Media Parents

Monthly Archives: September 2015

media parents networking BBC Broadcasting House Sept 30th


Fancy a spot of networking in here? Join Media Parents in the BBC Broadcasting House Boardroom on September 30th. Photo courtesy of

We’re delighted to announce that our next networking event will be in the Council Chamber at BBC Broadcasting House on September 30th. The event is kindly being hosted by the BBC Production Talent thanks to D-I Brown and Helena Gardner and her team, with a special emphasis on meeting talent who will work outside of London. Please see below for details of employers attending. Media Parents would also like to thank dock10 in Manchester for sponsoring this event.

who’s coming…


First up is Adrian Padmore, a Media Parents member for several years…

Adrian Padmore meets PD Fiona Calvert at GEITF with Media Parents' Back to Work Scheme

adrian padmore, Assistant Commissioner for Daytime and Early Peak

In February 2015 I became the Assistant Commissioner for Daytime and Early Peak. My recent programmes in this role include Big Blue UK, Instant Gardener, Right on the Money and Escape to the Country.

Before joining the BBC, I worked as a freelance Series Producer across factual, formats and features programming. Over the past decade, I have produced shows for BBC One, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 including Holiday Hit SquadEscape to the Country and Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away.

I currently split my life between London in the week and the West Country at weekends.

Helena Gardner, BBC

helena gardner, Head of Production Talent for Factual & Daytime (London)

Helena Gardner is the BBC Head of Production Talent for Factual & Daytime in London, she is keen to meeting senior talent at SP and Exec level across Science, Arts, History & Business, Documentaries, Current Affairs, Consumer & Live and The One Show.

Chris Hutchins meets Media Parents talent at a BBC Bristol event

Christopher Hutchins, Head of Production Talent, Natural History, Features, Daytime & Documentary Genres (Bristol)

A staunch supporter of Media Parents since our inception, Christopher is based in Bristol but across factual production on all sites.

Helen Hagelthorn at a Media Parents event at BBC Bristol

helen hagelthorn, Talent Manager for Features, Factual Formats and Daytime pan UK (Bristol)

I manage editorial staffing for long running Features brands such as Countryfile, Antiques Roadshow, DIY SOS and Food and Drink; and across Daytime, productions such as Flog It, Bargain Hunt, James Martin’s Home Comforts. After an earlier production career APing and directing on features and ob docs, I worked as Talent Manager in the Indie sector at RDF West, before moving to BBC Bristol four years ago.

Gaynor Scattergood, BBC NHU at a Media Parents event

Gaynor Scattergood, Talent Manager NHU & Children’s (Bristol)

I’m a Talent Manager for BBC Natural History Unit Landmark and Children’s programming.  I’ve been a Talent Manager at BBC Bristol since 2004, during which time I have covered Production Management, Bristol Factual and now the Natural History Unit.  I started my career as a Secretary at Central TV in Birmingham, working in the Personnel Department before moving onto productions such as ‘Central Weekend’ and ‘The Cook Report’.   I joined BBC Bristol as a Production Secretary on a much loved series ‘Under the Sun’.  I then became a Production Co-ordinator in the Natural History Unit and worked on some fabulous projects including ‘Wildlife on One’ and ‘Andes to Amazon’.

Sian Whomes, BBC

Victoria Goodwin, Head of Production Talent for Learning, Religion & Ethics (SALFORD)

Sian Whomes (pictured) will kindly replace Victorian Goodwin. Victoria is Head of Production Talent for BBC Learning and the Religion & Ethics departments. She’s always on the look-out for digital content makers, especially with great story telling skills and wants to talk to documentary film makers and anyone who’s interested in working in production management. Victoria has over 20 years in broadcasting, both in production and talent management in the BBC and independent sector, in children’s, sport, news and current affairs.

BBC Comedy’s Charlotte Lamb (right) with Vera MD Rebecca Parkinson at a Media Parents Event

charlotte lamb, PM BBC Comedy

Charlotte Lamb has been a long-term supporter of Media Parents and would like to meet freelancers connected with comedy at the event. Charlotte is a TV Comedy Production Manager who manages and recruits the Comedy departments Production Co-ordinators, Production Secretaries and Runners.  Charlotte was a Production Co-ordinator for ten years working in both the BBC, Channel 4 and various independents.

ian critchley, talent consultant SONY pictures

Ian Critchley, SONY

Originally from St. Helens, Merseyside Ian has spent over twenty-five years in the TV industry across ITV and the BBC where he established the BBC’s Production Talent Network. He has been responsible for editorial talent management across all genres in production and commissioning on a pan UK basis.

With a particular focus on developing new talent and headhunting at the executive level for a range of award winning shows, from Strictly Come Dancing to Top Gear, Little Britain to Dr. Who, Ian is now a talent consultant at Sony International television and is the media advisor for On The Road action group.

Jamie Mezzasalma, SKY

Jamie Mezzasalma, Lead Recruitment Partner Content SKY

Jamie is a member of the recruitment team at Sky. He is responsible for all recruitment across Content for Sky. He leads a team of recruiters, who are responsible for roles across Sky Entertainment, Sky Production Services and Sky News. Jamie has been at Sky for 2 years and has always been responsible for recruiting across the content areas. Media Parents would like to thank Sky for sponsoring the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015.

Harriet Scott, Endemol

Harriet Scott, Series Editor Remarkable Television (Birmingham)

Harriet is currently overseeing the successful returning BBC2 series ‘The House That £100K Built’ and ‘The £100K House: Tricks of the Trade.’

Harriet is keen to meet factual editorial and production talent at all levels who are based in or willing to work in Birmingham. Media Parents would like to thank Endemol Shine for sponsoring the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015.

Jonah Weston, Exec Producer Lime Pictures

Jonah Weston

Jonah Weston is a freelance Executive Producer who got his job at Lime Pictures through Media Parents. He joins us as both a representative of Lime Pictures, as he is looking to hire people for a couple of roles, and is also attending to meet people as a freelancer.

I have over 20 years television experience.  My work has been Bafta nominated and won various awards, including an RTS. My film Feral Children is still Channel 4′s highest ever rating science documentary with an audience of over 5 million.

Sue Kenderdine, Head of Talent Twofour (Plymouth)

Sue Kenderdine, TwoFour

Sue is responsible for off-screen editorial talent across the Twofour Group (including Twofour, Oxford Scientific Films, Indus and Boomerang). She runs our Talent Database, building and developing relationships with all levels of production staff – from researchers to series producers – and working with our executive producers and production management teams to staff projects and to attract and keep the best people in our Devon, London and Cardiff offices. With eight years non-TV management experience and 17 years in television, Sue joined Twofour in 2006 having spent six years at Lion Television. She would specially like to meet people who can work in Devon who are self shooting PDs and SPs. And all levels for Cardiff.

Emily Gale, Fremantle (Photo courtesy of RTS Futures)

Emily Gale, Head of Talent for Fremantle UK

Emily would like to meet freelancers interested in working from Boundless’s
production office in Amersham, and PDs/Edit Producers/Series Producers/ Dev Producers/Exec Producers/Producers working in London.

Nicky Searle, Dragonfly Film & TV at a Media Parents event

Nicky Searle, Head of Talent Dragonfly Film & TV

Nicky would like to meet freelancers working regionally and in London. “[On a CV] I like a mission statement paragraph which tells me who you are, what you’ve done and where you want to go.”

Rosie Bowen-Jones, TVPP

Rosie Bowen-Jones, Executive Producer TVPP (Hampshire)

Rosemary Bowen-Jones has produced and directed “Survivor” for ITV-1; won an RTS Award for Best Daytime Feature for her Watercolour Challenge programme in Connemara; made the definitive country music documentary “Stand By Your Dream : The Tammy Wynette Story” for the BBC’s BAFTA award winning Arena Series.

She has recently completed programmes for prime-time ITV-1 and Channels 4 and 5.

Amy Gelber, freeform TV

Amy Gelber, Exec Producer freeform TV

Amy got her first job at freeform through Media Parents and would be looking to meet people at all levels who are happy to work out of Chorleywood and/or on location in Europe/Rest of the World. We hire Researchers and APs who are multilingual – French and Spanish are what we need most. Also interested in Casting Researchers and APs, EPs and Directors.

A producer with more than 15 years experience, Amy cut her teeth in regional current affairs, before moving on to produce, report and direct on factual series covering everything from business to crime and movies. She went on to PD for several years, before moving into edit producing, working on both established formats and new series including A Place in the Sun, The Clothes Show and Kill It, Cook It, Eat It!. Amy series produced on A Place in the Sun from 2012 and is now executive producing at Freeform Productions.

Jasbir Saund, Breakthrough Media

Jasbir Saund, Head of Talent Breakthrough Media

Jasbir has used Media Parents as a freelancer and wltm shooting PDs and DV Directors.

Media Parents would like to thank Patrick Steel and his team at Manchester-based dock10 for kindly sponsoring this BBC event.

A word from dock10

“We offer the finest studios spaces in Europe, an innovative post & content platform that can be extended across campus and beyond alongside the benefits of MediaCityUK’s highly connected and resilient infrastructure. We have combined this state of the art technology with market leading operational support teams and craft talent. Whether you’re filming the next generation of talent show, grading a gritty new drama, archiving your precious content or need a purpose built media environment to operate from, you’re in safe hands.”

Patrick Steel, Dock10

Patrick Steel, Head of Commercial Dock10

Patrick has 30 years experience in the international broadcast market including operational roles on some of the UK’s leading productions. As Commercial Head of BBC Studios, he played a key part in the commercialisation of the business and its subsequent growth in indie revenues, also delivering strategic deals with BBC Sport and Childrens.

Following a period as Head of Operations with Talkback Thames Patrick left to fulfil a dream of sailing across an ocean before being lured back from the western Caribbean by the bright lights of Salford, where he was a member of the initial team responsible for the startup of dock10.

…No of course he doesn’t miss it.

Andy Waters, dock10

Andy Waters, Head of Studios dock10

Andy takes responsibility for all things studio flavoured. Spanning a 25 year career in TV production, including BBC Television Centre and Limehouse Studios, he first came to MediaCityUK in May 2010 where he established and launched the dock10 studio business. Andy’s passionate about dock10’s clients having a great experience from the moment they arrive, helping them create their show through to leaving with their rushes.

When not working Andy attempts to stay on top of the weekend schedule for his   four children, getting them to hockey, football and rugby matches on time (well mostly) and sometimes squeezing in a bit of fishing…

Kerry Jones & Amy Walker, Media Parents

Kerry Jones, client liaison Media Parents

Kerry Jones worked on a variety of factual TV programmes before moving into feature films and working with Danny Boyle, Mike Leigh on Vera Drake, and a variety of British directors on quality period features as a Hair and Makeup Artist. Kerry works flexibly and brings up her two girls in Liverpool.

Amy Walker, director Media Parents

Amy Walker founded Media Parents in 2010 and works with a small team of brilliant freelancers to run events, training, and to offer jobs throughout the UK. She is keen to meet everyone at the Broadcasting House event and would love to hear ideas for the development of Media Parents and our events. Amy continues to work as a freelance Series and Exec Producer, moving between factual programmes, development and talent management. Loves a positive solution.

Miranda Wayland, ITV (centre) at a Media Parents event

miranda wayland, diversity & inclusion manager ITV

[unable to attend]

Miranda has long been a supporter of Media Parents and we would like to thank her for her part in ITV Studios’ sponsorship of the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme 2015. Miranda would like to meet anyone interested in working with ITV.

media parents GEITF Back to Work Scheme 2015

Some of the winners from the 2015 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme will be joining us at Broadcasting House so please look out for them.

Comedy Director Vito Rocco (left) & the Media Parents Back to Work Team at GEITF

Vito Rocco, Comedy Director, Sky Back to Work Scheme Winner

Back to Work PD Caroline Deeds (centre) with ITV Shiver MD Alex Gardiner at GEITF

Caroline Deeds, PD Wall to Wall Back to Work Scheme Winner

PD Melanie Beer with CDN CEO Amanda Ariss at GEITF

Melanie Beer, PD Creative Diversity Network Back to Work Winner

Back to Work PD Fiona Calvert with Boomerang's Head of Development Patrick McMahon at GEITF

Fiona Calvert, PD BBC Wales Back to Work Winner

For a full list of attending freelancers please see the watercooler at

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking is at New Broadcasting House on September 30th, see for details.

September 25, 2015 @ 12:03 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with international shooting PD Louise Orton


Like many documentary filmmakers, I haven’t followed a normal route into the profession, writes Producer Director/ DV Director Louise Orton.

Louise Orton in Lira, Uganda.

My first professional job after university was as a local journalist, and then I went to work in communications for international charities for over 11 years. I covered conflicts and natural disasters including the wars in Sierra Leone and DR Congo, and Cyclone Nargis in Burma. The crux of my job was to tell the human stories behind the issues and to engage the UK public to want to donate or take action.

My experience as a journalist stood me in good stead for finding interesting and engaging characters and persuading them to talk. But that was in the UK. A remote African community can be a totally different kettle of fish. Sometimes women are nowhere to be found when you enter a village, as their voice may not be considered important. The village chief may have strong ideas on who he wants you to speak to, but this might not be who you want to speak to, so delicate negotiating is needed.

This is Mayna Bibi, who lost her daughter and grand-daughter during severe floods in Bangladesh when their small boat capsized. Photo courtesy of Islamic Relief.

Many times I’ve travelled overseas immediately after a famine or conflict. The circumstances are traumatic but it’s your job to come home with the stories.  I have developed a hard casing, but have never lost the compassion. Important while interviewing a mother who lost her daughter and granddaughter in floods in Bangladesh (pictured above); children in Sierra Leone whose parents were beheaded in front of them; a man who lost his wife and eight children in a massacre in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Not all my work with NGOs has been so sad. I was in Ghana for the Global Week of Action on Trade assisting a camera crew to film chicken farmers marching into parliament with their chickens. At the end of the march it was a scram to get into parliament and the authorities said they would only admit one chicken farmer, the media and some prominent campaigners.  Unfortunately, the chicken farmer had parted company with his chicken! I ran round like a woman possessed to get another chicken and just managed to pass it through the gates as they were about to close. Having a chicken in parliament created a stir and achieved our goal of making it onto the national and even the international news agenda.

Philippines shoot: Louise Orton worked as director with Filipino cameraman Gerry Carreon.

Ingenuity and resourcefulness are important in both NGO comms and documentaries. As is tenacity. I was working for a medical aid agency during the renewed violence in eastern DRC in 2008. Our doctors were desperately trying to reach a hospital in a town that had been cut off by the violence. A TV crew making a Dispatches for Channel 4 were interested in joining the medical convoy but the doctor in charge had categorically refused. After several hours I managed to persuade him otherwise and the TV crew produced amazing footage of the doctors literally saving lives with the new supplies. I helped the crew by English – French translating and liaising with the doctors and patients, and finally decided I wanted to be a filmmaker.

I went freelance in late 2010. I got a job as social media producer on The Health Show for BBC World because of my contacts and knowledge in the work of global health, and also did some research and AP work. I was delighted when I was asked to direct a short film on a great character I had found in Huddersfield. Since then, I have done development work for True Vision and shot and/or directed several short films overseas (mainly for charities). I also filmed, produced and directed a Witness film for Al Jazeera, about a human rights activist in Western Sahara. I am currently developing several international films for broadcast and online.

Louise Orton on location in Burkina Faso.

The resourcefulness and resilience that I have developed, my international contacts book, along with my foreign language skills and knowledge of global current affairs, are great assets for TV documentary work. I’d be delighted with any pointers, introductions or to hear from any companies who could use my skills.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking is at New Broadcasting House on September 30th, please email us at for details.

September 21, 2015 @ 12:11 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with Leeds PD Emily Coleman at Edinburgh TV Festival


I’m Emily Coleman – TV Producer with 15 years’ experience, writes Producer Director Emily Coleman. I’ve made primetime programmes for all of the major broadcasters. My ideas have been commissioned by BBC1, ITV and Channel 5.

But I’m also the woman pushing the swings in the park in a soggy anorak. I’m the woman pretending to be a zombie in pursuit of my excited toddlers. I’m the woman whose handbag no longer contains an iPad and a notebook, but loose Smarties, wet wipes and an upended tube of glitter.

Since I had my kids, it feels like I’ve been living a double life – and the two versions of me don’t seem to have much in common. With returning to work on the horizon, I don’t just want to press rewind but find a way to bring the two halves of my life together. So I was thrilled when Amy Walker rang to offer me the ITV place on Media Parents’ Back to Work Scheme.

We met at the Edinburgh TV Festival and took turns to introduce ourselves. It quickly became more confessional than sales pitch, as we exchanged stories of how long we’d been out of the industry. “Stop apologising”, Amy said. “You’re not a TV Producer BUT a mum, you’re a TV Producer AND a mum – and that’s brilliant!

First Back to Work group meeting at Edinburgh TV Festival : "I'm a TV Producer AND a mum - and that's brilliant!"

Edinburgh was a great chance to catch up on everything I’d missed and find out what the commissioners are looking for. ITV’s Richard Klein asked for producers to pitch “the bloody obvious” – but reappraised and well-made – e.g. Rookies. We’ve all watched ob docs about the police, but to see them handling difficult situations for the first time offered something new. Jay Hunt threw down the gauntlet to developers, revealing that at the top of her access wish-list is IKEA – a furnityre company which aspires to change the way we live.

I booked speed meetings with regional BBC talent managers Victoria Goodwin, Victoria Roye and Sue Fletcher – two of whom I’d worked with more years ago than we cared to remember. They made it clear their doors were open and parents with experience were regarded as an asset, not a liability.

Oxford Scientfic Films' Emma Morgan with Emily Coleman and the Back to Work team at GEITF.

We met inspiring mums like Cat Lewis from Nine Lives – who persuaded Granada to set up their first ever job share when her kids were small and now runs her own successful indie – and Emma Morgan from Oxford Scientific Films, who has always worked 3 or 4 days a week since she became a mother.

ITV Shiver MD Alex Gardiner with the Back to Work team at GEITF.

A special mention goes to Alex Gardiner, MD of ITV Shiver from my sponsoring company ITV Studios, for proving that you can have one of the biggest jobs in TV and still be a thoroughly nice person. He made time for us to have a relaxed and unhurried coffee, where we chatted about family, home, travel and life as well as our careers and approaches to work.

Emily Coleman celebrates her birthday with the Back to Work team at GEITF.

There was lots of talk about how to encourage diversity in TV at the Festival, but we often have a narrow definition of what that means. If we want to make TV that speaks to the whole of the audience, it can’t all be produced by twenty-somethings pulling all-nighters in Soho edit suites. So good luck fellow Media Parents – I have the feeling I’ll be hearing a lot more of all of you in the future.

Emily Coleman is a Yorkshire-based Producer/ Director and Development Producer looking for part-time work or job share.

September 18, 2015 @ 5:47 pm Posted in News Comments Off

5 minutes with comedy & current affairs producer anne henry at GEITF


Here is the first of the blogs from the Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Winners sharing information from the Edinburgh TV Festival. Anne Henry is a Comedy and Current Affairs Producer, sponsored by Channel 4.

Media Parents Producer Anne Henry, and One To Watch, Electric Ray AP Ziyaad Desai, a tiny bit excited waiting for Armando Iannucci’s MacTaggart lecture

One of the benefits of being on the Media Parents scheme, writes Anne Henry, is that Amy Walker, the indefatigable and inspiring dynamo who runs Media Parents, will not let you be a slouch in the networking department. As soon as we arrived Amy gave us an informal seminar on networking, and then cast us out into the speed-dating sessions. A first for the fest this year, these are 10-minute slots where you can meet commissioners and talent managers. I had a hot date with Melissa Clay-Peters, talent supremo of Princess & Shine, who revealed they are looking for producers with experience in live current affairs to train up as gallery producers for The Wright Stuff (part-time if you like – worth knowing about).

After that, we dived into the festival proper. Sessions I liked: the screening of the first part of Sky Atlantic’s new Hunderby special, followed by a discussion with Julia Davis and Rufus Jones chaired by Sue Perkins. Julia talked about how her writing partnership with Barunka O’Shaughnessy works – Julia likes to focus on the characters and the big picture, and Barunka is responsible for the tight plotting and end-of-part cliffhangers. She also said she’d love to do her own version of Neighbours or Dallas. I sincerely hope someone will take her up on this.

‘The Future Of News’: from left, Peter Barron (Google), John Ryley (Sky News), Cathy Newman, James Harding (BBC News) and Ben de Pear (Channel 4 News)

I also enjoyed a discussion about ‘The Future of News’ with Peter Barron from Google, James Harding from the BBC, Ben de Pear from C4 News and John Ryley from Sky, talking about how news is changing in the digital age. Ben de Pear talked about how C4 News is innovating to meet the challenge of reaching a younger audience who prefer to get their news online with things like 4NewsWall, C4 News’s GIF-based Tumblr site; but also said something as simple as hiring headline writers for online really improved their numbers. I was keen to meet Ben at Edinburgh but as he was called back to London by work Amy Walker is fixing up a meeting for us.

It was great to meet my Channel 4 sponsor, Deputy Chief Creative Officer and Head of Factual Ralph Lee, who gave a compelling defence of Channel 4 as a public service broadcaster in the ‘Edinburgh Does Question Time’ session. He was backed up by Jane Turton of All3media who sang Channel 4’s praises as one of the few risk-takers that, unlike US broadcasters, will still commission off paper.

Anne Henry meets Channel 4's Ralph Lee : ‘This guy will commission someone in a garret in Soho. I’m not sure Netflix would.’

At ‘How Not To Pitch’ Jonathan Stadlen of Knickerbockerglory (behind Pineapple Dance Studios) told us how he once went quite literally balls-out for a commission, after cycling in to the meeting and not realising he’d worn a hole through his shorts. Other tales of horror included being locked in a commissioner’s cupboard in Speedos and trying to fit a team of Brazilian salsa dancers into a tiny BBC meeting room for the Strictly pitch. This last went down so well that Strictly was pitched internationally with an interlude from a dance troupe. Takeaways from the session were: never take the talent to a pitch; gimmicks are good (except when they go wrong, see above); and, I guess, don’t wear cycling shorts to a business meeting.

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price was another stand-out. He talked about how so many people are now making TV, for Amazon it’s more like the record business than programming – he said they were ‘eventising’, ‘You’re just focused on creating a great album and not so focused on the other people and what they’re doing on Wednesday at nine.’ Their commissioning model is really interesting – you can submit scripts online and 6.25% of their produced pilots have been from new writers who came through this way. He said Amazon subscribers act as a kind of focus group, voting and giving their comments on pilots (you can also comment on trailers for yet-to-be-made movies and even storyboards on the Amazon site). I met some Amazon execs afterwards, and enthused by the session, gave them unbidden my notes on The Man In The High Castle pilot, which I am sure they appreciated.

Back to Work : Anna Curtin, Fiona Calvert, Mel Beer, Anne Henry & Caroline Deeds at Edinburgh Festival.

There are too many fun and interesting things to mention, and I urge you to apply next year. The only real problem is the comedown. Now I’m home, inexplicably the kids aren’t offering me canapés and their thoughts on the future of digital every five minutes. But as media parents, I suppose this is our cross to bear. Huge thanks to Media Parents and Channel 4 for sponsoring me.

Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking is at New Broadcasting House on September 30th, please email us at for details.

September 2, 2015 @ 2:53 pm Posted in News Comments Off