Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of your favourite TV shows? X-Factor, Loose Women or I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here perhaps? I spoke with Jennifer Adeeko, ITV Production Coordinator; she was kind enough to share her journey and experiences with the world of TV and all the ‘glitz and glamour.’ “In TV there are many different routes you can explore, but two of the main pathways are the creative and production sides. I chose the latter which deals with the logistics of shows; setting up shoots, looking after budgets, booking the crew, runners/work experience, and giving support to the production team.”

 

“Before I went to University I wasn’t sure which career path I wanted to pursue. I just chose a subject I had an interest in – Business Management (Marketing). I decided to take a gap year during university, and got a placement at The Voice newspaper.”

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“After working at The Voice, I had the opportunity to work for MTV Base and the MOBO awards. I met Jasmine Dotiwala (former head of MTV Base and currently Executive News Editor at BBC and Broadcaster at Channel 4) during my time at The Voice newspaper – ‘She was someone I had always looked up to so I am very grateful to have her as my mentor. She has been my mentor for over five years now, and she is someone I can still very much seek advice from. ”

“After University I was on project ‘find a career job’ for about 8-9 months, then I got a call from Jasmine, and she wanted me to work with her on one of her projects for ITV. During that time, I networked with the person that recruited runners for the ITV studios – ‘I then managed to bag myself an interview which in turn lead to me finally getting a job in TV and I guess you could say the rest is history..”

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“One of the joys I get from working in TV is the opportunity to work with people that I once grew up watching. There was a time I reenacted a ‘Smash Hits’ dance scene with Ant & Dec and Peter Andre, and this was surreal for me as I grew up watching them on SMTV Live/CDUK and this also used to be filmed at the same studios. Most recently I had the pleasure of working with June Sarpong on Loose Women and she is someone I grew up watching on MTV Select and T4. It’s surreal to think that I now have conversations with her about having the same hairstyle!” “It was tough getting into the industry, especially starting from scratch but thankfully I managed to do it. I started out not knowing anyone in the industry and gradually I managed to network and build the right relationships. I wouldn’t want it any other way – by working hard and smart you can achieve your ambitions because things are not always handed to you.”

“Getting a job in TV can be competitive but once you’re in – YOU’RE IN! Perseverance is key. Now that I have the responsibility of recruiting runners and work experience. I try to give everyone from all backgrounds an equal chance. I do believe that they can take from the experiences I have gone through as I was once in their position. It’s touching to know that what I say helps them to develop their careers.”
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“Though I feel l can help others I am very much still learning myself, every day I go into work I learn something new and that’s the beauty of this industry. To be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have gone from starting out as a Runner, to Production Secretary to now Production Coordinator and there is still so much more room from growth. If I can start out from essentially nothing then I believe anyone can achieve what they want if they put their mind to it”
Jennifer is currently on a career break and has moved to Nigeria for 2 and half months. There are numerous success stories of African diasporans going back to their places of heritage to develop their careers and business opportunities. We’ll be sure to follow up with Jennifer when she returns to London and get the inside scoop of her TV experience in Nigeria.
Subject – Jennifer Adeeko, ITV Production coordinator
Photographer & Writer – Kofi Dwaah
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