Sunday, October 04, 2015

RTS: RICHARD HOLLOWAY

Dear gorgeous person, you!


For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by TV and the people behind all the shows we have now come to love (or dislike in some cases). How do they come up with these ideas? How much attention is really paid to detail? How many people does it take to bring it all together? And how exactly do they do just that? My curiousity over the years has seen me grow from TV presenting into developing ideas, pitching them to broadcasters and Indies, producing, self-filming and even editing my own videos – all self taught, whilst of course also juggling being a physiotherapist for the elderly :D 

Having the opportunity to sit down in the same room as Richard Holloway I knew was a once in a lifetime opportunity and gosh, there was no way in the world I would have let that chance pass me by. So thanks to the Royal Television Society (RTS), this happened just over a week ago. If you know anything about television, then Richard certainly needs no introduction, however I am aware some of my readers follow me for my fitness, food and lifestyle blogs rather than my TV blogs so here’s a brief summary of who he is.

Sure you’ve heard of The X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent? Yes, he’s the man responsible for executively producing these two and a lot more of television’s biggest bad boys over the years such as Pop Idol, Family Fortunes, The Price is Right, Blankety Blank and Play Your Cards Right. He is also the managing Director of Thames and the Acting CEO of Fremantle Media. This year marks 50 years that Richard has worked in television where he started his TV career, working his way up from the bottom and can now boast of working with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Gene Kelly, Roger Moore, Julie Andrews and of course Simon Cowell. 


When I first walked into the room, about ten minutes before it all started, I unintentionally walked past Richard whilst trying to find a seat. I had to do a double take, thinking ‘Surely, that is not Richard! He couldn’t possibly be standing there waiting for the evening to begin, allowing himself to be freely accessible to anyone who wanted to say hello’ but he certainly was! Richard humbly waited around as he said hi to people and moments later, I also noticed Vernon Kay (who was chairing that evening) standing at the other end of the room, watching people settle in.

There were no gimmicks, no grand entrances, simply Vernon interviewing Richard about his journey in television from the beginning, in front of an intimate audience. I truly felt lucky to be there. It was absolutely amazing to watch. Richard was beyond humble and modestly recalled his first years in TV. He even got emotional talking about his relationship with Gene Kelly, as it brought tears to his eyes when Gene finally told him he could now call him by his first name, rather than 'Mr Kelly'. Richard patiently answered all of Vernon’s questions in detail and really seemed like he wanted to be there with us, giving us as much advice as possible.

At the end, some of us got the opportunity to ask questions. My question to Richard was that he had made the point on several occasions during the evening that his secret to having such successful shows is working with the best people – runners, researchers, producers, cameramen and so on. However, I wanted to know if he would ever consider working with new talent like myself, or perhaps suggest ways that new talent could become as successful as people like Vernon, so we  could eventually have the opportunity to work with people like him.

From Richard’s answer, it was nice to know I am on the path to doing all the right things – he said never be afraid to work for free, always make yourself available, film as much as possible producing lots of content and network. Then he added that if you feel you're doing all those things, work even harder at them. One big thing I haven’t been doing that Richard did mention is emailing exec producers to offer to act as a stand in for pilots and rehearsals. This is brilliant advice and why I had never thought of this is beyond me. The very next day, I found a few producers of shows that I love and I did just that. This is now my thing to work on.


After the event, we had some time to speak with Richard one on one and so I of course had to steal a picture with both Richard and Vernon and left them both with my card which I'm hoping has got place of pride somewhere in their wallets. I also took this opportunity to thank Vernon for being so kind to me the last time we met at an RTS event called 'I Made It Into TV'. At the time, I was looking for an agent and he had given me lots of advice re: finding one. As I have openly blogged about finding my new fantastic agents, Hilary Knight, you all know I took all that amazing advice and ran with it. 

Richard also kindly gave me his email address, although slightly reluctantly as it perhaps meant he would be inundated with emails from everyone the next day. Staying true to my word, I certainly emailed him but of course, not surprised I have yet to get a reply – he is a busy man but I am still hoping – maybe one day.


Massive thanks to RTS for helping bridge the gap between people who want to work in telly and people who actually do. I’m off to yet another RTS event (speed dating producers) soon and I will definitely take my camera along to ensure you get in on some of the action too.

Do any of you consider yourselves new talent? Did you find any of the above helpful? Or perhaps you might have further advice for me. Please do leave your comments below as I would love to hear from you.

Lots of love,
J
Xo xo



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