Leadership in the time of Covid: ScreenSkills in association with Broadcast

Career stages
Early, Experienced, Expert
Unscripted TV
ScreenSkills funded

Leadership skills have been sorely tested by the pressures exerted on our industry by the coronavirus crisis.

What has it shown about risk/judgment in questions of production, HR and finance to bigger questions of ethics over staffing, diversity and inclusion and sustainability?

ScreenSkills and Broadcast bring together leaders of independent production companies to discuss how they are keeping their companies afloat in these tough times and still staying optimistic about the future.


Sanjay Singhal, Chief Executive, Voltage

Sanjay is an award-winning executive producer with more than 20 years’ experience of programme-making.

He spent nearly 15 years at the BBC, and was MD of leading factual indie, Dragonfly Film and TV. At Voltage he has overseen a wide-ranging slate of ideas and productions including the BAFTA-nominated One Deadly Weekend in America (BBC Three), Life Inside Jail (ITV), Inside the Factory (BBC Two).

Laura Marshall, CEO, Icon Films

Icon Films is a Bristol-based, award-winning production company that delivers high-end factual content for the UK and international markets. They have created series such as Animal Planet US’ highest-ever rating series, River Monsters, to Savage Kingdom, narrated by Emmy-nominated actor Charles Dance for National Geographic, delivering high-end factual content for the UK and international market. Laura is responsible for the overall strategy of the company, personnel development and also oversees marketing.

She is passionate about Bristol as a centre of creativity, commerce, innovation and cooperation – and is heavily involved with media organisations in the city.  She was Chair of Bristol Old Vic Trust from 2010 to 2013 and continues to sit on the board.

Kate Beal-Blyth, CEO, Woodcut Media

A series producer by 25, Kate founded KMB Productions Ltd at 27 and within three years a major independent, Talent Group PLC, approached her to buy her company. In 2014 the company became Woodcut Media. Based in Winchester, Woodcut has become one of the UK’s leading crime producers.  Their slate includes World’s Most Evil Killer and The Krays: The Prison Years with Discovery, Discovery ID’s first ever series commission, Murdered in the Line of Duty, four-part special Jo Frost on... for Crime+Investigation, Combat Trains, Combat Ships and the company’s foray into premium factual with high-end access and talent documentaries. 

David Dehaney, Creative Director, Proper Content

David is an award-winning director and executive producer who is responsible for numerous important documentary films spanning a 23 year career. He has held senior positions in some of the UK’s leading production companies, including Love Productions, Firecracker and Nutopia. David has been a member of the Grierson Trust since 2014. Proper Content launched in 2017 producing entertaining programmes with social purpose.  Highlights include Suicidal: In Our Own Words for Channel 5, Shame in the Game for BBC3 and The School that tried the End Racism for Channel 4.

Magnus Temple, CEO, The Garden

Magnus was a documentary director and series producer before founding Firefly, later re-named Dragonfly, with Nick Curwin in 2004.

The company became known for the fixed-rig genre, pioneered with the BAFTA-nominated The Family and the BAFTA-winning One Born Every Minute (C4). Firefly was sold to Shine in 2007 and Magnus and Nick left in 2010.

Since setting up The Garden, Magnus' executive producer credits have included Perfume (BBC4), 24 Hours in A&E (C4), which won the RTS Award for Best Documentary Series, Seven Dwarves (C4), Inside Claridges (BBC2) and BAFTA-nominated Keeping Britain Alive: One Day in the NHS (BBC2). Since April 2013, The Garden has been owned by ITV Studios.

Harry Bell, MD, Tern

Harry runs both the commercial and creative direction of Tern, which is based in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast. His job is to help generate ideas, sell shows, and manage talent.

As a multi-award-winning producer, he’s been responsible for executive producing Tern’s critically acclaimed factual series in the UK and Internationally. He specialises in access documentaries, travel & adventure, clip shows and specialist factual formats.

Credits include: Emergency Helicopter Medics (C4), Britain’s Lost Masterpieces (BBC FOUR), Paul Merton’s Grand Tours (BBC ONE), Flights From Hell(C4), Vinnie Jones: Russia’s Toughest (National Geographic), Big Fish Man (Animal Planet), Gutted (BBC – BAFTA and Cine Golden Eagle), The Father The Son and The Housekeeper (RTE – Prix Italia.

This session will be chaired by Krishan Arora former Independents Executive at the BBC.  

This event is supported by the ScreenSkills Television Skills Fund which invests in training for the freelance television workforce thanks to contributions from the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

It is part of a ScreenSkills programme managed by the Indie Training Fund to support freelancers to upskill and stay connected, helping keep the industry resilient in these difficult times.

This session will take place online via Zoom. Click ‘get ticket’ to reserve your place: you must login or register before you are able to get a ticket for this event. A booking confirmation with a joining link to the session will be sent to you via email.

If you are no longer able to use your ticket, we ask you to please contact support@screenskills.com  so that we can release your place. Our sessions are often oversubscribed, so we’d like to give other freelancers the opportunity to fill available spots. Thank you for your consideration.



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