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ITV and Creative Access encourage under-represented communities in Leeds to consider media careers

Next week Creative Access and ITV Leeds will host a special careers event, encouraging more people from under-represented backgrounds in the North-East to consider careers in the creative industry. 

The showcase, hosted by ITV’s Director of Channel and Content Operations Ian Cottrell, is part of Creative Access and ITV’s drive to enable more people from communities under-represented in the creative industries to access careers, progress and reach leadership, and further understanding of the variety of career paths.

Creative Access, the leading not-for-profit specialised in diversity and progressive career development and ITV Leeds, have teamed up to host this special showcase event on Wednesday July 13th.  

With a line-up of experts from the world of television, marketing, publishing and more, the showcase will encourage more people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic background and disability in the North-East , to consider careers in the sector.

Attendees will be encouraged to get inspired and skilled up for the creative industry with experts sharing their career pathways and top tips. These include:  

Rawan Elsa, Archivist and Publishing Assistant, Peepal Tree Press

Rhianne Deans, Editorial/Clearance Coordinator, Emmerdale, ITV Studios Continuing Drama

Shamima Noor, Communications Coordinator, Fuel Theatre

Sonny Hanley, Controller of Content Services, ITV

Aydodele Ogunshakin, Storyliner, Coronation Street, ITV Studios Continuing Drama

ITV is the UK's biggest commercial TV network, making programmes in a full range of genres, for all audiences across the UK. ITV spends more out of London than any other commercial broadcaster and we are proud to have deep roots in the nations and regions. ITV is one of the biggest TV employers in Leeds, with around 500 staff working across Calendar News, Commercial Sales, Content Supply & Distribution, Legal & Rights Management, Emmerdale (part of ITV Studios Continuing Drama), Provision, The Garden, World Productions and our Archive. 

Guests from all types of backgrounds are welcome to join the event which takes place on Wednesday July 13th in Leeds.

Creative Access is one of the leading diversity organisations in the UK, helping talented people to thrive in the creative industries who come from groups that are under-represented in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic backgrounds and disability. 

ITV has worked with Creative Access for a decade, as one of its first partners, and we have been their HQ home since 2015.  ITV continues to prioritise building a diverse and inclusive culture and workforce. 

Josie Dobrin, CEO of Creative Access, said: “We’re really excited for this event with ITV to showcase the variety of exciting careers in the creative industries on offer in Leeds and the North-East from TV to publishing to theatre and beyond.”

Ian Cottrell, Director of Channel and Content Operations at ITV, said: “We’re delighted to be hosting this showcase with Creative Access. I really believe it’s going to make an impact through informing and inspiring talented creatives to pursue a career in a sector that needs them. Supporting our regions is at the heart of what we do at ITV. “

Event details: 

Date: Wednesday 13 July

Time: 5pm - 7pm

Location: ITV, TV Centre, 106 Kirkstall Road, Leeds LS3 1JS

Duration: 2 hours

You can book your seat for free at this in-person event here.

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Notes To Editors

Full speaker biographies:

Rawan Elsa: Archivist and Publishing Assistant, Peepal Press. She is a paraprofessional archivist, with over five years of experience, and advocates for more diversity within the heritage sector, previously having worked at The Elizabeth Gaskell House, The Royal Exchange Theatre and at The University of Leeds Special Collections. Her background is in African and Caribbean literature(s). Humanities and archival work make her well placed to support Peepal Tree Press.  

Rhianne Deans: Editorial/Clearance Coordinator, Emmerdale. Rhianne has worked at ITV for nearly a year and has worked in TV since 2016, on shows including Cobra for Sky and All Creatures Great & Small for Channel 5 in a variety of production roles. Along with her team in Pre-Production, she is currently responsible for processing and publishing scripts, dealing with any cast or crew queries, assisting Coronation Street and tackling any last minute or late queries.   

Shamima Noor: Communications Coordinator, Fuel Theatre. Shamina has worked in arts marketing for almost five years, previously Phoenix Dance, Yorkshire Dance and Leeds Playhouse. Plus freelance marketing support for companies such as Red Ladder Theatre Company, Rifco Theatre, Bradford Producing Hub and Transform Festival. She is a CLORE Leadership Emerging Leader (Cohort 2021), a Creative Access Alumni and Arts Marketing Association member representative.  

Sonny Hanley: Controller of Content Services, ITV.  Sonny has worked at ITV for 18 years in various different roles from Production, to Technology to Operations. He is currently responsible for the whole content supply chain; from getting programmes into ITV, processed out to transmission; video on demand platforms and customers around the world that buy ITV content. 

Aydodele Ogunshakin: Storyliner, Coronation Street. Ayodele started her television career in 2015 where she worked in production roles for companies including BBC and NBC Universal. She now works at ITV, and has been at Coronation Street for three years. She is a Creative Access alumni who joined ITV as an Assistant Storyliner but has since been promoted to the role of Storyliner. Along with her team, Ayodele pitches, develops and writes stories for the soap and has had success pitching for the show.

Ian Cottrell: Director of Channel and Content  Operations, ITV (host). Ian started his career in the IT department at Yorkshire Television more than 20 years ago. Working initially in IT support and then across a broad array of IT and Broadcast projects before moving into his first senior role responsible for service management as ITV Head of Transmission. Ian is now responsible for managing the Operations teams in ITV’s supply chain, from scheduling through to distribution, working with a number of key partners such as Arqiva, BT, and Red Bee.