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.