I worked at ITV Westcountry (then HTV) for 13 years from 1995 working my way up from researcher to series producer. I made hundreds of television programmes from single subject documentaries, to political programmes through to factual entertainment and commissions for other broadcasters. I was involved in programmes which won multiple awards. Those programmes included West Eye View, The West This Week, Out of Order, Teachers’ TV, Dispatches, Channel 4 News, The Bargain Hunters, Beat The Dealer and many other one-off single subject documentaries or arts programmes. In 2008, I was made redundant when ITV pulled out of regional tv programming. I became freelance and set up my own media consultancy. Today I’m a freelance journalist, tv producer and director and also run my consultancy with a group of trusted professionals, many of whom also work in the media.
I got seven O levels and a qualification in touch typing –my careers ‘adviser’ told me I should am to be a secretary or a nurse. Not a chance! However, I didn’t do as well in my A levels as expected and ended up going to a more ‘lowly’ college of higher education, now Bath Spa University. I took a degree in English Literature & History and loved it. I did well in my degree, getting a high 2:1 and took a PGCE and trained to be a teacher though quickly realised this was not for me. I always wanted to be a journalist – I used that year to apply for any relevant job. I eventually got a traineeship on a local newspaper in Somerset, then two years later moved on to a daily newspaper in Swindon, where I went on to be crime reporter and then business editor. I was also running as a volunteer a radio programme for Hospital Radio Swindon.