7 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Being on TV in the Food World

We spoke to BAFTA winning TV Series Producer and Development Exec Antonia Lloyd &  Ambassador of Women In the Food Industry, who is always on the hunt for new TV talents that could launch the next big food format. Antonia has produced BBC One’s MasterChef, Britain’s Best Home Cook, and Channel 4’s brand new series Beat the Chef – hosted by Andi Oliver due out from 27th May 2019. Here she helps to unpack the process of getting on TV, so you can decide whether it is something you might like to pursue.

1) How do I get on TV? If you are new to TV, you will need to be signed off by the broadcaster/channel and asked to do a filmed taster tape. A producer would film with you (this might be an interview and you doing something relevant to the idea) and then cut a taster tape to put in front of their Executive Producer. If they like you, then your tape will be shown to the channel for potential sign off. It’s always worth doing sample taster tapes or a showreel if you have an interest in getting on TV – even if this project doesn’t work out, getting in front of TV execs and channel commissioners can lead to other opportunities.

2) How can I help my chances? To be found by a TV company as a new on-screen talent, you will almost definitely need to have an online presence (a website or a blog or an Instagram account with your details, a biog, even a video clip if its relevant) and/or respond to call outs that come through different avenues.  Just remember that making yourself known by building your profile can help draw attention to yourself as a new voice.

3) Will I be supported if I land a TV role? If you are new to TV and are signed off as a guest or offered a presenting role, you will not be expected to do it by yourself. During the production of the show you will be looked after by a team led by an Executive Producer or a Series Producer who will guide you through the process from initial auditioning through to filming, and be there for you every step of the way.

4) What makes a good presenter? The best presenters are people who are already in love with what they do. They don’t change for the camera – they just learn how to do it on camera. When you get your break remember to stay calm, friendly and focused – enjoying every step of this exciting journey!

5) How much will I earn? Fees for appearances can be on the lower side at the start especially if you are completely unknown but if you end up presenting your own series then you will get a higher episode fee.

6) Will I have to travel? You might have to travel for filming but everything will be discussed with you ahead of time so you understand what you are getting in to and how it would work!

7) Will I have any control over the final edit? It’s very important to establish a good relationship with your producer team so that you understand what they are trying to produce and your role within it. They will not be able to involve you in the edit stage which is more channel focused, but remember that it is in everyone’s interest to put you in the best light possible.

You might also want to read some of Antonia’s other features for us including Top of the Plants on Great British Menu and Filming Great British Menu during the Pandemic.

Great British Menu Series Editor, Antonia Lloyd, is also an Ambassador for Women in the Food Industry

You can catch up with the great women chefs we interviewed on Great British Menu 2023 here.

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