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Friday, 15 March 2013

I'm about to go live to the nation... thanks to The Network!

So what's it like working on the most iconic children's show of all time?  Hannah Salt can tell you.  She's a runner on Blue Peter, and her journey started at The Network!  After Edinburgh, Hannah successfully nabbed one of our Network at Work placements, and she was so impressive that CBBC subsequently offered her a job on the famous ship.  Hannah's taken a break from entertaining the nation's children to take us behind the scenes on BP and share what she's learned since The Network.

Stood in a cool dark studio behind the cameras, about to go live to the nation, I always feel a little electric crackle of excitement in the air as the gallery wish everyone a good show and countdown to live transmission. There is an undeniable thrill in watching a show you’ve been working towards hit a million screens, reaching and igniting the imagination of countless children.

Hannah preparing to go live

Thanks to The Network at Work placement in CBBC I have been working as a Runner on Blue Peter for nearly a year now, and have cut my telly teeth on this varied and entertaining factual programme. I research and respond to creative briefs, thoroughly fact-check potential features and liaise with colleagues, guests and contributors. With a high turnaround of ideas, simultaneous tasks set against tight deadlines and the pressure of a live studio, I have thrived in this environment. Working across our live studio, development, film and correspondence teams has given me the shot at a career in TV that just wasn’t there before I applied and attended the festival.

A classic BP "make" - this was how to turn spare gloves into animals - Hannah made the chicken on the left!

A Festival highlight for me was working with the Hollyoaks production team to storyline, script and film an episode of the soap, really putting our creative stamina to the test. Following this I got to join the regular writing team at Lime Pictures for their story conference, and was given the chance to write a shadow episode of the soap. Similarly on Blue Peter over the past year I have pitched and contributed ideas at the commissioning level, and nothing beats seeing your ideas turn into reality on TV.

Hannah at The Network in 2011

In this sense The Network was a game changer for me, because it has provided a great spring board – the rest is down to you.  The battle isn’t over when you arrive somewhere like the BBC, with short contracts and extremely high competition over roles you need to be really self-aware, thirsty for development, flexible, adaptable, tirelessly creative and passionate about making great TV… but if you’re looking at this the chances are you already know that.

Hanging with Barney the BP dog!

Go for it and give my love to Edinburgh!

Aww, doesn't Barney look ultra cuddly!  A huge thanks to Hannah to sharing her story.  If you want to work in TV but don't know where or how to start then you need to come on The Network.  It's all free so what are you waiting for - apply now!

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