Media Parents

media parents back to work scheme under deliberation

July 4, 2018 @ 7:00 pm Posted in News, TV Returners, TV Training Comments

Media Parents’ Back to Work Scheme announces its 6th year in partnership with Edinburgh International TV Festival. Thank you to every who has applied, we have heard from great returning talent. Details of winners will be posted elsewhere on this blog. We will hold drinks in September for all applicants.

Media Parents is re-launching its hugely successful sponsorship scheme to help parents and carers back into the TV industry after a career break. 100% of our sponsored applicants have been offered work after taking part in The Media Parents’ Back to Work scheme. Will you be the next?

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2017 : Scripted Director Kate Cheeseman, SP Nicola Kingscote, PD Josie Besbrode & Edit Producer Emma Sayce

We are hugely grateful to our sponsors – and are delighted to say that Channel 4 has just come on board. Other sponsors are All3Media, ITV, MermanEndemol Shine, Warner Bros, Sister Pictures and Raw TV for supporting this scheme for talented freelancers. PD Josie Besbrode and Edit Producer Emma Sayce have both returned to flexible work this year. Josie has been working part time and Emma has been job sharing – you can read their job share post here and look out for Emma’s latest job share piece. SP Nicola Kingscote has written about Edinburgh TV Festival, and Director Kate Cheeseman has written about returning to work to direct Call the Midwife.

Media Parents Back to Work Winners at Edinburgh TV Festival 2015

Previous years’ winners include a primary carer who had been out of TV for 8 years and has gone from directing EastEnders to now directing Emmerdale, other returners have secured commissions, and another successfully used the scheme to return to work in remission from cancer. 

Media Parents Back to Work Winners 2015 at GEITF

We offer companies the opportunity to sponsor one of our applicants to give them the boost of confidence and contacts that will help highly skilled TV workers back into the industry. Through the scheme companies can increase diversity in the workplace, play a part in reinvigorating the career of talented individuals – and in the process garner great PR as a company – we have a track record of gaining national media coverage in The Guardian and on BBC Radio 4.

Successful applicants will be awarded sponsored places at this year’s Edinburgh International TV Festival EITF in August – applicants must be available in Edinburgh from 22 – 24th August. Our winners will be awarded a delegate pass plus travel to, and accommodation in, Edinburgh with bespoke mentoring sessions from the sponsors. Historically places have been sponsored by Endemol Shine, Channel 4, BBC, CDN, Sky, ITV, Warner Bros, BBC Wales, All3Media, Raise the Roof Productions and Endemol Shine.

Read more about the 2016 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners at

We work with mentees in advance t0 workshop CVs, and the onus is on mentees to formulate a back to work plan with Media Parents which they discuss with their mentor. Previous years’ mentors include Shine MD Tanya Shaw, ITV Creative Director of Programming, Mark Robinson, Sky Head of Comedy, Jon Mountague, ex Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes Ralph Lee, Channel 4 Drama’s Chloe Tucker, Wall to Wall MD, Richard Thompson, Ricochet Head of Production Lisa Cox, Boomerang Director of Programmes Sam Grace, PACT Chief Executive, John McVay, Channel 4 Commissioner Michelle Chappell, BBC Commissioner Catherine Catton and Nat Geo Commissioner Carolyn Payne among a brilliant array of execs from across the board in TV. We are told the experience is highly rewarding on both sides.

6 Media Parents Back to Work Scheme winners attended the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival in 2014, seen here with Media Parents Director Amy Walker.

Applicants for the scheme are required to complete and submit an application form (click here to download : Media Parents Back to Work Scheme Form 2018), plus a CV and 300 word précis outlining their ambitions upon returning to TV to by July 29th at 6pm. Candidates must have at least 3 years’ experience in TV and should not have worked in TV for more than 12 consecutive weeks since their career break. Applications are now open.

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

Media Parents - join now for brilliant jobs and events at



  1. I have submitted my application to! Please confirm you have received it! Thanks Eleanor

  2. Eleanor White on July 24th, 2018 at 9:05 am
  3. Dear all. Is this opportunity for folks that have left to have children only? I have a 4 legged son called Wardey which I’m hoping will count ;)

    Seriously though, I am looking for some mentoring as I have been working and living primarily in the USA since 1984 and circumstances dictate that I need to work primarily in the UK Now. I really need a helping hand learning the UK way of producing – I’m a line producer /EIC.

    It would be great if u could help put me back on track. Thanks b

  4. Beverley ward on July 27th, 2018 at 12:35 pm
  5. Hi Eleanor, thank you, your application has been received and submitted to relevant sponsors. We hope candidates will be selected next week.

  6. Amy Walker on July 28th, 2018 at 2:02 pm
  7. Hi Beverley, sorry the schemes are just for parents and carers (for humans). You are welcome to join Media Parents as a non-parent and come along to our events. They are great for upskilling and networking

  8. Amy Walker on July 28th, 2018 at 2:07 pm
  9. Hi there.
    RE PM roles.
    If I am unable to attend the EITF on August 22-24 will this exclude me from consideration? My daughter will receive her GCSE results on August 23rd so I will need to be in London for that day and the following in order to support her enrolment into 6th form.
    Many thanks

  10. Tamzin Fry on July 29th, 2018 at 8:37 am
  11. Hi Tamzin, apply anyway as all applicants CVs are shared with sponsors. We hope to run similar training later in the year

  12. Amy Walker on July 29th, 2018 at 4:45 pm

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