Question Time: Andrew Zein, MD, Tiger Aspect Productions
Monday 26 January 2009
Work: Andrew Zein, 39, is managing director of the independent television production company Tiger Aspect.
Life: Married with 'two-and-a-half children – the third is on the way'.
Balance: When not meeting his children's demands, he devours as much television drama and comedy as he can.
What does being MD of Tiger Aspect involve?
Making sure Tiger Aspect is at the forefront of making great programmes in the UK and America. That means we've got to have brilliant producers in the building and give them an environment in which to flourish.
What are your personal highlights from the 11 years you have been there?
Charlie and Lola is close to my heart because it was pretty much perfect and my kids were just getting into television at the time. Then there are the consistent comedy hits, like Catherine Tate, The Vicar of Dibley and Harry Enfield. To have a Saturday evening hit drama (Robin Hood) is something that everyone aspires to. Also, working with Paul Greengrass on Omagh was a privilege.
What inspired you to work in television?
Watching loads of it as a kid and loving it. It's like running away and joining the circus. I can't think of any other way of working with such talented people.
And what was your first break?
Working as a runner on a low-budget British feature film. When I arrived for my interview, the secretary thought I'd already got the job, so I started straight away!
What has been the trickiest job for you to pull off?
During my time as vice-chair and chairman of the Producers Alliance of Cinema and Television (PACT, the UK trade body), we lobbied government to ensure the communications regulator Ofcom put in terms of trade between the broadcasters and the independent sector. The three-year lobbying process and subsequent negotiation was a fantastic team effort.
Who in the industry would you most like to work with?
Alan Bennett. He is remarkably talented at everything he does, whether it's performing or writing for stage, television and film.
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