Media Parents

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Media Parents Christmas at BAFTA Gallery


Thank you so much to Molinare Film & TV Post Production for sponsoring this event, to BAFTA for hosting it, to Claire Brown for organising it, and to everyone else who came along and had a great time.  Here are the first of the photos – more coming when I get a moment over Christmas!  A very Merry Christmas from Media Parents.

Many thanks to the BAFTA staff who looked after us too.  Have a brilliant Christmas and New Year and thanks for supporting Media Parents in 2012!

December 21, 2012 @ 5:42 pm Posted in News Comments Off

Five Minutes with… John Willis, BAFTA Chairman and Mentorn Media CEO


John Willis unfolds his arms and leans over his desk.  He has been considering his previous answers, about BAFTA, where he is Chairman, and Tinopolis, where he is Group Creative Director. But I’ve just asked him what it was like to be working in TV when he was a father to young children.

John Willis, BAFTA Chairman, Mentorn CEO and Creative Director of the Tinopolis Group in conversation with Media Parents at

“We had our children young – people settle down later now – we had our first when I was twenty nine. It put a lot of pressure on my wife because I worked on location overseas.  I had to go off for three to four months at a time.  In those days you would go off for much longer, so I went off to Australia for four months on a travel series with Alan Whicker.”  Before the days of email.  “You were allowed one phone call home a week.”

“Having children in TV can be one of the most difficult things – that agonizing moment when you miss the school play because your demanding job doesn’t finish at 5. Looking back on it now you miss big parts of your children growing up.  I do remember when my kids could say ‘Mummy’ and not ‘Daddy’”.

As Chief Executive of Mentorn Media, John Willis knows only too well that working in TV still impacts on families, and he says Mentorn tries hard to support family life. “In TV most individuals are sympathetic, but collectively it doesn’t always work out.  It can be hard for both parents to sort out childcare”.  One of the Mentorn Execs works a bit flexibly to help with childcare, another works a four day week, others take time as and when. Although it’s a large company, it feels smaller, and today Willis will be judging Mentorn’s annual Christmas tree decorating competition in his avuncular way. “It’s about the culture and attitude, so if someone says [flexible working] will probably work I always say yes.  People work from home when they need to, or if they take the afternoon off for Sports Day it’s fine if it enables talented people to keep working.”

“I think people undervalue the BBC – it’s criticized, but its maternity leave policies are best in class.  When it comes to job sharing or working from home it can be more difficult for an indie, but it’s not just practicality – it’s about thinking ‘we won’t have that meeting at 5:30, we’ll have it earlier so that person can pick up their kids from nursery’”.

Willis’s illustrious career, moving from early days at Yorkshire Television to become Director of Programmes at Channel 4, MD of LWT, then Director of Factual and Learning at the BBC, has “been driven by curiosity. Perhaps I’m just nosey.  I’ve always wanted to know about people and worlds I didn’t know about, and in TV you open out that world to millions watching”.

He supports diversity on both sides of the camera, not just regarding parents.  As BAFTA’s Chairman he encourages new entrants to the industry from all backgrounds. “Personally I think we work in a privileged industry. I’m keen that it reaches out to people who don’t have the opportunity – to talented people who don’t have the connections.” BAFTA has a mentoring scheme, a great online learning portal called Guru, and is also funding six postgraduates for the first time this year – “Diverse, talented people who are struggling financially.  One of those is a parent”, he tells me with a smile.

I ask whether he thinks earlier commissioning would help parents to keep working. “We’d all like earlier commissioning, but for lots of different reasons programmes get commissioned later than they should.  There are lots of commissioners who are working parents caught in institutional problems but I don’t know if that will ever change, it seems ingrained”.

“The industry needs working parents, not just because you’ve spent a long time training them, but also because when you become a parent it changes your perception of the world.  We must reflect our audiences in our programme makers too. To lose people doesn’t speak well of the industry if people feel that balancing work and parenting is so hard it doesn’t fit.  Good people must feel that there is enough support.”

This year’s Media Parents Christmas Party will take place at BAFTA on December 13th, kindly sponsored by Molinare TV and Film Post Production.  To join us please reserve your place here :

For BAFTA’s online learning portal please click on the BAFTA logo below

If you have more than 3 years' media experience see for great networking, talent, jobs and information.

December 6, 2012 @ 8:41 am Posted in News Leave a comment

Media Parents Christmas Party at BAFTA


To join us at the Media Parents Christmas Party at BAFTA on December 13th please use this link:

We’d like to thank you for your support for Media Parents over 2012, so please join us at our Media Parents Christmas Party to celebrate. With your help we are placing talented freelancers into jobs all the time, and working with more than 500 companies.

To say thanks, we’d love you to join us at BAFTA on December 13th from 6pm on the mezzanine level of the members bar for some seasonal fun.  If it’s anything like last year the Media Parents Christmas Party will be a great laugh, and a great opportunity to network over a glass of wine with employers, freelancers and execs across the board.

This year the Media Parents Christmas Party is kindly sponsored by Molinare TV and Film Post Production, who will be providing refreshments for early birds.

To join us please reserve your place by using this link Places are limited so please bag your ticket asap.

If you have 3+ years TV experience please join us at

@ 8:37 am Posted in News Comments Off

Media Parents ultimate stocking filler


Not content with creating the best jobs and networking site for experienced TV people, we now bring you the ultimate stocking filler… Our Media Parents coasters are the perfect accompaniment to a mug of tea or a large glass of wine. Made by the same people who make the coasters for the London Transport Museum, and to the same high quality, these gorgeous mats bearing the Media Parents logo measure 90 x 115.  Ta-dah!

If you would like to purchase a coaster at the bargain price of £3.50 including P+P within the UK, or 4 for £12.00 please email us at  Stuck for other gift ideas? Get someone a job for Christmas – or as near as! Ask us about gift memberships to Media Parents.  You can join a loved one to our talent section for just £15 a month or £75 for a year, or the network (everything but the jobs info) for £35 for a year. Brilliant.

December 2, 2012 @ 9:27 pm Posted in News Comments Off