On Tuesday 26th September, Lumina was pleased to once again visit Horseferry Road, home to Channel 4, for a fantastic RTS Futures panel event.
In the presence of the UK media sector’s emerging young talent, five executives from across the major broadcasters took to the stage to discuss how they broke into the world of television and established their niche positions.
The diverse panel described their most treasured successes, ranging from Rob’s sensational Love Island marketing campaign to Jay’s commissioning of The Last Pirates: Britain’s Rebel DJ’s, an upcoming documentary giving voice to a forgotten era of Britain’s culture. They also explained the challenges incumbent within each area – Jack described how he had fought hard for Sky to acquire The Handmaid’s Tale, but had to concede that the show type was already well catered elsewhere on the channel; while Kiran explained that “nerves of steel are vital in scheduling. When things go wrong, we get blamed”.
Most agreed that there is no clear-cut path to their positions, but all came to the consensus that their success was linked to following their own passions. Paul began his career as a trained lawyer, before deciding that his true passion lay in the world of entertainment, allowing him to translate his experience to a role at the BBC. Jack had originally set his sights on a production role, before being exposed to the world of content acquisitions. And Rob hailed from a marketing background with a major charity, then combined his expertise with his love for television to win a position on ITV2’s marketing team.
As advice for their young audience, the panellists highlighted the importance of actually watching television, being passionate about the content, and allowing this enthusiasm to shine through. Rob also emphasized the importance of communication – particularly in a marketing environment – explaining that “you have to be a people person and have great relationship management skills. You have to try and keep everyone happy”. Meanwhile, Kiran and Jay both agreed that faith in ability is crucial – Kiran argued that “confidence in your opinion is key”, and lamented that in the past she had reined in her thoughts despite holding valuable opinions. Jay put simply “your voice matters”.
Our thanks as always to the Royal Television Society for another great evening of discussion, insight and humour.