London or Bust

Drat. That’s crept up on me.

In the UK, television has always been London-centric, barring perhaps a brief moment when Logie Baird was mucking around in Hastings. Somehow, I’ve managed to have a dozen-year career in the industry – specialising in science productions, no less – with only one job that’s been London-based. This has never been ‘normal,’ nor ‘expected,’ but it has ‘worked.’ Which has been something of a surprise, frankly.

However, the writing’s been on the wall for a while, and looking around at what’s going on… hmm. Looks like I’ll have to take London a whole lot more seriously. For TV work, at any rate.

Am I going to up and move to The Big Smoke? Well, no, not in a hurry. I’m going to have to do the rounds of the London companies far more seriously than I have before, though maybe I can get away with going to the World Congress of Science Producers in Manchester this autumn, if I can find something to tide me over until then. Alternatively, I still have something like four web media projects at various stages of musing/funding/under-wayness; if enough of them happen to come off, I’ll probably stick with that for a while.

Lessons to learn, for me:

  1. Jonathan, get more serious about actually making money, you idiot.

Advice for the dear deluded reader who wishes to work in television:

  1. Be in London.
  2. Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, perhaps Bristol – being keen to work in these places will probably help. But expect, plan, and base yourself to be working in London.
  3. Note that the above is a change from my previously-published advice.

8 Comments

  1. All true Jonathan. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the regonal quota – which is why all the big London indies are opening offices in Manchester and Bristol (and strangely not really Leeds, don’t know why.
    An editor in London who owns a facility at Pinewood told me that a big London indie was editing out there, because it’s just far enough outside the M25 to count as “regional”…

  2. All true Jonathan. The only light at the end of the tunnel is the new regional quota – which is why all the London indies are opening offices in Manchester and Bristol (but strangely not really Leeds, don’t know why).
    An editor frend who owns a facility at Pinewood told me that a big London indie was editing out there, because it’s just far enough outside the M25 to count as “regional”…

  3. Oh, the Pinewood thing is an old scam — that’s why Scrapheap moved the, er, scrap heap, to just outside the M25. Counts as regional production, though I think they do their editing at Elstree too, just to make sure.

  4. How about Cardiff? They make Dr Who there after all.

  5. Bwah-ha-ha-ha.
    All roads lead to London, you cannot escape it.

  6. OK I confess. It’s Scrapheap I was talkng about -it’s edited at Pinewood.
    And sorry about the double post. The stop button obviously doesn’t do what I thnk it does when I spot a typo just after pressing send…

  7. Los Angeles.
    Lots of work.
    Sunshine.
    Beach.
    Poodles.
    In many respects a lot like Glasgow.

  8. Thanks, James. That really helps.
    (bastard)

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