Media Parents

media Parents CV A&E hosted by fremantlemedia UK

November 3, 2015 @ 4:26 pm Posted in News Comments

After attending Media Parents’ networking event at BBC Broadcasting House in September, FremantleMedia UK’s Head of Talent Emily Gale got in touch to say how many fabulously talented freelancers she had met… brilliant! But… Emily felt that some freelancers CVs could sell their wealth of talent better – and so the Media Parents CV A&E was proposed for November 23rd. The event is kindly hosted by Fremantle and sponsored by Alias Hire who will be showing off their latest drone. Please read on for who’s coming and their top TV CV tips…

FremantleMedia UK's Emily Gale, right, and TwoFour's Sue Kenderdine meet freelancers at Media Parents' BBC Broadcasting House event in October.

Emily Gale will be joined at Fremantle by Zodiak Media’s Jules Waring, TwoFour’s Leeanne Vinson – and Sue Kenderdine also enjoyed the BBC event so much that she will be joining us again. The talent team will be offering freelancers tailored CV advice by appointment, and Sony Pictures’ Ian Critchley who also attended the BBC Broadcasting House event, will give group coaching on How To Network. Alias Hire’s MD Danny Dawson, and Head of Training Natalie Brady will be showing off their new drone and on hand to talk about Skillset-backed training opportunities. The event takes place from 5:30 – 7:30pm and freelancers are asked to submit CVs in advance. For details see the watercooler and CV A&E emails from

CV A&E who’s coming… NEW ADDITIONS

Helena Tait, COO, Nutopia

Helena Tait, Nutopia

Helena has managed and delivered hundreds of hours of content for global audiences, working with most major broadcasters on both side of the Atlantic.  After many years at Wall to Wall she joined Diverse as Head of Production in 2006.   Although specialising in ground-breaking, award winning specialist factual shows and event television, she has also overseen content production spanning factual entertainment, light entertainment, quiz shows, formats, drama and shiny floor.   Helena joined Nutopia  in 2010, and oversees company operational activities as well as partnerships, company strategy, staffing, communications and growth in ancillary areas.

Helena Tait’s CV tip : keep the file size of your cv small – a large file will be the first to go from an inbox.

simon willgoss, head of development, nutopia

Simon Willgoss, Nutopia

Simon heads up Nutopias Development department, rejoining the company in 2014 after a stint as Head of Development at CB Films. Simon originally joined Nutopia to develop America The Story Of Us for History – which became the network’s highest ever rated special. His recent development and production credits include the Emmy-winning How We Got To Now for PBS, The 1980s: The Decade That Made Us for Nat Geo, Mankind for History, and How We Invented the World for Discovery. Simon was named one of Broadcast Magazine’s International Rising Stars in 2015.

Simon Willgoss’s CV tip : if you work in development name the commissioners you have worked for and if you have had ideas commissioned make that very clear too.

Natalie Spanier

Natalie Spanier, Head of Talent, Nutopia

Natalie has spent her career in factual television working with some of the UK’s leading indie companies and broadcasters. After several years in the independent sector, in 1998 she joined the BBC Specialist Factual department as a producer. She worked on a range of output from iconic magazine shows such as Animal Hospital and Tomorrow’s World to live events and blue chip documentaries. In 2006 she joined the UK commissioning team for the Animal Planet Channel, and more recently worked as an Executive Producer on several series including the hit wildlife documentary series Monkey Life which airs around the world.

John Comerford, Head of Boundless West

John Comerford is Head of the newly formed Boundless West label, Fremantle UK’s regional production hub in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Boundless West’s productions include Escape to the Country (BBC One), Grand Designs (C4), Escape to the Continent (BBC One) and Four Rooms (C4). He divides his time between the London and Amersham offices.

As an Executive Producer, John oversees the Railway Journeys and Escape brands, encompassing Great British Railway JourneysGreat Continental Railways,Railways of the Great War,  Escape to the Country and Escape to the Continent. As Editor of Factual Programmes, he executive produced a wide variety of Boundless and talkbackTHAMES brands including: How Clean is Your House? (C4), House Doctor (C5), Wish You Were Here (ITV), Would Like to Meet (BBC Two), Farmer Wants a Wife (C5),  Designs for Living (C5), Digging Deep (BBC Two), Squeamish(Discovery), Heroes of History (C5), and a number of documentaries including Nuns Aloud (BBC One) and Farewell The Bill (ITV).

Prior to joining Fremantle, John was an Executive Producer in the BBC’s Documentaries & Contemporary Factual department, where he oversaw travel programming.  During his BBC career he produced a variety of factual, documentary and children’s programming including Blue PeterAirport and Holiday.

John Comerford’s CV tip : don’t forget that TV is a visual medium and if you work in a creative job your CV should reflect that.

Boundless HoP Esther Johnson at a previous Media Parents CV event. Thank you Esther for joining us again!

Esther Johnson, Head of Production, Boundless

Head of Production for Boundless, Esther has overall production management responsibility across all factual titles – from Daytime Factual: Escape to the Country and Great British Railway Journeys, to Factual Entertainment: The Apprentice and You’re Fired, Features: Grand Designs, and Specialist Factual: Four Rooms.

She joined the company in May 2008, initially as Head of Production for Factual Features at talkbackTHAMES, which included responsibility for the regional production base in Amersham.

Prior to this, Esther was at the BBC, working initially as a Programme Finance Manager and Senior Genre Business Affairs Manager in Factual Commissioning and then as Production Executive working across the BBC’s in-house production activity in Science & History key titles during this time included HorizonTimewatchSupervolcanoIndustrial Wonders of the World and Jimmy’s Farm).

Esther started her career at the British Film Institute working in research and TV production.

Esther Johnson’s CV tip : if you want international work list far-flung countries you have travelled in – experience of a place may land you the job over someone has none.

Emily Gale, FremantleMedia UK (Photo courtesy of RTS Futures)

emily gale, head of talent, fremantlemedia UK

Emily Gale started out working for BBC Regional News. She then moved to Watchdog, starting as a runner and working her way up to producer. Emily then moved to CBBC where she series produced live, magazine and documentary series including the BAFTA nominated Short Change. She has produced and directed live shows and OBs for BBC Factual, and worked in New York making reality shows for Discovery and Bravo. Emily is now head of talent for FremantleMedia UK.

Emily Gale’s top CV tips :

Please don’t turn your CV into an essay – 2 pages is ideal, 3 absolute maximum.

Driving Licence is with a C, not an S.

Isobel Ricketts, Breakthrough Media

Isobel Ricketts, Breakthrough Media

Breakthrough is a communications agency and production company. Our mission is to help our clients inspire positive social change through the power of storytelling, primarily through the production of emotionally driven films, campaigns and other communications products.

Our clients include NGOs, government agencies and inter-governmental organisations and today we employ around one hundred people across Europe and East Africa.

Isobel Ricketts’ CV tip : include links to any of your shows online – don’t assume everyone has watched everything.

Leeanne Vinson, TwoFour

Leeanne Vinson, Talent Executive, Twofour Broadcast

Leeanne Vinson, talent executive, twofour broadcast

Leeanne Vinson heads up Twofour’s talent division, attracting and retaining the best execs, producers and directors in the industry for the Twofour Group. Leeanne has worked in television for over twenty years for indies Betty, Fresh One and Shine as well as for C4 and the BBC Features commissioning team.

Leeanne Vinson’s top CV tips:

Keep your CV short and sweet

Summarise your experience briefly – as if you are explaining it to a friend

Don’t write ‘references on request’ – get permission from two or three referees and write their name, position and email address at the bottom of your CV. A good reference will help you get the right job far more quickly..

Sue Kenderdine with a freelancer at Media Parents BBC Event.

Sue Kenderdine, Head of Talent, TwoFour

Sue is responsible for off-screen editorial talent across the Twofour Group (including Twofour, Oxford Scientific Films, Indus and Boomerang). She runs Twofour’s 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.

Sue Kenderdine’s top TV CV tip:

Ensure your email address is your name, i.e. not or rather,

Julia Waring, Head of Talent, RDF Media

Julia Waring, Head of Talent, RDF Media

I started working in television as a production secretary in drama in 1985, moving over to factual a couple of years later. I  became a researcher, AP and then Producer through freelance jobs at ITV, Mentorn and various other indies, until joining RDF Television in its infancy in May 1997.  After running what was tantamount to a news desk for RDF International, and SPing various in-house productions, I sidestepped the mechanics of making television programmes and was given the post of recruiting other people to do that!  I find it a constant pleasure – as well as really interesting – to meet such a variety of people who want to bring their imagination, passion and intelligence to this industry – and I especially enjoy meeting new entrants and providing an opportunity to give them a kick start their chosen career path.

My job at RDF is to keep in touch with all grades of freelancers on the editorial side in the TV industry, from new entrants to executive producers.  Once met (our team tries to arrange meetings with as many people as possible) and on our Talent Database, we can track talent and put them forward for production or development roles as appropriate.  The joy of the job is meeting so many great people and facilitating work for them within the Zodiak Group – or putting them in touch with other Talent Managers in the industry.

Julia Waring’s top CV tips:

“Headlines”! – no talent manager wants to read a novel when they get a CV – keep it simple.

For me, no personal statement – your brief covering letter should contain any info which might be useful on that front to a prospective employer.

SONY Pictures' Ian Critchley (right) meets Media Parents at the BBC Broadcasting House event.

ian critchley, talent consultant, sony international television

Ian will kindly be offering small groups a workshop “How to Network” at the event.

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.

Ian Critchley’s top TV tip for working flexibly:

If you want flexible work, research all the TV companies within a mile of where you live and contact them!

Alias Hire's Natalie Brady and Danny Dawson at Media Parents last CV event.

danny dawson, MD, Alias Hire

Danny Dawson is the Managing Director of Alias Hire, having originally joined in 2009 as Hire Manager. In the time, Danny has been influential in repurposing Alias Hire into one of the industry’s premier video facility companies. Prior to Alias Hire Danny was a production professional operating for 8 x years as a Researcher, Shooting AP and PD on varying titles and formats including live transmission “City Hospital” BBC1, “Who Do You Think You Are?” BBC1, as well as corporate production. Danny entered into the broadcast industry in 1999 first for Hammerhead TV and then to Metro Broadcast where he joined as a runner to running the hire desk within three years.

Danny was elevated to Managing Director in October 2014 and is committed to focusing Alias Hire into exploring new areas of broadcast services, including bespoke training, aerial video and IP Streaming.

Alias Hire’s top CV tip : if you’re a shooter, state in your job title that you shoot, and elsewhere list the cameras you use

natalie brady, head of training, alias hire

Natalie Brady has been working in the media industry for over 20 years. Starting as an assistant at the BBFC in Soho Square. After taking time out to have children she went back to work as a casting agent and in 2005 she joined a training company as a coordinator for Soho Editors.

Since then she has gone from strength to strength helping companies and freelancers get high end training while also securing lots of funding from Creative Skillset to help make training more affordable for everyone. Natalie has facilitated Alias Hire’s training programme (as well as running the office and on most days the company). For a factsheet on Alias Hire’s subsidised courses please click on the relevant title below :

Production Manager Factual TV

Production Manager Children’s TV

Production Coordinator Children’s TV

Data Wrangler

Media Parents Director Amy Walker (left) with Hampshire employer Rosie Bowen-Jones at the BBC Broadcasting House event.

Amy Walker, Director, Media Parents

Amy Walker founded and runs Media Parents. She is passionate about retaining experienced talent in the TV industry and will be on hand to meet freelancers on an ad hoc basis at the Fremantle event. In addition to running Media Parents, Amy works as a freelance talent exec and series producer. She is currently series producing part time – it can be done!

Amy Walker’s top TV tip:

Use networking to your advantage, both in person and on social media – it’s a lot more fun than you think if you just give it a go. See you at the event.

Details of how to sign up for this event are on the watercooler at Freelancers are asked to submit a CV, indicating the talent manager they would like to meet, and their likely time of arrival at the event which runs from 5:30 to 7:30. Ian Critchley’s How to Network talks will be first come first served to groups of up to 8 people on the day. We look forward to seeing you there.


Ann hawker Edit producer

Charlotte Armitage Shooting PD shorts, promos, micro docs.

christopher wiseman Production Manager

Claire Daly Producer

Anne Monnehay Editor

Charlotte Wassermann Senior Producer / Edit Producer

Claire Ackling Radio producer & media mgmt

Clio David Producer Director Camera

Corinna Gallop Producer / Production Manager

David Coward Producer Director

Diego Nicoletti Camera operator and PD

Gaby Koppel Series Producer/ Edit Producer

DAREN TILEY Freelance Editor

David Harris Pd

Fergus Clark Cameraman

George Bland Avid Editor / Producer


Hayley Smith Series Producer

Jeannine Dowling-Jones Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant

Jim Anderson Assistant Producer/P/D

Graciela Watson Edit Producer

Ilya Colak-Antik Development Executive

Jeff Bannis AP, DV Director

Jim Shreim Producer Director

Johanna Woolford Gibbon PD / SD / SP

kate Middleton Executive Producer

Katy Lock Producer/Director

Leisa Fisicaro Producer/Director / Edit Producer

Kasia Uscinska Producer/Director

Katharine Duchesne Series Producer

Kyra Beguiristain Producer

livia russell Series Prod/Ed Prod

Loanna Morrison Researcher?AP

Louise Orton Producer/Director

Maria Vazquez Medina Offline film & video editor

Marius Grose Avid Editor

Louise Metcalfe Assistant Producer

Lucy Sandys-Winsch Exec/Series Producer

Marion Milne Series Producer/Producer Director

Martin Percy Interactive Film Director

Matt Currington PD

Michelle Brooks Producer

Nicola Waddell Executive Producer/Series Producer

Rachael Heaton-Armstrong Producer/Ap

Michael Pentney Editor

Morgan Phillips Producer/Director

Pauline Roenisch Production Manager

Rebecca Towers Producer Director

Richard Clayton Video Editor

Roger Huyton Producer/Director (Self-shooting)

Rosemary Laryea Presenter/Producer

Simon Ardizzone Offline Editor

Richard Hughes Shooting Director & Cameraman

Romesh Aluwihare Freelance Film & Television Editor

Shany Stephany Producer

susan drummond Producer/AP/EP

Susana Seijas producer

Tamsin Curry Producer/AP

Vikki Miller Producer

William Shaylor Production Manager

Susie Valerio AP

Tracy Warren Development

Warren Prentice Series / Exec Producer

Zoe Alzamora Production Manager

zoe brooks Promo Producer

Media Parents next event is CV A&E with FremantleMedia UK, Twofour Group and Zodiak Media. Please join for great jobs, networking and events. The next Media Parents networking event is taking place on November 23rd, see for details.

by Amy Walker

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