It’s not just Paloma Faith and Boy George who will be new to BBC prime time show The Voice UK when it returns in the new year – De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Media Production graduate Amy Hawley will also be making her debut after impressing its producers with a CV to die for.
WINNER: Amy with Big Brother winner Helen Wood
Amy, who graduated with a first class degree in the summer, will start work behind the scenes as a “logger” – someone who types up everything that is said during recording, as it happens, to help with the editing process.
She bagged the prime-time TV job after spending all her holidays at DMU working on some of the UK’s favourite programmes including Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.
She has plenty of pictures to prove it, and picked up mountains of celebrity gossip which she will never, ever repeat in public!
Amy , who starts her job with The Voice UK at the end of the month, credits a eureka moment at DMU for setting her up with a future in TV and a determination to get as much experience as possible.
She explained: “My tutor Simon Walsh organised Monday night guest lectures when he got men and women from the industry to come in and talk to us and then we’d all go to the pub for an informal chat. I was committed to radio, but met a TV director at one of these events and thought “what am I doing? I want to work in TV”.
“I have no idea what would be happening now if it hadn’t been for that lecture.”
Amy’s determination to fill her holidays with relevant jobs started from day one when she worked as a production coordinator for the show What’s Up and as a runner for the BBC show Don’t Drop the Baby.
She then received a call from Strictly Come Dancing to say they had a copy of her CV and would she like to work for them as a runner. Her tutors allowed her to adapt her timetable to gain the vital experience.
It included Amy working during the Blackpool Tower Ballroom heats of the show before being asked to jump on a train to London with the master tapes. She was told she had to deliver the footage to editors in the Capital with the warning: “If you lose these we have no show”.
Amy said: “That was stress. The train I was on was delayed for 90 minutes after it hit a sheep and I had to phone London and say “you won’t believe what has happened but...”. All I could think was if I lost those tapes I would never work again.”
In the summer before her final year, Amy then got a job on Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother. Her logging job meant she witnessed some moments that still fill her with disbelief, but she can never reveal to the public.
Amy explained: “I had to watch the housemates live. Everything they ever said I had to type up. I was working shifts such as 1am to 9am then 2pm to 8pm the next day. Some of the things you see and some of the things they say is unbelievable.
“Funnily enough, at the wrap party afterwards, all the celebrities got on with each other fine and they were more interested in us and what we did to help make the programme.”
Amy also enjoyed jobs with antique shows Flog It!, which was organised through DMU tutor Zoe Allman, and Dickinson’s Real Deal.
Needless to say, Amy cannot wait to start on The Voice UK, which requires her to log everything as and when it happens. “There is no room for error”, she said. “You have got to be on point.”
One of Amy's production credits
Luckily Amy can type at 90w per minute – a skill she picked up years ago.
So what advice would she give to anyone starting at DMU in the next couple of weeks?
“Definitely have fun. But get out there as soon as you can and get some experience. Having a degree is amazing but having the right experience is so important now.
“The media industry is so competitive. It really is dog eat dog. So employers really like you if you volunteer, gain experience and show what you can do. They really appreciate it.”
Amy says her dream job would be to direct Doctor Who, as she is a huge fan and “would marry David Tennant tomorrow if I could”. But she will settle for becoming director of a quiz show such as QI.
Posted on Friday 25th September 2015