Lee graduated from the BSc(Hons) Television Production course in 2012 and has been working on The Jeremy Kyle Show since October that year. During this time he also worked on the production of the new series of Dragons Den. Lee helped out in the Dragons Den office from February 2013- May 2013, spending half a week there and the rest of the week in the studio at The Jeremy Kyle Show.
Lee’s career started while he was still studying at UCLan, when he successful applied for a work placement at the BBC. He believes his journey from a work placement to his current job teaches valuable lessons for anyone looking to break into the television industry.
“I got the opportunity to work on The Jeremy Kyle Show due to a chain of events. From studying TV Production at UCLan I felt confident to apply for a BBC Work Experience placement, which I was awarded and as a result worked alongside the Dragons’ Den team for four weeks towards the end of my degree. It was a balancing act between completing the work experience in Manchester and still finding enough time to work on my final year project, but it shows employees that you can responsibly manage your time and work load.
“From there I was contacted about working on The Voice auditions in Manchester in the summer of 2012. It was only three days of work and I had to travel from Carlisle to Manchester and pay for accommodation so I knew financially it would not be rewarding but when starting off in TV you can’t think about the financial gain. What I got out of those three days was two very important contacts that worked on Jeremy Kyle and recommended me to the Production Manager.
“At first I was asked to work a few days just to see how I got on and from that I am still working on the show nine months later. I was asked to trial researching on the show. Given the nature of a research job on that sort of show it is not something I wanted to be doing week in week out. However, I am glad I did it because it shows willingness to progress to employees. The picture of me and Jeremy was from the end of series wrap party but I have been asked back for the next series.
Lee is full of praise for the TV Production course at UCLan which ensured he was well prepared for a career in the television industry.
He added: “The course at UCLan does not guarantee you a job in television but it’s the use of the transferable skills you develop that can set you on your way. The course gives you an insight in the type of work you may get involved in, so it is not quite as big of jump once you enter the working world of television.
“What impressed the Dragons’ Den team with my work experience application was the video you were required to make in order to sell yourself to the team. The production skills that are taught at UCLan plus the equipment that is accessible to you meant that I could create a well-made video that ultimately has set me on my way in the TV industry.