Top job: Controller production talent, BBC Vision Productions (multimedia broadcasting)

Where were you working before, and what were your responsibilities?

Before joining the BBC in 1995, I was working for Granada Media, managing the talent pool.

What qualifications do you hold?

An honours degree in English Literature and CIPD qualifications.

What are the duties in your new role?

I’m responsible for pulling together a sustainable talent management and succession planning model across the BBC’s in-house production – a community of 2,500 people working within a variety of business models across each of the five key divisions (drama, entertainment and comedy, factual, children’s, and multi-platform).

What are the main challenges HR faces in the next five years?

Maintaining a value-added partnership with the business.

What is the most overrated tool in your job?


And what work tool would you like to see invented?

A lie detector.

What is the worst thing about HR?

The challenge around balancing compliance with pragmatism.

How do you wind down after a bad day in the office?

Watching TV.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

Explaining to someone why they hadn’t been featured in a salacious article in the tabloids, despite their obvious disappointment.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Tenacious, challenging, creative.

What was your lucky break?

Moving from the Atomic Energy Authority to Granada after applying for a position I saw advertised in the Guardian.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Actor Stephen Fry, director Pedro Almodóvar, and Terry and June star June Whitfield (pictured below).

What advice would you give someone starting out in HR?

Learn to listen.

Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.

Know where you want to go, then decide on the route.


  • Nov 2008-present: Controller production talent, BBC Vision Productions (multimedia broadcasting)

  • Apr 2007-Oct 2008: Head of production talent, BBC Vision

  • Jan 2006-Apr 2007: Head of HR and development, BBC Drama, Entertainment & Children’s

  • Sep 2003-Jan 2006: Lead HR partner, BBC Drama, Entertainment & Children’s

  • April 2001-Sep 2003: HR partner, BBC Drama, Entertainment & Children’s

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