Yasmina McNabbAssistant Producer
Being a working mother in television is definitely not easy..What’s your role at MultiStory? I’ve spent most of my time at MultiStory working in development; pitching ideas, negotiating access and brainstorming big, bold formats. As someone who loves both development and production, I was fortunate enough to move onto a project that we got commissioned and I’m currently working on a premium documentary for ITVX. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? To be honest, TV was never a career I considered. When I left University, I had my heart set on becoming a journalist and did a bit of unpaid and freelance work for a short time. Then someone mentioned that they thought I could do well working in television and I was so intrigued. I came across The Pact Indie Diversity Scheme, which is aimed specifically at entry-level diverse talent within TV and Film. I applied and successfully won a six month placement as a runner with Endemol Shine (now Banijay). During my six-month period I was able to work on shows such as The Island, Bodyshockers, and Big Brother and whilst working on Big Brother I truly learnt the power of networking and charmed my way to my next job. I met my next boss Camilla Lewis when she, along with other TV execs and creatives, were invited to spend a night in the Big Brother house. I was responsible for meeting and greeting them, taking them to where they needed to go and then saying goodbye to them the next day. After chatting with Camilla she offered me a job after my placement ended. The downside was I had to apply for another scheme, this time with Creative Access as the role was a Trainee development researcher. Spoiler alert...I applied and got the job and was with the company for two years. I learnt how to shoot and my love affair with development and production truly began. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? Being a working mother in television is definitely not easy. Getting the balance right between being a present parent and pushing for the roles you really want and not the roles people think you should do, is a constant battle. On top of that, good old fashioned imposter syndrome will pop up now and then just to keep me on my toes! Like most of us in this industry, I can’t quite believe that we get paid to make television programmes and there is that slight fear that one day someone will realise that I have no clue what I’m doing. But that’s the beauty of television, the more you work and the more confident you become in your skill, the more you’re able to use the imposter syndrome as motivation - something I’m still working on. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Being named as one of this years ‘Ones To Watch’ at the Edinburgh TV Festival is definitely one of my proudest moments. There were so many reasons that nearly stopped me from applying and knowing the year I’ve had and not really believing I would get chosen, meant that when it was announced I was one of the 30 delegates, this achievement meant so much more. Like in any job, it is really affirming to get validation that your hard work is being noticed and you are worthy. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? It’s funny because looking back at some “disaster moments” they aren’t ever as bad as you thought they were. I think we have to remember that this is just TV and there is always a solution, no matter how bad things may seem at the time. Sometimes when things aren’t going to plan, the best thing to do is to take a step back and reassess. Then you will be able to make better choices and not react out of pure emotion. What I did learn from some of these moments, and thankfully there haven’t been many, is that what you do after a mistake happens can have bigger consequences than the mistake itself. We’re only human and mistakes will happen, but the choices you make post a disaster can either make things better or worse, so don’t panic and think quickly on your feet and people will take note on how you cope in a crisis situation. What are your favourite TV shows? I am obsessed with documentaries and my faves past and present include 9/11: The Falling Man, The Last Dance, Life and Death Row, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, Making A Murderer and The Keepers (what can I say, your girl loves a murder). But I am also a sucker for premium reality shows like Love Is Blind or Selling Sunsets - anything that lets me live out my rich housewife fantasy or my romcom dating dreams count me in! . READ MORE
Mike BlairHead of Documentaries & Current Affairs
TV is a privilege. It allows you into places and other people’s lives in a way no other job can or does..What’s your role at MultiStory? I’m really lucky that my role gives me a very wide brief. Documentaries and current affairs cover just about everything on telly, though I’ve still not cracked turning our crime docs into musicals - yet! We’ve relaunched and invested more money in our documentary unit to capitalise on current successes and to focus on more premium films and series. It means we’ll be working with an increasing number of brilliant filmmakers alongside a very strong in-house team. Exciting times! What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? At the very beginning I needed to earn a few quid to continue my travels after leaving school - and accidentally got a job as a trainee journalist. Seriously! I basically made the tea and was sometimes allowed to write about sheep-dog trials and fell running (It was in the Lake District)! I found I loved it. I moved to a very large freelance agency mainly covering courts, then into radio - and then my big break into Regional TV News. Back in the day it was a brilliant training ground (it probably still is) because you had to do everything. I even presented programmes. Rumours I was taken off air because of a viewer's petition are somewhat exaggerated. But I did want to tell longer form stories, to explore more detail, get under the skin of things - and make a ‘difference’. That meant a move into factual programmes and documentaries where my journalism skills (nosiness and an irritating persistence) really helped. As did a willingness to work very hard over many hours - and still love it whatever the task - investigations, war zones, wildlife films, art programmers - and even the odd car show. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? I think it’s the same hurdle many people have - impostor syndrome. Do I really deserve this ‘success’? When will they finally rumble me?! When I was a kid, career advice at the comprehensive I went to was either join the army, if you wanted to get away; or a factory apprenticeship if you were staying put. A job in TV was in another galaxy. It’s a syndrome you need to make work for you, to help push you to achieve the very best in yourself and in others! What has been the highlight of your career so far? Cliche warning! Highlights - The people I work with and the people I’ve met doing the best job on the planet. TV is a privilege. It allows you into places and other people’s lives in a way no other job can or does. I’ve met Prime Ministers, Presidents, ‘ordinary people’ and Princes. I’ve been involved in filming on almost every continent on earth; seen the very best of humanity and the very worst. I’ve been part of programmes that have held the powerful to account, given a voice to those who didn’t think they’d ever be listened to, and ones that have ‘changed things’. I’ve also been part of films that have simply been about beautiful stories, with lovely humans in beautiful places. I admit I do go on a bit … but you get the drift! And there have been so many ‘pinch me’ moments when I’ve been ‘working’. Here’s just a few. From the sublime … riding a Harley through the Rockies and sharing a beer with David ‘Del Boy’ Jason in San Francisco; To the surreal … getting changed out of my cycling kit in a Buckingham Palace toilet and sharing jokes in the Middle East with a camera Op as missiles streaked overhead; to the seriously humbling… meeting the wonderful women of the Aberfan Wives Club to spending time with a holocaust survivor in Belsen. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? I’ve made loads of mistakes, including a film once described by an exec in a viewing as the worst 30 minutes of his life (it got a bit better). But I'm not going to list them because I can't remember which ones I owned up to - and which ones I made right before anyone found out! Truth is, as long as no-one is maimed and you’re not fired, mistakes can be a good thing. They force us to learn, to review and reevaluate what we did and how we can do it much better next time. Importantly, they can and should also make us more understanding and compassionate when others do the same thing! What are your favourite TV shows? No surprises I’m a fan of news programmes - I still get a slight twinge of envy when a journo is covering a huge national or international story. I think the past few years have been the most extraordinary of many lifetimes and I feel my teams and I have collectively been across most of the biggest ones. Probably also no surprise, I’m an avid watcher of documentaries. Netflix has done some amazing true crime series. Some I get by word of mouth, others because I love the title (Worst Roommate Ever). When I’m not watching crime docs - I’m still in love with Scandi-Noir dramas! Light relief comes in the shape currently of Stanley Tucci Searching for Italy on the BBC. It’s so simple and beautiful - he’s a gem of a presenter. And a big shoutout to Simon Reeves South America also. For complete escapism - The Mandalorian (It’s really a western set in space) Stranger Things (brilliant soundtrack) And I’m currently going through the entire Marvel catalogue with my daughter (great comedy). . READ MORE
Ian Homans-ClarkLine Producer
I have been incredibly lucky to travel across the world, and worked with so many unbelievably talented people..What’s your role at MultiStory? I am a Line Producer, which essentially is a Senior Production Manager. I tend to get allocated to the larger productions within the department. I look after the logistical and budget side of programmes, both being developed and in production. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? Going to the London Studios as a 16 year old on a Saturday morning to watch CD:UK got me into TV. I desperately wanted to be one of the crew with a headset and clipboard. I had no idea that I would eventually spend almost 8 years working in that building on the South Bank, something I am incredibly proud of!! I studied at Drama school in London, most of my friends went into the backstage West-End world but I persisted and made it into telly! What has been the highlight of your career so far? I have had many highlights - I have been incredibly lucky to travel across the world, and worked with so many unbelievably talented people - both on screen and off! Filming in the Etosha National Park in Namibia is pretty high on the list, plus the reaction we got from the first series of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, which was epic! What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment Again, so many to choose from. But I would say winning a National Television Award (at the first awards show you’d ever been to), walking up on stage and being name checked by Paul O’Grady in front of the nation really shines out. It was a great night!! Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? Back in the olden days, when we still shot things on tape, I was put in charge of collecting all the studio rushes from the OB truck on a really huge show that had cost millions of pounds to put on. It wasn’t live so everything we shot was on a stack of tapes. As I started to descend the steps from the truck, I tripped, fell, and dropped the entire show’s footage on a concrete floor. You could have heard the gasps of shock from the other side of London. In that moment my entire career flashed before my eyes, I was convinced that was it for me. Thankfully, somehow, all the tapes survived the fall and the show was fine. Even so, I had nightmares about it for weeks…. What are your favourite TV shows? I have a very eclectic taste in TV shows - Ru Paul’s Drag Race is a definite favourite, Benidorm (currently watching for the second time round on Netflix), anything with Rick Stein in it, news and current affairs, and The Crown. READ MORE
Jane SmithHead of Production
I fell into TV 40 odd years ago when I was 18 (no degree here)..What’s your role at MultiStory? I lead a team of 14 Production Managers, 1 Production Executive in London and a Deputy Head of Production in Manchester. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I fell into TV 40 odd years ago when I was 18 (no degree here), I started working for a company that duplicated video cassettes of feature films, I then went on to work for two post production companies before going freelance as a PM at 25. I started at ITV in 1998 on a 3 month contract, and never left. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? When I started my freelance career, production management in TV was still in its infancy. Previously the role had been split between other areas and gaining respect for the role has been a theme throughout my career. I’m pleased to say that today we are seen as equal and important members of the team. What has been the highlight of your career so far? I am very proud of the team I’ve built at Multistory, but I suppose the moment that changed my career trajectory was being the PM on the very first “I’m a Celebrity- Get me out of here”. As soon as I heard about the idea I was determined to be the Production Manager. It was incredibly challenging but I am still so proud of what we achieved. What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment Early on in my freelance PM career I made a show called “Linda McCartney - behind the lens” for the BBC. We went to New York as part of the filming and ended up filming on a boat in the Hudson River. We were expecting Linda to be there of course, but the entire McCartney family turned up. During a filming break Paul got his guitar out and started playing and singing. The entire crew stood there in absolute awe, and I remember thinking “don’t blink, don’t miss a second of this. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? Many, many learning curves but one moment of comedy stands out. I was working with a Russian Feature film crew who came to London in the 1990’s. I’d planned a lovely schedule for everything they needed to shoot across the week, but on the day they arrived it became clear that they hadn’t read a single word of my notes, and wanted to squash the week into 3 days so they could have the rest of the week off in London. The Director got into a black cab and proceeded to do a mini tour of London to show us where he wanted to film. Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey were on the list, the Tower of London “looked Italian” and so was deemed unsuitable - he said this in front of two Beefeaters. I don’t speak Russian but ‘niet, probleme’ became my phrase of the day. Finally he settled on an area behind Selfridges to shoot a sequence that involved a period horse and carriage, which I duly rebooked and managed to get permission even though it was a Bank Holiday. On the day the horse, a beautiful white stallion called Cadbury, and carriage, arrived with the handler. Then the actors arrived who were going to sit in the carriage. They were all, ahem, on the larger side shall we say. They got into the carriage and I quietly went over to the handler and asked if the horse would be okay pulling that weight. The handler said “I wouldn’t worry about that love, his front feet aren’t even on the ground”, as he said that Cadbury rolled his eye back to look at me as if to say “you have to be f***ing kidding me” and the phrase ‘niet, probleme’ came into play again. What are your favourite TV shows? I love the Handmaids Tale, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Bake Off, Peston, True Crime both Drama and Documentary- Code Blue and The Staircase are examples and I’m currently enjoying The Lazarus Project on Sky and Sherwood on the BBC. READ MORE
David LeachDevelopment Producer
My guilty pleasure is sitting under a blanket with a pot of tea and a McDonalds' and watching an entire week's worth of Four in a Bed..What’s your role at MultiStory? My job title is Development Producer. I lead the development team in Manchester. Day-to-day that means I help MultiStory win commissions by writing treatments, making taster tapes, finding and negotiating access, having brainstorms, originating ideas, and developing formats. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I left university in 2006 with a politics degree and no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I was the first person in my family to get a degree so I felt completely lost. I applied for work experience anywhere I thought would look good on my CV - The local paper, My MP’s office and the BBC. I was lucky that BBC Current Affairs in Manchester said yes first, otherwise I might have ended up in politics! It took some dedication and the commute was horrendous. I was 20 and had returned home from uni to live with my dad in Preston. I left the house at 6 am and got home after 8 pm. Despite the long hours I always kept a smile on my face and tried to make myself indispensable. I brought ideas to the department's weekly meetings, I learnt how to use the digibeta machines, and I would speak to anyone who made eye contact with me. It worked; next thing I know I’m living in Salford and working as a runner on a Panorama about Jill Dando. I spent 18 months in the department as a runner then as a researcher - It’s also where I first met MultiStory North’s Creative Director Ceri Aston. I took every opportunity open to me - I learnt how to shoot, how to write briefs, how to manage tapes and one of my ideas even made it in front of a commissioner. For a brief time, I was in charge of feeding the fish in the department fish tank...this did not end well. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? Freelance life is tough, especially when you’re new to the industry. When the work dries up you have to move heaven and earth to get back in the game. I would often move to where the work was. In my career I’ve been based in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff. I remember moving to London in 2009 as a researcher thinking that I would be able to find work easily and maybe grow my career quickly. I went to a lot of meetings with SPs and PMs but instantly felt like i didn't fit in every time - long hair, bonkers CV, funny accent. I had to take a temp job at Camden Council ringing up council tenants about their kitchens. I kept in touch with all my contacts in the regions, and after a couple of months I was working back in Manchester as a casting researcher on Snog Marry Avoid - one of the most fun projects I’ve done. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Whilst I have worked in Development for 7 years some of my best memories are from being on production. I’m really fortunate to have worked an a huge variety of programmes - I was part of the OG Geordie shore casting team, I’ve worked on gritty murder documentaries, Dick and Dom Countryfile and Crimewatch Roadshow too! But my highlight has was being a PD for BBC Arts during Hay Festival, I have never met so many famous and clever people all at once - best bit was spending the afternoon hanging out with Gary Fisher the french Bulldog and his owner Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher - Childhood dream. What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment I have had 2 stints working at the Royal Collection creating content for their art exhibitions and online. Each time I got a lovely office at St James Palace, with soldiers wandering past every half an hour, I would have lunch at Buckingham Palace canteen and would be allowed to film in the palace and at Windsor when all the visitors had left. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? I started working in development because an exec took a chance on me. I moved from being a Shooting AP to an office-based ideas generator. It was a really fast learning curve. I made friends on my development team and I would ask questions about the process as much as I can - no one ever thought I was stupid because they all remembered what it was like to start out in development. What are your favourite TV shows? I really enjoyed Call My Agent, I’m a big fan of Derry Girls, and Gogglebox is always a treat, I’m the kind of person who watches Peston before going to bed and the latest season of Great Pottery Throwdown was an absolute joy to watch. But my guilty pleasure is sitting under a blanket with a pot of tea and a McDonalds' and watching an entire week's worth of Four in a Bed. READ MORE
Ros MalthouseTALENT EXECUTIVE
This year we came second in Broadcast’s Best Places to Work survey..What’s your role at MultiStory? I am a Talent Exec at MultiStory which means that I find all the freelancers to work on our productions, from runners up to Execs, and once they are here I look after them and work hard to make the culture of the company a friendly, welcoming and supportive one. This year we came second in Broadcast’s Best Places to Work survey so hopefully that means we’re doing a good job on that front! What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I’ve always loved watching TV, but to work in it as a career was suggested to me when I had a job cold calling tractor companies as a student. My boss on that also worked at ITV and suggested I apply for a graduate trainee scheme that he was involved in. That was learning the business side of TV, but I used it as a springboard into making programmes, and then 7 years ago I moved from producing into Talent Managing. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? I think this answer will come as a surprise to people who know me now, but I would say my shyness. Straight out of University I was incredibly shy and found having to constantly start over again with new people, new offices, new projects very difficult. In the long run though it has been really good for me as now I can chat to anyone, and these days talking to people is the majority of my job. What has been the highlight of your career so far? So many to choose from… hanging out with the oldest gorilla in the UK, taking Jamie Oliver on a US roadtrip and working with Russell Brand and his many love interests were amazing but I think it has to be founding the ITV trainee researcher scheme, which is now in its second year and has already produced some incredible new talent. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? Back in the day I worked on a reality show called ‘The Club’. As the name would suggest it was filmed in a nightclub and I got a call one night at 4am to say we’d been thrown out of the club and could I set up some filming for that day as there was still a programme going out that night. I learnt two lessons from that: 1) turn your phone off at night, and 2) you can turn anything around in 24 hours. What are your favourite TV shows? I have really varied tastes and watch everything from Selling Sunset and Love is Blind to documentaries like Once upon a Time in Iraq, Thatcher, and Confessions of a Drugs Mule. As a family we absolutely love In for a Penny. That got us through the dark days of lockdown, I have been known to laugh until I cried at the Sausage roll game… READ MORE
Ana de MoraesChief Creative Officer
The most surreal moment was having a chat with Kanye West’s manager on the phone while my 2 year old was running around me in the Transport Museum...What’s your role at MultiStory? I’m responsible for the creative strategy of the company, overlooking the development of all new ideas, pitching to broadcasters, and working with our Executive Producers on key editorial decisions of all our programmes. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? Back in 2004, I spotted a job ad that said “Do you like TV? Do you think you can come up with ideas for a TV show?” It was for Endemol’s Development Internship scheme. I applied not really knowing what it was all about. I was selected and I couldn’t believe I would be paid to come up with ideas for TV shows. I stayed at Endemol for a couple of years learning the art of developing and pitching ideas, and working as a researcher in a couple of productions. Then I went to Twenty Twenty, where I got my first commissions away, including The World’s Strictest Parent, The Choir and First Dates. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? I’m originally from Brazil, so when I first moved to the UK in 2000, my CV didn’t mean anything to anyone. English is my second language, so sometimes I will get words wrong, or won’t understand an expression. I’ve been living in the UK for over 20 years now and I’m a lot more confident, but at the start of my career I was very self conscious about having an accent, and not understanding every cultural reference in a conversation. There have been many times when I’ve been patronised at work when people have made wrong assumptions about me because of where I’m from, but I’ve also been very lucky to work with many people who have seen my background as a positive point of difference. What has been the highlight of your career so far? I still don’t believe I get paid to come up with ideas for TV shows. I really adore what I do, and think it’s a real privilege. Some of the shows I’ve helped create have had a huge impact in people’s lives - there are people who got married and had babies after meeting on First Dates! I know it’s not saving lives, but it feels good. Winning a few Bafta and RTS awards has been pretty nice too! What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? I worked with Rihanna in a series called Styled to Rock. Having meetings with her was pretty cool. But the most surreal moment was having a chat with Kanye West’s manager on the phone while my 2 year old was running around me in the Transport Museum. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? My first production job was to cold call companies trying to blag prizes for a game show. Having the phone hung up on me hundreds of times a day was soul destroying, but it made me appreciate all the jobs that followed it that much more! What are your favourite TV shows? I love a good reality show, like Love is Blind and Married at First Sight. READ MORE
Sarah Bishop FennProduction Manager
I think TV is one big learning curve, there is never a time when I think I know it all..What’s your role at MultiStory? I am a Production Manager for MultiStory and have been at ITV for 10 years. I work on a wide range of programmes including daytime, makeover shows, current affairs, documentaries and more recently, factual entertainment. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I grew up knowing two cameramen who worked for Central TV and Pebble Mill and their job looked like a lot of fun. They told me that if I wanted to get into TV I had to go to Ravensbourne College, which for me was the best opportunity I could have been given. I spent two years learning how to create and run a studio, how to edit and use cameras. The course was very practical, I only had one essay in the whole two years, which I loved. It’s thanks to my training that I would happily give any technical role a try if I was asked. At the end of the course I was lucky enough to go straight into a job at ITV Anglia and from there made contacts who helped me get a job in ITV London, which is pretty much where I have stayed. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? I think my only real hurdle was getting to know the route into TV and I feel very lucky to have known family friends who pointed me in the right direction. Early on in my career there were times where I didn’t have any TV work, but I was very fortunate to find my way back by calling the right person at the right time. What has been the highlight of your career so far? One of my highlights was meeting Captain Sir Tom, but I have also done so many fun things like have dinner with the Captain of a Warship, filming Father Christmas in Lapland with Peter Andre and his kids, filming on the Mall with TM for the Royal Wedding and being part of the Pride of Britain Awards. What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? Weirdly it was when I was on 60 Minute Makeover and I suddenly realised that I was driving Terry Dwyer (from Hollyoaks) to the hotel. I was sat there thinking I used to watch this person on TV and now I am responsible for getting her safely to the hotel (I am happy to report I drove well and she didn’t complain about my driving). I also got very excited when I ended up in a lift with Jeffry from Rainbow! Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back and laugh about now? I think TV is one big learning curve, there is never a time when I think I know it all. There is always a new programme idea that comes along and we all sit there and think how the hell do we make that, but it always works. What are your favourite TV shows? At the moment I love crime programmes, but I generally just love to watch anything that doesn’t involve too much brain power at the end of the day. I pretty much always fall asleep in front of the tv. READ MORE
Monica-Leigh FourieProduction Coordinator
You don't need a film or tv degree to get into this industry..
What’s your role at MultiStory?
I’m a Production Coordinator.
What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality?
Growing up I have always been fascinated by the behind the scenes parts on DVD’s on both films and Television shows. Seeing how they were really made and all the nuggets of information on all the cast and crew. At the time I didn’t know anything about or anyone in the industry so to start it off I did Film Production at University, which in hindsight, even though I learnt a lot, you don’t need a film or tv degree to get into this industry.After finishing my degree, I left wanting to be a DOP/Camera woman and so found a job as a camera department runner for an indie feature film. While on the film I ended up helping on the production side sorting hotels, catering and travel. From this I fell in love with the production side of both film and TV so started off as a runner and worked my way up
What has been the highlight of your career so far?The highlight for me is the sheer variety of shows that I have had the privilege to work on. Shows like Pride of Britain where I’ve had a whole host of celebrities to fangirl over and iconic shows such as Come Dine With Me which people get so excited to hear about. But seeing my name on the credits of a show like Hospital and Ambulance which tell such heart-warming and heart-breaking stories and knowing that I have contributed to that is really special.
What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment?One of these moments that comes to mind is whilst working on Pride of Britain. I’ve had the joy of working on this show twice, once as my own show and again as a volunteer runner for the evening. It’s such a magical night because you are in a room surrounded with various television and sporting celebrities, where the likes of Steven Fry and Mo Farah causally walk past you in the corridors. The show celebrates such incredible people for various forms of bravery and achievements in their lives. You go home being in awe of a 4 year old and reflect on your contributions in life!
Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back on and laugh about now?A lot of my disaster moments involve hire cars and all on the same show! From taking off the whole back bumper of our talent hire car (thankfully the talent wasn’t inside!), to being on a very tight schedule leading a crew convoy to the next location, only to realise half way into the 30 min round trip that I had all the other crew car/van keys in my back pocket. I was once stuck with two hire cars in Liverpool on my birthday. All the branches had shut for the day, the trains were being cancelled and there was a very real chance of us having to drive them all the way back to London! Thankfully I found a hotel nearby where we could leave the cars and keys for them to be collected in time and a very, very sweet taxi man raced us back to the station for the last train out. That or spending £400 on JUST washing tablecloths for Come Dine With Me when I thought I was only being charged £70!
What are your favourite TV shows?I am a serial binger of TV shows so this list could be very long, so I’ll stick with one that made me want to get into tv, one I’m watching now and one I’ll recommend. One of the shows that got me into the television industry would have to be Band of Brothers – slightly old school show but learning that all the actors had to go through army boot camp before stepping foot on set just made me love the show even more. More recently I am in love with Love so shows like Married at First Site and Love is Blind, watching shows where you can see love on the screen always makes me happy. Lastly, I’ll leave you with crime shows, I am a sucker for most crime documentaries, especially ones with a plot twist like The Jinx. If you have not seen this you need to go see it now, it can be a bit heavy but the ending will leave you up until 3am. READ MORE
Dinkesh MiesuriaSeries Producer / Series Director
I got my first break whilst at the University of Manchester, where I pitched two half hour documentaries to ITV Granada and they were both commissioned and then the rest is history..
What’s your role at MultiStory?
I’m the series producer and series director of a brand new series for BBC Three called Dubai Hustle. As the title states, we shot the entire programme out in Dubai over a four month period. I oversaw the crew, storylines, schedules, the style of the series and most importantly the relationship with the "cast" and management of the real estate company at the centre of the show.
What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality?
I got my first break whilst at the University of Manchester, where I pitched two half hour documentaries to ITV Granada and they were both commissioned and then the rest is history, as they say. I then went onto direct a series of shorts for Channel 4 before working back in the department which won me the commissions and learned the craft of making programmes through the newsroom where I truly started my career.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Helping a particular contestant find her perfect wedding dress on ‘Say Yes to the Dress Lancashire’. The woman in question was visually impaired and would be choosing her dress through the sense of touch with the help of Gok Wan. It was really important to me as Series Director that she had the best experience and that we would capture it in a way that the viewer would really experience it too. That particular episode was what got the series nominated for a RTS award.
What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment?
‘Extreme Cake Makers’ in Cardiff winning the Broadcast Award for Best Daytime Programme. When the show was commissioned, there wasn’t much of a worked up format, just a taster tape of someone making an amazing cake. As the Series Producer, this meant I got to be very hands on developing the format to what it is today. I hadn’t realised my potential of creating a programme from scratch and I was so proud I helped shape an award winning show. I’m now always looking for ways to evolve the shows I’m working on so I can make them the best they can be...within the budget of course!
What are your favourite TV shows?‘Piers Morgan’s Life Stories’ has that chat show charm but he gets to the heart and soul of the personality featured. The mix of raw interviews and VT's makes you feel like you’re watching a drama. It’s a light, non-offensive, digestible biopic. Piers is off to pastures new now, but I’m looking forward to seeing Kate Garraway take the reins. READ MORE
Ruth FadairoTrainee Researcher
The biggest hurdle for me was finding a job in Television due to working in the NHS the entirety of my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. I felt as though a lot of companies did not want to take me on as they didn’t believe I had enough experience..What’s your role at MultiStory? I’m a Trainee Researcher at MultiStory which allows me to move around the company over the course of a year. So far I’ve been working in Development where I help with anything from looking for potential contributors to designing treatments. I also had the pleasure of working on the Pride of Britain Awards 2021 which gave me the opportunity to see what working on a production is really like. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? From a young age I’ve always been very creative and considered myself a multipotentialite. I was into music, performing arts and media and would always take part in anything to do with them during my time in secondary school and sixth form. I discovered my passion for media while studying it at A-Levels but was hesitant to study it at university due to fear of failure. I ended up doing a Masters degree in Television Production at UAL and from there began directing music videos, short films and short documentaries to showcase my skills and passion for Film and Television. I used the first lockdown to teach myself how to use Photoshop and took a short course at UAL to further develop my skills. Little did I know that skill would be extremely useful in Development! I also watch A LOT of TV shows and documentaries, so I could always see myself working on one. By the time I applied for the ITV Production Trainee Scheme as a Trainee Researcher, I had almost lost hope but I now know that everything happens for a reason and I’m grateful that somebody finally believed in me and what I could bring to the world of TV! What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? Having worked in the NHS for the entirety of my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, I hadn't been able to gain work experience in television. I felt as though a lot of companies did not want to take me on as they didn’t believe I had enough knowledge. This pushed me to create my own experience and develop a “portfolio” of passion projects. What has been the highlight of your career so far? So far, my highlight has been working on the Pride of Britain Awards. I was able to work on the red carpet for a while which was a great experience! What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? I can wholeheartedly say that seeing my name in the credits of the Pride of Britain Awards. It was a surreal moment and I was grateful that a lot of my family and friends got to witness it too. What are your favourite TV shows? I have a long list of favourites but if I had to choose they would be Real Housewives of Potomac, Mob Wives, All the Love and Hip Hops, Black Ink Crew: Chicago, Made in Chelsea and surprisingly to some, Eastenders. READ MORE
Growing up I was obsessed with telly and used to watch everything under the sun, from World's Strictest Parents to serial killer docs and Nollywood movies, however I never really considered it a viable career option and so initially chose to study law at uni..What’s your role at MultiStory? I am a development researcher, so I am responsible for sourcing ideas that could be turned into new TV programmes. I also use my skills as a video editor and graphic designer to create sizzle reels and pitch materials that are sent to commissioners to sell the idea to them. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I’ve always loved TV, my mum used to call me square eyes as a kid because I just couldn’t get enough! I’d constantly be trying to think of fun ideas for shows, and even trying to script some myself. Then when I got older I became more interested in the technical side, specifically editing and went on to study that at university. I was super lucky when it came to making my dream of working in TV into a reality, as my university emailed around a job advert for the position of a video editor at MultiStory. A few interviews later and I managed to secure a place on MultiStory’s lovely development team and have been here ever since. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? I think a lot of my hurdles have been in the form of transitioning from being used to working in an educational setting to then a professional setting and figuring out how they differ. I also think being quite young in the industry led me to have to trust myself and my skills quicker - at first it was hard to trust myself to do jobs I was tasked to do because I felt “too young”, but then I quickly realised that your age doesn’t decide your abilities. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Honestly, there have been so many I don’t feel like I can pick an individual one out - especially working in development, my job varies so much from day-to-day. However, I do think a phone call with Geri Halliwell does stick out as one of my top 5 life experiences and I could probably die a happy woman now. What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? Geri Halliwell texting me and finishing the message with “G x” What are your favourite TV shows? Drag Race, Married At First Sight, Desperate Housewives and Are You The One READ MORE
Stephanie LyonsProduction Secretary
Working in TV is a second career for me, having spent 10 years working in hospitality. So moving industries from a senior role in Hospitality to a junior, entry level role in TV was something I feared would be challenging for many reasons. However the transition was a lot easier than anticipated and working in talent at Multistory Media gave me the opportunity to have a varied experience across different productions..What’s your role at MultiStory? Production Secretary - hoping to move into a Production CoOrdinator role soon! What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I first started working at MultiStory in 2018 as the Talent Team Assistant, as part of the ITV apprenticeship scheme. The role was a complete career change for me as I’d spent the last ten years working in the hospitality industry- for the most part as a General Manager. I quit my job in 2017 and took the better part of the next year off, did some travelling, spent time catching up on life, and re-evaluating what I wanted from my new career. TV & Film production had always been an interest of mine but always seemed like one of those jobs that I would never realistically have. I mean how do you even get a job in TV? I started doing my research, focusing on entry level roles. It was whilst doing this that I stumbled across a job advert for the ITV apprenticeship scheme. There were a number of different roles across the UK but the only one that interested me was the Talent Team Assistant role with Multistory Media (formerly Shiver.) I was skeptical at first about applying as I had always thought Apprenticeships were for school leavers or ‘young’ people. I decided to take a chance and apply anyway, afterall “nothing ventured, nothing gained!” Luckily for me, my initial application was successful and I got through to the first stages - the Assessment day! I should have been nervous but strangely I remember going into the ITV offices on my assessment day and feeling really calm - I think I still didn’t really believe that I stood a chance of getting the job. Especially when I realised I was at least 10 years older than a lot of the other applicants!! Nonetheless I was determined to try my best and get the most of the opportunity! I ended up being shortlisted to the final interview stage before being offered the job. Turns out my previous experience and skillset- was actually one of the contributing factors to my securing the role, not a hindrance as I had feared! Which just goes to show that you don’t need to be a school leaver, have a degree or experience to get a job in TV. Sometimes you just need to grab onto the opportunities that come your way and make the most of them! What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? Working in TV is a second career for me, having spent 10 years working in hospitality. So moving industries from a senior role in Hospitality to a junior, entry level role in TV was something I feared would be challenging for many reasons. However the transition was a lot easier than anticipated and working in talent at Multistory Media gave me the opportunity to have a varied experience across different productions. What has been the highlight of your career so far? My favourite genre is Crime- literature, film, TV etc. In summer of 2020 I had the opportunity to work on the documentary The Real Des: A Dennis Nilsen Story. I thoroughly enjoyed my time working on the programme and it also gave me a sense of what the next step in my career would be like as I was able to take on many of the tasks a Production CoOrdinator would normally handle. I’m hugely proud to have been a small part of the team that made The Real Des! It’s been a real highlight for me! What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? In 2020 I worked on an ITV studios entertainment special - Gary Barlow’s Night At The Museum with musical guests Beverley Knight, Alfie Boe, Ronan Keating amongst others. Growing up in the 90’s I was completely obsessed with Take That and Boyzone! So working on that show and especially watching Gary and Ronan perform from their duet from the wings in the Natural History Museum was a real WOW moment! A dream come true for 10 year old me!!!!! Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back on and laugh about now? I began my career in TV whilst doing an Apprenticeship, so finding the right balance between my role as Talent Assistant, getting all my apprenticeship work done and also taking on a number of other opportunities & roles within Multistory did prove challenging at times. However I do also recognise how lucky I was too. I was able to work on a lot of different shows as a runner - All Star Musicals, Peston, Martin Lewis Money Show, Piers Morgan Life Stories, Big Flower Fight amongst others. I was able to contribute to the label’s social media content, helped with the label rebrand from Shiver and even filled in for a few weeks as PA to CEO Tim Carter and CCO Ana De Moraes which provided a great insight into the inner workings of MultiStory Media. It all worked out as I ended up passing my Apprenticeship with distinction and secured my first role as Production Secretary! I haven’t really had any big disasters but working on the Pride Of Britain Awards 2020 was certainly a learning curve- especially given the challenges of 2020 and because of the amount of child licenses that were required at such short notice!!! One of the more challenging tasks that I was asked to do was to find some ‘ordinary’ key workers to be a part of the opening sequence for the show. Turnaround on this was extremely tight and I was only able to confirm that we would actually have contributors to film with the day before the shoot and even then there was the worry as to whether or not we would be able to get what we needed on the day! Between driving around with the crew to shoot the necessary sequences - not knowing what awaited us at each location and stalling in the production hire car…. twice!! It definitely proved to be one of the more stressful shoots I’ve ever been on! Luckily our Director was really happy with the contributors we had and seeing them all shine in the Pride of Britain opening sequence made it all worth it! What are your favourite TV shows? Before working at MultiStory Media, amongst some of my favourite TV shows genuinely were Come Dine With Me, Paul O’Grady For the Love of Dogs and Pride of Britain. It’s still amazing to me that I’ve now worked on all of them! I also love binge watching a good comedy or drama series, some recent favourites include Black Summer, The Queen's Gambit and Superstore. READ MORE
Jo AustonProduction Executive
I went to stage school when I was a youngster and took part in Musicals, other stage productions, fashion shows and also did some TV work. I remember being a regular ‘extra’ for YTV shows like Emmerdale, A Touch of Frost, At Home with the Braithwaites..What’s your role at MultiStory? Production Executive - setting up and overseeing all the shows made out of the London office What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? I went to stage school when I was a youngster and took part in Musicals, other stage productions, fashion shows and also did some TV work. I remember being a regular ‘extra’ for YTV shows like Emmerdale, A Touch of Frost, At Home with the Braithwaites - I really loved how TV worked, I loved seeing everyone’s roles behind the camera, I loved the friendly welcome every time I walked into the YTV building - I knew I wanted to work for ITV one day. I qualified to be a dance teacher but decided to go down the TV path and went to University to study TV Production. After finishing Uni, I didn’t have much luck with getting TV work and had been rejected by ITV for a Prod Sec role at Granada. Some friends were auditioning to be a dancer / character at Disneyland Paris so I tagged along for the fun as I had a day off and had nothing else to do. I was successful and got offered a role as a dancer/princess at Disneyland Paris! A couple of days later I got a call back from ITV - there was a role they thought I’d be perfect for - a Department Secretary. Now I had to make the decision of what to do. That was the start of my ITV career in May 2007. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? After 3 years at ITV in Manchester I’d worked my way up to Production Coordinator on Tonight and the First Election Debate amongst other shows. I wanted to progress to be a Production Manager but the opportunities in Manchester were limited. London had an opening for a JPM pool so I applied. I was super scared going down to London for the interview and never in a million years thought I’d get the job but I did! I didn’t know what to do, it was such a big move to make by myself when my family lived in Yorkshire - I had only 6 months previously bought my first house! I had to quickly sort out tenants for my house and find somewhere to stay in London. I had to get studio experience before I was able to step up to JPM so I was given the chance to be Studio Coordinator on This Morning. It was initially for 3 months, then it was extended to 6 months and over 10 years later I’m still at ITV. What has been the highlight of your career so far? There’s been quite a few! Working in Daytime on Loose Women and This Morning, meant I got the privilege of meeting some amazing people. I met Enrique Iglesias in my first week! *swoon* Setting up a Live Link with Tim Peake in space, organising live weddings, giant water slide items and many more crazy things. The First Election Debate was also a big highlight - it was the very first time a live election debate between the 3 major parties had been televised. Another highlight was working with Sir David Jason on a documentary about the Great Escape - meeting the incredible people who survived, taking them back to Stalag Luft III and hearing their stories first hand was truly inspiring. What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? For the glitz and glamour probably my first time at the NTAs - I didn’t really know what to expect but it was packed with celebs and it really felt like I worked in TV. What are your favourite TV shows? True story dramas and crime docs. READ MORE
Growing up I was obsessed with telly and used to watch everything under the sun, from World's Strictest Parents to serial killer docs and Nollywood movies, however I never really considered it a viable career option and so initially chose to study law at uni..What’s your role at MultiStory? I’m a Researcher on The Martin Lewis Money Show What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? Growing up I was obsessed with telly and used to watch everything under the sun, from World's Strictest Parents to serial killer docs and Nollywood movies, however I never really considered it a viable career option and so initially chose to study law at uni. To be completely honest I applied to the Channel 4 Production Training Scheme on a whim, because the prospect of working on the shows I grew up watching seemed almost too good to be true. From there things moved really quickly, the scheme is an incredibly unique opportunity in that you’re placed at a production company for an entire year and given the space to get stuck in off the jump and hopefully develop the skills needed to become a great programme maker. I was able to figure out what type of shows I wanted to work on and the sort of career I would like to build for myself, and since then have been able to use the experience as a foundation to help me pursue the work I want to do. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? One of my biggest challenges to date was becoming a freelancer at the same time Covid struck. For a while it felt like I wouldn’t be able to sustain a career in telly as work was scarce and the entire industry was at a loss on how to continue operating in the middle of a pandemic. It’s been amazing to see how so many productions have adapted to embrace remote working and relearn how we approach productions and adapt to the times. I’m hesitant to describe it as a hurdle I’ve singularly overcome but more like a shared victory for the entire industry. What has been the highlight of your career so far? My biggest career highlight took place last year, when a piece of work I pitched was commissioned and awarded funding. Prior to that I was writing and directing short films with friends in my spare time with zero budget, so having a production partner believe in a piece of artistic work that I had developed felt incredibly reaffirming. Leading the film from pitch stage all the way to production and delivery, was very challenging but without a doubt equally rewarding and one one of my biggest career highlights so far. Fingers crossed on the release and hopefully it’s just the start of many more directorial endeavors! What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? Working on the General Election debates in 2019 was a massive pinch me moment and marked one of the most important productions I’ve worked on. At the time it felt like I was involved in something monumental - a generation-defining election that would provide a rare opportunity to choose between two vastly different futures for the country. From bumping into Corbyn in the corridors after the debate to casting the everyday people who would ask the most important questions at the heart of the electorate, the adrenaline and responsibility I felt working on an election programme of that nature felt like a “pinch me” moment throughout. It felt like something I would tell my enthused younger self during my years studying A-Level politics. Are there any big learning curves or disaster moments you can look back on and laugh about now? The biggest cringe moment that comes to mind is far too embarrassing to make public, however the lessons I’ve learnt from my wildest mistakes all have one common teachable moment, which for me has been staying true to myself and speaking up in moments where I feel it’s necessary for me to do so. I find you save yourself a lot of embarrassment and headache if you commit yourself to being honest about the work you’re truly passionate about, honest about the things you haven’t figured out just yet and back your instincts in your work. But equally being true to yourself, especially in the early stages of your career, is also very daunting - beating myself up about things is also not my brand - so I try to remember I’m still a work in progress! What are your favourite TV shows? This list of shows I love is always changing but here's a few of my faves new and old. I May Destroy You, Insecure, The Apprentice, Married at First Sight Australia, Selling Sunset and Girlfriends. READ MORE
Joshua Dennison-DobieDepartment Production Runner
Since the age of 6 I was involved in theatre. I have also experienced life in front of a camera, to some degree. A-levels were a turning point, as I took a keen interest in television and film production, excelling in my studies...What’s your role at MultiStory? I am the first point of contact for a wide range of production needs. I assist all departments - administration, editorial and management - wherever I can. Managing accounts and dispatching laptops, booking couriers, assisting on location and with technical issues. I am happy to take on any task. What made you want to get into TV and how did you make that a reality? Since the age of 6 I was involved in theatre. I have also experienced life in front of a camera, to some degree. A-levels were a turning point, as I took a keen interest in television and film production, excelling in my studies. Progressing to university gave me a taste of what the industry could be like, and I was driven to obtain the necessary knowledge and practical skills to make it to that level. I was lucky enough to know people already established in television, who kindly recommended me to a PM on Animal Rescue Live. The hard work was just about to begin, and I could not take this opportunity for granted. It was up to me to make a good first impression, and I dedicated myself to the role and production doing whatever was asked of me. ARL is where I would meet Claire Miller, our fabulous SP on The Martin Lewis Money Show, and we now have a great working relationship as she offered me a spot on her wonderful team! This brought me closer to the heart of Multistory, and my name began to circulate among the PM’s and I am grateful for how much I have been able to get involved with all of our fantastic productions. What's the biggest hurdle you've had to overcome to get to where you are? There are many elements to my role that are challenging in general, but I believe the biggest obstacle that I have faced would be my location. Being based outside of London, in Liverpool, meant a lot of travelling. Before my first long term contract with multistory, I would travel to London quite a lot. Journey’s could often take up to 4 hours each way, but I was always ready to pack a bag and go at a moment's notice. It is the heart of television in the UK, and I wanted to be there as much as I could. Thanks to the support of family and friends, there was always a place to settle. In retrospect, it proved to be a tiny obstacle compared to the opportunities I would receive. I love the city, the team and my job. What has been the highlight of your career so far? Being offered my first ever 6 month contract at MultiStory! After working on many shoots since November 2019 through to the summer of 2020, I was thrilled when asked to take on this role long term. It felt as though I had solidified my place as part of the team here at MSM. What was your biggest “pinch me’ moment? Undoubtedly - working on a Pride of Britain shoot with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Even being within 5 meters of royalty was surreal, and made me realise how lucky I am to be working in television. This industry offers amazing and unique opportunities, as well as memories that will stay with you forever. READ MORE