How It Started
What was your first ever job?
My first job in TV was at the BBC Archives Centre (Windmill Road), where I worked briefly after university. We had to check through swathes of recordings that were potentially flood damaged and catalogue them for repair. There was always a rush in the morning to try and get tapes that may have had interesting recordings on, as you would be there all day listening to them.
What brought you to SPS?
I joined Sky in 2006 and at the time, Sky Sports/SPS seemed like something that was far beyond where I’d imagined I would find a career. I wanted to get into the technical side of sound and had embarked on my first footsteps down the broadcast sound path after finding work at a TV studio in Chiswick in 2005.
How has your role evolved over the years?
My role at Sky has morphed through multiple changes over the years. My role now is directly related to sound, which has been a consistent interest and passion since I was a child, taking stereos and turntables to pieces. My first job at Sky was as a Sound Operator – looking after the rigging and setting up of studio floor facilities. I progressed from this role through the sound department into management and, eventually, into a specialist role. Whatever my role, though, I have always approached my day-to-day activities with the desire to achieve an optimum outcome foremost in my mind…although, it must be said, perfection can be elusive.
What were your biggest professional challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was prior to Sky, landing my first job in TV as a sound mixer. At the time, I was working two other jobs: as a DJ at night, after a day job in an office. I really wanted to expand my potential for opportunities in the field of media, so I chose to sacrifice some sleep for a while. I still consider one of my greatest achievements to have been successfully solo mixing my first broadcast. It was a major stress, but a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of the shift when I realised, I was through it without disaster.
How It’s Going
What does your day to day work life look like?
Now, I work with key stakeholders from audio teams and across the business to deliver projects that influence the day-to-day running of Sky Sports/SPS – from research and development to the launch of new ideas and working practices that enhance the way audio is delivered for Sky’s live sports productions.
What’s been your SPS career highlight and why?
My two main career highlights have been working on the England Lions Tour and completing my first project, Sky Racing. The Lions tour was a particularly big and satisfying achievement, due to the remote working technology that was implemented and because the outcome of this implementation was largely faultless. The Sky Racing project was also a success due to the systems and planning we did as a team. It’s a career highlight for me because I felt that I had proved to myself that I could do it.
What can you see yourself doing next?
Continuing to grow, develop additional skills and look for new opportunities to put these additional skills and knowledge to work within the business.
How It Can Be Done
What are your top 3 tips for becoming a Technical Specialist?
- Never assume.
- Learn everything you can.
- Always be a team player.
What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
There will be some mistakes along the way, but just use these to grow. Don’t pay attention to naysayers because everything is possible when you put your mind to it.