During my time at the BBC, I had applied internally for another job at their MediaCity base in Manchester. I had almost forgotten about it, and started a new contract as a development researcher at Windfall Films, when I got a phone call asking if I had received an email about my interview invitation. Interview Invitation? I checked my inbox, and there it was: I had been asked for an interview the following week up in Manchester!
I cleared it with my employer; although they made it clear that they were keen to keep me at Windfall Films, they couldn’t confirm a decision like that after I had only been working for them for a week, and weren’t in a position to stop me from making other contacts in the industry. So a couple of emails and a £55 train ticket later, I was on my way.
Bright and early, I took the bus from my cousin’s house to MediaCity. Through the grey November early morning mist, it arose from Salford Quays like a beacon of neon and glass. The MediaCity complex is truly impressive; its purpose-built studios and facilities give it an air of professionalism and efficiency that London’s Broadcasting House, which errs on the side of creative flair, doesn’t quite hold. And there’s so much space. Every square centimetre in London is accounted for, its hustle and bustle and overcrowded fast pace is part of its attraction, but in total contrast MediaCity almost floats on the quayside with an air of serene industrialism.
I have family in Manchester, so I think the Victorian red-brick factory buildings and imposing churches, mostly now re-purposed as luxury shopping centres and theatres, will always have a special place in my heart. Yes, I thought, as I walked towards the tram stop opposite the BBC building, I could make this my life. But let’s see what the interviewers think…