Jun 15 , 2020

Producing TV during COVID: BBC's Socially Distant with Susan Calman and Channel 4's Spring at Jimmy’s Farm

  • When: 15th Jun 2020, 11:30-12:45
  • Organised by: ScreenSkills
  • Location: Online
  • Price: Free
  • Age: 18+

At the end of March, Glasgow based Red Sky Productions realised that it was not going to be possible to make their existing slate of shows:  all were based around hospitals or other medical settings, access-based, required travel or were fact-ent shoots requiring large gatherings. The team immediately set about coming up with ideas that could be filmed - and work with audiences - during the pandemic.

Jane Rogerson and the team were commissioned to make Spring at Jimmy’s Farm (C4) and Socially Distant With Susan Calman (BBC). The series were commissioned very quickly and produced as a fast turnaround - In the case of the Susan Calman show, it was ten days from signing of contracts to transmission. In this session, Jane, Nan and Simon outline the challenges of making a new show, with a new team in the time of a pandemic.

This session is part of our Producing TV during Covid strand. Do check out our other sessions this week on Making long form animationDispatches - Britain’s Coronavirus Catastrophe & The Country That Beat The VirusKeeping Britain Fed with Directors UK and Making ITV’s ‘Tonight’ during lockdown


Jane Rogerson is CEO and co-founder of Red Sky Productions. She was the former Director of Commissioning at UKtv, where she transformed the network’s commissioning strategy and established UKtv as a key player in the UK television landscape. Jane was previously Controller of Features at ITV, creative director at Mentorn, and deputy chair of the Edinburgh TV Festival. Her credits as commissioner and producer range from Newsnight to Dynamo: Magician Impossible.

Nan Goulay is production executive, Red Sky Productions. With over twenty years’ experience in factual television, commercials and drama, Nan has managed productions large and small across the globe for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, CBBC, Discovery, Hulu and Netflix. Her credits include Homes Under The Hammer, Slow Train Through Africa, Robson Green Extreme Fisherman, Leap to Freedom, Best Film Ever and Jimmy’s Food Factory. Her drama credits include Harlots, The A List and Free Rein.

Simon Cull set up Serious Post Production back in 1998 and after doing his time in the edit suite hung up his faithful mouse and moved into management and workflows. There is no project or format that he cannot tame, thus ensuring the smoothest transition possible from shoot to post to broadcast.

This session will be chaired by Neil McCallum, Commissioning Editor, Daytime and Entertainment, 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.