Friday, 14 August 2015

Channel 4

Channel 4's London Office
This has been a slightly longer blog hiatus than anticipated but I've finally found the time (and energy!) to sit down and write a post about the one thing that has been taking up all of my time for the past month: my new job at Channel 4.

As of the 20th July, I became Channel 4's first and only Scottish apprentice. Channel 4 only has one other editorial office outside of London, in Glasgow, home to the Nations and Regions department, the department which I can very happily call 'mine' for the next 12 months!

Channel 4 is what is known as a Publisher Broadcaster which means that unlike the likes of the BBC, Channel 4 does not make any of it's own programmes, instead, it commissions them from independent production companies up and down the UK. As the company is a product of a parliamentary act there are a series of targets that Channel 4 is responsible for meeting. One of these targets is to produce 9% of the channel's content outwith London by 2020 which is where the Nations and Regions department comes in. My department searches for the producers with the best ideas outside of London and puts them in contact with the Commissioners in London who can give the programme the final go-ahead. There's a lot of traveling involved to find these producers and ideas - two members of the team I'm in travel between London, Cardiff, Belfast and Manchester twice a week and the department also puts on briefing events once a month up and down the country - we're in Leeds on Wednesday - where the London Commissioners travel to meet the Indies and give them a heads up as to what they're looking for in a Channel 4 programme.

Now, this all sounds awfully complicated and probably quite dull but I can honestly say that so far, my time at Channel 4 has been more enjoyable and more interesting than I ever thought a job could be. Every day has been different to the one before and I have had the opportunity to speak to some of the most fascinating people ever - I mean not everyone will refer to the people I've met and spoken to as 'fascinating' but for someone who has been obsessed with film and television from a really young age, they truly are! I could honestly spend all my evenings retelling stories I've heard or sharing things I've learnt but somehow I don't think my friends and family would be quite as interested...

As someone who has never worked a full week in her life (or more than 7 hours in a row to be honest) working a five day week with a day trip to London thrown in has been a complete culture shock and I have ended up in my bed before 9.30 every night (except at the weekends which might actually be the problem). However, I have started and finished work everyday with a huge smile on my face and in total disbelief that I really am starting to follow my dreams (I'm sorry, that's so cheesy but it's true)! After all, can I be anything but happy when I get paid for watching TV and talking to super cool people?!

Lots of love,

Heather x