Media Parents

Monthly Archives: July 2014

Media Parents Launches GEITF Back to Work Scheme 2014 Apply by Tuesday 12th August


Media Parents will partner with GEITF, Channel 4, the BBC, Shine Television and others to support parents getting back into TV – please apply!

Media Parents (a social enterprise set up to promote flexible working and help working parents balance the demands of media and childcare) is launching a scheme to get parents and carers back in to the TV industry following a career break. In 2013 four successful media parents / carers were awarded sponsored places at the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival (GEITF) and returned to the TV workplace – this year we have six places, sponsored by Shine Television, Channel 4, Endemol, Raise the Roof Productions, the BBC and Media Parents. Will you win one?

Last year's winners: Ali McBride, Harriet Wallace, Kirsty Smith and Sidra Khan, media parents delegates waiting for Kevin Spacey's MacTaggart Speech at GEITF 2013.

The scheme is relaunching and successful candidates will be awarded a delegate pass, plus accommodation in Edinburgh, with bespoke mentoring sessions from the sponsors, with the Media Parents mentoring being provided by Channel 5 Commissioning Editor Michelle Chappell and Discovery’s Helen Hawken. The scheme is designed to reinvigorate careers and help talented individuals get back in to the workplace.

Media Parents is delighted to be working with GEITF, Shine Television, Channel 4, Endemol, Raise the Roof Productions, the BBC and Channel 5 to deliver the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme. To win a sponsored place at Edinburgh TV Festival plus mentoring please apply by Tuesday 12th August via

Donald-Iain Brown, Head of BBC Production Talent Network commented “BBC Production Talent Network is pleased to sponsor the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme.  Getting experienced creatives back into the workplace after their caring absence only leads to greater creativity and diversity of views, which only ever makes content richer and better; that’s what our audiences want – so it’s a win-win for everyone”.

Amy Walker, founder of Media Parents, is delighted to be launching the scheme “Media Parents has always been about keeping experienced talent in television. The key objective of this scheme is that our delegates leave Edinburgh with new levels of confidence, motivation and a network of business contacts that will support their ambitions to get back into TV and keep the industry workforce diverse. Media Parents is delighted to be working with GEITF, Shine Television, Channel 4, Endemol, Raise the Roof Productions, the BBC, Discovery and Channel 5  to deliver the scheme.”

Bella Lambourne, HR Director at Endemol said “Endemol is delighted to be able to be part of this scheme again after the success of last year.  Enabling and encouraging female talent to return and remain in production is as important as ever for the TV industry.”

Raise the Roof Productions MD Jane Muirhead said “Raise The Roof are proud to sponsor this year’s Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme and endorse the work and mentoring opportunities available through the initiative. Our driving force at Raise The Roof is to welcome the most creative and experienced talent from all walks of life to our company, and this scheme allows us to offer support to those who are looking for flexible working hours or a return back to the workplace.”

Candidates will be asked to apply for a place via Media Parents and successful candidates will be selected to take part. Amy Walker comments “It is so encouraging that we have such prestigious partners who have long been supporters of nurturing talent and championing the cause. The Edinburgh TV Festival is an unmissable event in the TV calendar, and attending will inspire people wanting to get back to work with a bang, and also help them to make great connections.”

Applicants are required to send a 300 word précis outlining their experience and ambitions upon returning to TV, plus a CV, to by Tuesday 12th August 2014 to be considered. The email should be titled with the applicant’s name, job title and genre. Applicants must be available to attend the Edinburgh TV Festival in 2014. See the Festival programme and dates here :

Candidates are required to have 3 years’ experience in TV and should not have worked continuously in TV for more than 12 weeks since their career break. This doesn’t mean you need to have been out of work for 12 weeks, it means you can’t have worked continuously for 12 weeks since you have returned to work.

Successful applicants must subscribe to either the talent section of to apply for this scheme to prove their commitment to returning to the workplace.

Applications close on Tuesday 12th August 2014.

Visit to apply now.

Follow Media Parents on Twitter @Mediaparents


Now in its 39th year, the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival powered by YouTube is the UK’s leading TV festival. GEITF 2014 takes place 21 – 23 August.

  • From Kevin Spacey to Google’s Eric Schmidt, global heavyweights set the industry agenda at GEITF. The 50+ sessions present thought-leaders who’ll cut to the heart of the issues in the TV business with headline-making viewpoints
  • The Festival is attracts delegates from around the world, representing the full spectrum of the industry – from chief executives, controllers and commissioners to producers, directors, marketers, writers, new media companies, distributors and press.
  • GEITF is a charitable organisation.  Proceeds from sponsorship and the sale of each delegate pass support the GEITF’s talent schemes, the Network and Ones to Watch. These schemes identify and support emerging talent to promote a healthy and diverse future for our industry.
  • Mel Leach, Managing Director, Twofour Broadcast, is the 2014 Advisory Chair.
  • Elaine Bedell, Director of Entertainment and Comedy, ITV, is the Executive Chair.
  • Join in the conversation on Facebook/ThisIsEdinburghTVFestival, talk to us on Twitter @edinburghtvfest and network with us on Linked In

also read this inspiring story from one of last year’s scheme winners:

July 21, 2014 @ 10:47 am Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Development producer & Cardiff mum back to work


“I just wanted to give you some feedback from the Cardiff networking Event”, writes mum back into work [name removed on request]. So if you are a parent currently out of the work place, take heart and read on. Then read a bit more below about the Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme that we will be launching next week. “I met with Tess Cuming the Head of Factual Entertainment at Boomerang that night and she was incredibly encouraging about me returning to work after a long career break.”

“Tess rang me a few weeks later, asked if could I come in for a week to help with development. I’m still here! I did the initial week and was then asked to cover for the Producer of their Channel 4 show “Posh Pawn” which was great, and I’ve been working development producing ever since. I just wanted to write to you to thank you for organising the event, it has enabled me to return to work in my previous role in production which I didn’t think was possible with a family ( I think I mentioned to you I was thinking of switching roles as I thought it would be more office-based). Boomerang have been incredibly supportive, offering me flexible hours and understanding the juggling act of being a mum and returning to work!

Camera operator Duncan Fairs also attended the Media Parents event in Cardiff.

I’ve had to turn down the opportunity of more work here for the summer as my husband is on a month long shoot.  Boomerang want me back though and have been so encouraging.  I’ve been very impressed with the ethos of the company and their philosophy towards working parents – I couldn’t have received more support, and it has been a pleasure to work for them.

Tess Cumming meeting another freelancer at the Cardiff event.

I’ve also had other offers of work through the event and have had to turn them down – all in all a successful outcome! I just thought I’d let you know my experience!”

Thanks for letting us know! And if you are in the same position please join and apply for our Media Parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme next week. Last year the scheme saw four parents return to TV via the Edinburgh TV Festival and mentoring from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Endemol. More information next week, here is some from last year :“back-to-work”-scheme/

Media Parents is about to launch its GEITF Back to Work Scheme, please join and watch this space for details.

July 17, 2014 @ 11:28 am Posted in News Comments Off

bootcamp for production managers – bursaries available



Sunday 7 & Monday 8 September 2014

Best Western Country House Hotel, Thornhill, Cardiff

TWO DAYS of intensive, interactive and inspirational practical training for Production staff and freelancers.

Whether you are looking to step up into Production Management, or refresh your skills and knowledge this is an opportunity to develop abilities and job prospects.

The cost includes all training materials, food and accommodation and use of the hotels facilities, crèche facility available upon request, transport to and from Cardiff City Centre if required.


  • The Changing Demands of the PM in relation to Business and Finance

  • Working in a Multi-platform World

  • The Law, Logistics and Management

  • Industry Guests, Case Studies and Budgeting Exercises


Christine Pyke

Ric Michael

07979 917 768 (Christine Pyke) 07976 895 946 (Ric Michael) @PumaEvents

Cardiff Flyer Residential Bootcamp

Media Parents is about to launch its GEITF Back to Work Scheme, please join and watch this space for details.

@ 7:28 am Posted in News Comments Off

TXing Tonight: 9 months later – a media Parents commission


A Long Gestation… Media Parents talent Gaby Koppel writes about the commission that happened through Media Parents and will TX on Sky Living, Friday 11th July at 8pm.

Gaby Koppel attended the recent Media Parents CV Bash in London, along with 100 others.

Exactly three years ago wrote for the Media Parents blog, little realising the amazing consequences my contribution would have for me and two others.  It was to lead to a series that starts airing on Sky Living at 8pm this Friday.  The piece I originally wrote was a brief but heartfelt comment on ageism in the TV industry and ended with a link to the feature I’d written for the Independent about inherited breast cancer. Weirdly, what happened next had nothing to do with either of those two subjects.

Of course, the connection between the two must have seemed tenuous in the first place.  I was the link. I’d left the BBC in 2008 after a decade of series producing documentaries and features.  The decision came about partly because I felt my age was beginning to affect how people saw me, and also because I yearned to go back to my first passion – print journalism. Pursuing a ‘portfolio career’ of writing and producing explains how I came to be the author of a very personal newspaper article describing how I told my three children that I may have passed a deadly cancer gene on to them.

If you’d asked me then what I expected to happen as a result of the blog, I’d have answered with a shrug. Maybe some readers would take in what I’d said on either of the two issues and even be inspired to act.  It would be nice to think I was an agent of change even in the most minor contributory way.

But a few days later I got an email which changed everything.  It was from a young producer, Lauren Pushkin. She explained that she’d been shooting a documentary on spec with another producer Melissa Cortizo under the working title ‘Becoming Mum’.  They had both been struck at how overwhelming, exhilarating and exhausting the experience of becoming a parent was for them and as they said, ‘nobody warns you’.  They had been filming other women on that same journey, and now they wanted to get their work onto television but weren’t quite sure how to start.

So why me?  Well, they’d read my blog piece and thought I might be able to help. I thought it sounded a bit iffy – after all, who shoots a documentary on spec? At the same time I was hugely intrigued and it was a subject I understood all too well though my children were in their teens by then.  In my newly freewheeling freelance career I had the time and energy to dig deeper.  So when Lauren and Melissa got me into their edit and showed me their rushes, my chin nearly hit the floor.  These guys were serious.  They had assembled a great line-up of characters and shot some truly compelling moments with them. And not just moments either – they had followed stories through for a full six months.

I was overwhelmed with admiration that two young women both with small children could find the time and resources to shoot most of a documentary series with so little help or support from elsewhere.  If they could do this by themselves, then with some infrastructure behind them I thought they would really fly.

Fast forward three years, and the series is about to air on Sky Living. Once it was commissioned by Siobhan Mulholland at Sky TV I stood back, feeling that my job was done. As the months have gone by, I’ve been aware that the long journey has been tortuous at times. Very much like the process of becoming mothers, becoming producers of a six-part broadcast series has been a challenging experience for Lauren and Melissa, their achievement all the greater for that.  But with their talent, energy and huge reserves of creativity, I’m sure this is just the beginning.  I look forward to watching their careers progress.

In one very apt sense, I feel I was the midwife. I simply helped the baby come into the world – of course I’m both amazed and proud to see how she has grown.  Without Media Parents it may never have happened.

Nine Months Later Starts: 8pm Friday 11 July, Sky Living

Gaby Koppel is a freelance Series/Edit Producer and writer, currently working on A Place in the Sun – Home or Away (Freeform Productions for Channel 4)

Media Parents is about to launch its GEITF Back to Work Scheme, please join and watch this space for details.

July 11, 2014 @ 8:51 am Posted in News Comments Off

TXing Tonight : Kirstie’s Fill Your House for Free, 8pm Channel4


Well done to media parents PD Ros Edwards, and editor Brian Campbell who worked hard on this show and a big well done to all the team at Raise the Roof who worked on this. Amy Walker series produced this and got the job through Media Parents so thank you for that – hope you can tune in tonight at 8pm, Channel4. It’s been a heck of a lot of work!

Kirsie Allsopp upycles the nation's homes in this series starting tonight on channel4.

More related blog posts including one on diverse casting coming soon.

July 8, 2014 @ 10:21 am Posted in News Comments Off