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Navigating change in television with ITV Studios

We’re back from our summer holidays with another cracking masterclass, this time, based in our home, ITV Studios! More than a hundred young people gathered in Waterhouse Square to listen to a top panel of experts talking all things television…

There was certainly a buzz in the air as the audience was treated to an inspirational, entertaining and informative discussion  from Angela Jain, Satmohan Panesar, Tim Carter, and Nicola Hill. Each panel member gave us golden nuggets of television advice throughout the evening, so keep reading to hear how you can upgrade your career path and cope with inevitable change…

Tim Carter, Managing Director at MultiStory Media, previously called Shiver, said that they “strive to tell stories, make people laugh, cry and connect.”. He jumped right into the impact he’s seen from the changing landscape within television companies and reminded us about what is at the heart of good television: “Creative partnership is the most thrilling part of television! Meeting people who have experiences outside of my own. Diversity is what makes the richness of the programme.” Tim stressed how the highlights of his career have come from differences and challenges.

Satmohan Panesar, Commissioning Editor at ITV Factual Entertainment, developed this point, emphasising how change in television is emerging from all directions. Not only are the faces behind the screen changing, but the models in which they operate are having to adapt constantly. Satmohan commented on the exciting way streaming services are making ripples across the industry and shifting power; “People can make a name for themselves now and do stuff that is exciting because television is no longer controlled by a handful of people. It’s really exciting to be part of that and a thrilling time to change our model”. He advised people to “try and get a handle on what you want. Things don’t happen overnight for anyone, but start with a mentor, meet people and talk to your peers.”

Clearly, change seems to be a massive trend consuming the industry at the moment. But Angela Jain, Managing Director at ITV Studios Entertainment, says that this is not new to her. Over her years in the industry she has seen how it has adapted to adapt grow exponentially. She reflects on the past and how she started life as a runner. “What made me really stand out because I was the brown girl who had worked in both factual and entertainment. There was no one else that was like me and I think that pushed me far.” So far in fact, that Angela is now the only person of colour to run a network channel in the UK. She asked the burning question, “how can television reflect society if we are not representing it ourselves?”

Nicola Hill, Managing Director at The Garden Productions, gave her advice on top CV tips to help you get your foot in the door. She says she always looks for “something simple with personality. Don’t use buzzwords. Where are you? It’s not so much about the top university you have been to… I want to see the passion.” Nicola reminded us that the person you see on paper must reflect who you are in real life. She wants to see someone on the page that is eye-catching – someone who she would love to grab a coffee with!

The whole panel came together and unanimously agreed that passion, research and resilience are the keys to getting far within the television industry. It’s about demonstrating that you know the company’s shows inside-out and you have the ideas to contribute to the team. But most importantly, in the words of Angela, “you have to love working in TV because it’s hard work, but worth it.”

With massive thanks to our panel for their time and wise words and of course to our friends and partners at ITV for hosting and organising such a great event.