Me and the Media: Ex-BBC News producer Nigel Sharman on his career highs and lows
Nigel Sharman is an FCC associate member governor
Previously: Senior Producer, BBC News, London
Now: Solicitor, Clifford Chance, Hong Kong
What made you want to work in media?
My uncle Berkeley Smith used to run the old Southern Television ITV franchise famous for its Out of Town countryside programme, the precursor to Countryfile. I remember being given a tour of the Southampton studios when I was young and marvelled at the studio in which How! was made. I made it as a BBC television production trainee at the second attempt and worked on programmes such as Breakfast Time, That’s Life (with Esther, Cyril and the amusingly-shaped vegetables) and Newsnight.
What has been a career high point?
Working day-in, day-out with some truly talented and remarkable people, including presenters Martyn Lewis, Peter Sissons and Anna Ford. And, during a short sojourn at ITN, with the wonderful Sir Trevor McDonald, whose overall niceness I remember to this day.
And a career low point?
Being shouted at by an irate John Prescott in the Norman Shaw North Parliamentary studio after Jeremy Paxman asked him, down the line from the studio, questions he didn’t want to be asked. Prescott later made out I had given him an assurance to that effect. I had done no such thing, which taught me a lot about politicians!
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep asking yourself if you are enjoying what you are doing and if you aren’t, do something else. Don’t stay in jobs that don’t make you happy.