Sam has worked in TV for over twenty-five years, working in factual, features and entertainment. At True North she has had the opportunity to work across lots of different shows, all of which have had their individual challenges. She really enjoys the large-scale reality shows we have done at True North.
Sam is also one of our Mental Health First Aiders and our Access Link – which means she is the key contact for disabled talent and advocates for them and for their access and adjustment needs.
When did you join True North?
What shows are you particularly proud of that you have worked on at True North and elsewhere?
Gift of Life was a series for Channel 5 which filmed at the Newcastle Institute of Transplantation, showing the vital work they do in organising and delivering organ transplants to those in desperate need of them. It really shined a spotlight on the life and death situations brought on by organ failure and the pure luck involved in getting a new organ. C5 did some amazing press around the series and it really felt like the show raised the profile and the need to have a conversation with your family about organ donation.
Anything that stands out about your career?
I had to fly to Sri Lanka along with the Executive Producer on Challenge Anneka, to try and persuade the government to allow us to fly a plane full of donated items into the country, to support the re building of a cricket pavilion and maternity clinic that had been damaged by the Tsunami. World Vision met us off the plane and said it would be impossible as they had been unable to fly ambulances in without paying tax. However, a friendly Minister of Tourism who had gone to University in the UK took pity on us (or we had amazing negotiating skills!) and signed off the plane, covering the cost of the import tax from his own budget. When the TNT plane landed and the trucked loaded, it was one of the happiest days of my career.
What’s your favourite bit of your job?
I love working with people and working closing with all the teams and contributors over the years has been the best fun.
What show would you most like to make if you could make anything in the world?
I do love observational reality, and would love to come up with, and work on the next international format, the new Real Housewives or Below Deck!
Anything you feel really strongly about in the industry?
It is really important to treat people well. Everyone works so hard in TV and we should respect each other whatever the role. The industry is moving into a better place where there is more appreciation across the grades.