My Life In Media: Charles Wace

Charles Wace, 46, is the chairman of Pact, which represents Britain's independent television production companies. He is also the chief executive of Twofour Group, the production and communications company, which makes programmes for all the major broadcasters, including Sky's peak time Noel Edmonds-hosted quiz Are You Smarter Than a 10 year old? Wace grew up in the West Indies and now lives on a farm in the West Country fishing village of Newton Ferrers with his wife Sally Mountjoy, a BBC health correspondent, their three children, a Labrador and a herd of alpacas.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

My stepfather, who was an American journalist, covered the war in Vietnam. I grew up thinking that I wanted to be a reporter, and did become one before moving into television.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get, and did you read it?

I was sort of away at school but in the holidays I was aware of the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

Minder and Parkinson and a lot of news programmes, because my interests were very journalistic.

Describe your job.

In terms of Pact I think my job is to represent a diverse industry that incorporates film, new media and television. I try to bring all those varied interests together and present a cohesive face to the broadcasters and regulators with whom I'm negotiating on a regular basis, and to try and understand what it is the broadcaster is trying to achieve and whether their interests can be aligned with our own. I think in terms of running Twofour, it is quite a fast moving group of companies, so my role is to try and take those distinct companies and create a message that links everything together.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

The Today programme on Radio 4.

Do you consult any media sources during the day?

Pirate FM in Cornwall, and Chris Moyles on Radio 1. I flick between the two so if Moyles is talking too much, I switch stations. I also look at

What do you tune into when you get home?

I love The Apprentice and Grand Designs.

What is the best thing about your job?

What I find fascinating about both jobs is working with really creative, clever people. It keeps you on your toes, because if your arguments are not intellectually sustainable then they are very quickly pointed out.

What is the worst thing about your job?

I don't have a chance to be involved in a hands-on way in making television programmes. It is sometimes frustrating to not be a core part of the creative process.

How do you feel you influence the media?

By presenting a clear and articulate voice for what the independent television community feel about a certain situation. That's sometimes a challenge because it is such a disparate industry.

What is the proudest achievement in your working life?

Leaving the BBC and setting up Twofour. I have always thought that it took some courage to do that. Twenty years ago, I can remember people that I worked with at the BBC saying that I was insane.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Gatecrashing the first minute of the Queen's annual Christmas message, when a live broadcast that I was producing for ITV over-ran.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire?

I would like to be running a company that's in the top 10 of independent production companies. At the moment we're number 14.

What would you do if you didn't work in the media?

A property developer. I have been involved in a small way and despite the present housing crisis and credit crunch it is something that gives me real pleasure.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Richard Branson for constantly reinventing himself and his companies within a generic brand. Elisabeth Murdoch is a person I admire as somebody who is creating a strong media group in their own right.

The CV

1980: Joins the Milton Keynes Gazette as a reporter

1982: Joins BBC Radio Solent

1984: Moves into TV as a producer and reporter for the BBC in Southampton

1986: Moves to Plymouth to produce the regional news programme Spotlight

1988: Sets up Twofour with a Spotlight colleague

1997: Twofour begins making Collector's Lot for Channel 4

1996: Christmas with the Royal Navy wins a Royal Television Society award for the company

2005: Five commissions The Hotel Inspector

2008: Appointed chairman of Pact

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Guru Careers: Creative Designer / Graphic Designer

Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Designer / Graphic Design...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Executive / Marketing Assistant

£18 - 23k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Executive / Assistant is n...

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - ECommerce

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers' in retail...

Day In a Page

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map