Lisa Douglas

Entertainment Producer, This Morning, ITV
BA (Hons) Communications and Mass Media 2000

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Lisa began her career at Granada Television, Manchester working in their Entertainment Department.  

After two years working across Factual, Lifestyle and Travel programming, she returned to Glasgow to work in the independent sector, most notably working on the BAFTA award winning ‘Gutted’ documentary for BBC.

It was her passion for all things showbiz that saw her make the move to London, where she quickly secured work on shows such as ‘Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’, ‘Parkinson’, ‘Al Murray’s Happy Hour’ and 'The Paul O'Grady Show'.

Reason for choosing GCU

“I always wanted to do musical theatre, and because I was 17 when I left school, I would have needed to defer for a year before starting, which I wasn’t keen on. I applied to GCU and to Stirling, and visited both. I was shown round GCU campus and accommodation, and instantly it felt right, I absolutely loved it. I also loved the city centre location. I missed the Open Day, but the admin team were so helpful and arranged a personal tour at another time for my parents and I. I was moving away from home, which was a scary prospect, but felt so at home at GCU.”

Memories of GCU 

“I got involved with the GCU TV Station, Campus TV, shown in the Students Union. We were given the opportunity to use the cameras, editing facilities etc which was such great experience for us. I did a piece to camera about student riots over tuition fees. Our course had a great partnership with STV at the time – they used to have their editors and cameramen come in and teach us how to use the equipment and so on which was so helpful.

As a student, I used to always find the University to be so forward thinking. A lot of the time we were taught by industry professionals like radio and PR which was hugely valuable. I just loved my time there!

The course was 60% written and 40% practical which was a brilliant mix. The course leaders did so deliberately based on feedback from employers over practical experience, which was so valuable to me and gave me great confidence and good life skills. I learned to stand up in front of people I didn’t know, which I still find helpful today in my current job when speaking to celebrities and high profile individuals, putting myself forward with confidence.”

Describe your current role

“As the Entertainment Producer for This Morning, we produce 5 shows, 50 weeks of the year. It works a bit like a magazine with news, entertainment, features, fashion etc. I’m responsible for the entertainment aspect specifically – I book bands, actors, behind the scenes features. I need to stay up to date with what is current and topical. I also do a huge amount of planning for future shows, coming up with ideas, and working out best formats for guest interviews etc. I also look at partnerships, and recently worked with the Olivier Awards.  My job changes every day, and I love it for that. I do a huge amount of relationship building and networking.

We’re a team of 175 working on the show, but we consider ourselves a family. Because the show is live, you’re straight in at the deep end and have to just learn on the job.”

Advice for new graduates

“Take the initiative and set yourself apart from others. Be willing to do absolutely anything – make tea, photocopy. Just get in there and get a foot in the door. I think it makes you a better, more rounded person as you’ve done everything at all levels.

Believe in yourself. Even if something seems out of reach, put yourself out there and go for it, and you never know where it might take you. Be bold, be tenacious, and you can make it happen.

For my industry, it’s all about who you know. Acquaint yourself with what is going on at the time, buy magazines, read TV credits and learn names, network. Buy your name and build a website for yourself which can be an online interactive CV for you. Run a blog, use social media. I used to sit in front of the TV as a youngster and my Mum used to tell me I’d never get a job that way. In fact it was one of the things that helped me realise my passion.”

Read more about Lisa on her website: http://lisadouglas.co.uk/

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