Paul Moore hasn’t looked back since winning a place on The Network, the future talent scheme of the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival and is currently working for ITV Entertainment on a new primetime gameshow.
From Able Magazine #110 (March/April 2014), Words: Paul Moore
“So Paul,” said my English teacher, my essay on ‘An Inspector Calls’ on the desk in front of her, “what do you think went wrong?” What had gone wrong, it turned out, was that my essay – while fun and engaging, in a teenage sort of way – had neither answered the question nor adhered to the set of skills that the mark scheme was so keen that I should demonstrate. I suspect that’s a fairly typical experience for dyspraxic people in general; good ideas, but the wrong ones.
Eight years and some tense exams later, and I’m better at balancing the benefits of dyspraxia (like thinking outside the box) with the downsides, like the struggle to present your ideas in a way which will be remotely useful to whoever is on the receiving end of your handiwork. Enter Turner Broadcasting. I’d been playing with video cameras from the age of nine, making shows on one of those camcorders only found in the 90s, presenting and producing a YouTube news show called NewsHit. Turner offered the chance to turn an interest into a career; they proposed to fund my place on The Network.
Two months later and I was sat in Edinburgh, at a CV clinic. In front of me was Cheryl Woodcock, a talent manager for ITV Entertainment. She took me through my CV, explaining why about 60% of it had to go. Oh, and the font was all wrong. It was a painful process, and it was among the most useful 20 minutes of my professional life so far.
We had format development sessions, networking advice, masterclasses with the wonderfully approachable Jay Hunt of Channel 4, John Bishop, the guys who made Pointless, and my hero Graham Norton’s producer. We went to talks by Kevin Spacey and Breaking Bad creator, Vince Gilligan, and made an episode of Sky News under the direction of executive producer, Neil Dunwoodie, and anchor, Martin Stanford. At one event Charlie Brooker (another hero) reduced me to a blithering burble after he tried in vain to make conversation.
The four days that I spent at The Network were life-changing; I’d now got some of the skills that I’d need to actively look for a job in the industry. Television needs fresh perspectives and disabled people are one of the most untapped resources in that respect, so it’s fantastic that Turner is investing not only in the futures of individuals like me, but also in the future of the industry as a whole.
An episode of Brilliant Britain, produced and co-presented by Paul, is airing on the Community Channel (Sky and Virgin viewers only). It will also be available online at communitychannel.org/video.
Paul Moore is on Twitter: @_PaulMoore_