Media students with Carolyn Reynolds

Media students had the opportunity to quiz two very influential women in the TV and journalism industries during a series of talks at Edge Hill University.

Carolyn Reynolds, Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Lime Pictures – the largest UK independent drama producer outside London – recently visited the campus to pass on her words of wisdom to students.

Having worked in TV production since the early 1980s, Carolyn has produced and executive produced Britain’s most popular show Coronation Street between 1990 and 2005, apart from a short break in the late 1990s, when she worked at Yorkshire TV. She has developed and produced many television dramas including Reckless, At Home with the Braithwaites and Blue Murder.

In 2005, Carolyn joined Mersey Television and was instrumental in reforming the company into today’s Lime Pictures. Working with Creative Director Tony Wood and Managing Director Sean Marley, the company has grown to produce a range of content for different markets. The biggest multi-platform show is Channel 4’s long-running teen drama Hollyoaks and last year Lime Pictures also pioneered the new ‘constructed reality’ genre for UK television, including The Only Way is Essex, the BAFTA winning series.

Professor Roger Shannon, from the University’s Department of Media, who in the past has also worked closely with Carolyn on a number of projects, said: “It was a pleasure to introduce Carolyn Reynolds to the campus, and to our students. Carolyn is one of the most powerful and influential women within UK TV drama and has driven the Liverpool based Lime Pictures to the frontline of innovative and new media production. One of her many strengths is her eye for talent, as evidenced by the range of new screen writers and drama performers peppered across all of Lime’s outputs, from the ‘old school’ of the soaps to the ‘cutting edge’ of transmedia. Lime are really going places at the moment and Carolyn in her talk was able to give students a flavour of what it’s like working in a fast changing industry, as well as an insightful introduction to the policy issues that arise in both national and international contexts.

“Her visit was the latest in the Department’s series of ‘media policy’ talks, which has included Sir Michael Lyons, BBC Trust Chairman; Nik Powell, Oscar winner and Director of the National Film/TV School; Peter Salmon, Director of BBC North; Professor Tanya Byron and Culture Minister Andy Burnham. Such visits and talks keep our students ahead of the game regarding media policy in a challenging environment.”

Journalism students also benefited from a careers talk by the BBC’s regional reporter and presenter Nina Warhurst.

Nina, who has previously worked as a producer for Manchester’s Channel M and in Moscow for the Russian Federation, was able to talk about her personal experiences and give advice to students eager to make it in the competitive media industry.

She said: Creativity is key. You need to keep coming up with ideas because it will set you apart from everybody else. Confidence is also important and just ‘go for it’, even if you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall at times because if you want something you have to push yourself.”

Speaking after Nina’s session, the University’s Careers Advisor Debby Murray, who organised the visit, said: “Here at Edge Hill we always strive to ensure our students are one step ahead of the rest in securing that graduate job, which is why it’s important that we invite people in for careers talks. Having Nina here was great because it showed our students that if you work hard there are jobs out there in the media industry, you just have to push yourself.”