"Lights, Camera, Access": how to get your foot in the door

Chaired by RTS Northern Ireland Futures Vice-Chair Geraldine Smyth, the event saw local media experts share their top tips and hacks for breaking into what is a competitive industry.

When applying for a first job, agreed the panel, the importance of doing your research cannot be overstated. “Do your research very thoroughly on the company that you’re going to meet, know what content it has made and what its strong points are,” advised Kate McGlade, Development Executive at Alleycats TV.

RTS Northern Ireland Student Awards 2024 celebrates student talent

Spring Is Sure to Follow – “a beautiful story of acceptance with great casting and performances”, said the judges – triumphed in the Drama category. The “funny, whimsical and well-acted” Mantis Shrimp won the Entertainment and Comedy prize.

The Animation category was won by Ulster University, Belfast student Patrick Faulkner with Unseen: Alone in Space, and Ulster University, Coleraine’s Nathan Edgar took home the Factual Short-form award with On the Edge.

James Martin honoured at RTS Northern Ireland Television Awards

The black comedy about two estranged brothers was shot in Northern Ireland.

Martin, the first leading man with Down’s syndrome to appear in an Oscar-winning film, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to receive this recognition in my home town. I hope my success encourages more young people like me to follow their dreams as I did.”

In March, Martin took home the Outstanding Newcomer prize at the RTS Republic of Ireland Awards.

Fiona Campbell relives key career moments

Campbell, who was promoted this year to Controller, Youth Audience, BBC iPlayer and BBC Three, recalled her move from researcher on the BBC Two business show The Money Programme, where she couldn’t see a way forward, to assistant producer on BBC One’s Watchdog.

“I was not passionate about consumer affairs journalism, but that job was an opportunity to move on and break out,” she said.

Winners of the 2021 RTS Northern Ireland Student Television Awards 2021 announced

Ulster University Belfast picked up the Animation Award for The Forlorn Piscator by Matthew McGuigan. A highly commended award also went to Antisocial Behaviour by Lyndsay Clarke and Phillip Steele from the Northern Regional College, Coleraine.

The Non-Scripted Award winner was The Rising of Jordan Adetunji by Joe Warden, Nathan Emery and Reece Williams from Ulster University. Isolation - Overcoming Adversity as a Community by Aodhan Roberts from the North West Regional College was highly commended in this category.

Steve Carson: The BBC’s new man in Glasgow

“I always wanted to work in broadcasting,” he recalled. “Probably like a lot of people [growing up) in Northern Ireland at that time, and probably still today, I didn’t see anyone who sounded like me or who lived where I lived on the television, outside the news, unfortunately talking about absolutely horrendous things.”

After graduating from Manchester University, Carson landed a job as a runner, having been rejected by BBC training schemes, and then moved, via youth and entertainment, to BBC current affairs as a producer/director on programmes including Newsnight and Panorama.

Winners of the RTS Northern Ireland Awards 2020 announced

The Coleraine-born actor, who played Catelyn Stark in the hit HBO drama, has recently appeared in Sky Atlantic’s Gangs of London and BBC Two factual drama Responsible Child.

“I feel very lucky to have been given some fantastic opportunities throughout my career and believe that my ‘outstanding contribution’ really is just that – a contribution to fantastic productions and wonderful creative teams,” said Fairley.

RTS Futures NI: Hit TV programme to binge-worthy podcast

“Focus on your audience and give them an elevated but inviting, stimulating, playful conversation,” said Lily Ames, Chalk & Blade’s head of production and culture.

Ames, a Canadian who has been based in London for the past six years, was talking at an RTS Futures NI event in late August to Conor Finn, creator and host of the Finnterviews podcast.

She described Chalk & Blade, whose clients include BBC Sounds and the Guardian, as well as brands such as Net-a-Porter, as a “boutique podcast production company”.