BN1 from 6:30pm please email with “evening do” as the title if you’d like to come along. for great talent, networking, jobs and information.

March 3, 2011 @ 11:44 am Posted in Events, News Comments Off