When Lydia George secured her dream job on ITV’s This Morning six months ago, she never imagined she would become an essential worker during a global pandemic.
The Media Production graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is an assistant digital producer on one of the longest running daytime programmes on Britain’s television, responsible for the show’s YouTube channel which boasts 1.79 million subscribers.
Lydia’s main role involves carefully selecting between four and six clips from the show each day and sharing them on YouTube. She uses specialist software to capture the clips as the show broadcasts live, then adds intros, outros, titles and subtitles before publishing.
“It’s the industry I’ve always wanted to be in, so it’s very exciting to have finally made it here,” said the 24-year-old from Lincoln who graduated in 2018.
“Luckily, I’ve been able to do most of my job from home since lockdown was imposed, but there is one essential role that still requires me to physically work from the Television Centre.”
With JLS after hosting an Instagram Q&A with the pop group
That role is when Lydia is required to step in and cover for senior colleagues in the gallery, curating live comments and photos sent in by the public through social media, and sharing them on air during relevant segments.
Before the show starts, Lydia also loads a selection of the very best pre-existing social media interactions onto an iPad so that the presenters - Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby or Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes - can reference them during the show.
She said: “ITV has been such a great employer through this time. A taxi is booked to take me to the studio from my house so that I can avoid the busy London tubes and lower the risk of contracting the virus. At the studio there are so many things in place to allow us to social distance and keep safe.
“It’s actually nice to have something to get up and out of the house for and it’s made even better by how much I still can’t believe I get to work here. Every time I come to the studio it reminds me that I’m a part of the show!”
Posing with Queer Eye presenter Tan France
Lydia’s other responsibilities include creating content for This Morning’s Instagram and Facebook accounts, as well as for its website.
Some of her personal highlights from before the coronavirus crisis include coordinating and hosting an Instagram Q&A session with pop group JLS and meeting fashion designer and Queer Eye presenter Tan France.
“Meeting Tan France was amazing, especially because he complimented the cardigan I was wearing and was happy to pose for photos. He was just so lovely and it made my day,” she said.
From her chosen degree to the extra-curricular opportunities she had the chance to get involved with, Lydia praises her university experience for contributing to her success.
She said: “There’s literally no way I would be here without DMU. After visiting campus on an Open Day, I cancelled all other open days I had lined up because I knew DMU was the right fit for me.
“The overall atmosphere was great and I was impressed with the Media Production facilities. Getting to familiarise myself with industry-standard equipment over the years meant that when I joined This Morning the studio made sense to me and I didn’t feel out of place.”
Starting in Freshers’ Week and continuing right through to her final year, Lydia was also involved with Demon Media, DMU’s award-winning student media group. She held a number of key positions, including head of social media.
“I was in charge of Demon Media’s digital output across 12 different channels. It was a big task but the experience was invaluable and helped me to get to where I am today,” she said.
One of Lydia’s proudest achievements to date was winning the Best On-Screen Female category at the 2017 National Student Television Association (NaSTA) awards, thanks to the presenting experience she gained through Demon Media.
She said: “Being named the best female student TV presenter in the country was wild. The award was judged and presented by Fiona Bruce and it was one of the most surreal moments of my entire life which I still treasure now.”
Posted on Tuesday 16th June 2020