Former EastEnders Executive Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins inspires Perse pupils
22 Nov 2017
Top television executive Dominic Treadwell-Collins made a special visit to The Perse as part of the school’s Creative Mentors programme.
Mr Treadwell-Collins is now head of television at production company Blueprint Television, but was previously executive producer of major soap opera EastEnders, having started out as a story editor on the BBC1 show in 2005.
During his talk to Perse students interested in taking creative arts further, he explained his path from being a youngster with a love of reading and acting to where he is now.
Mr Treadwell-Collins told how he had directed his first play, The Pirates of Penzance, at the age of 12, but had been told he would not amount to anything by a teacher.
He said he had always felt apart from the crowd as a youngster, recalling how he hid in cupboards writing play scripts to avoid going on cross country runs while at school. However, he told Perse pupils that being different was a good thing.
Mr Treadwell-Collins also said they should not worry if they did not know what career they wished to pursue now, but just to do what they feel is right for them and not what other people told them to do, adding that he had gone on to study English at Oxford University despite being advised to take Latin.
Only knowing he wanted to do something creative after completing his studies, he told how he became a researcher on ITV series Midsomer Murders and began learning about different areas such as script-writing and casting simply by looking, listening, asking questions and being helpful to people.
He went on to become story writer and producer on Channel 5 soap Family Affairs before taking on his first job on EastEnders despite being offered other production roles, believing it would be better for his career development.
Mr Treadwell-Collins explained he then left EastEnders in 2010 to become head of development with TV production company Kudos, makers of hit ITV programmes such as Broadchurch and Grantchester, before returning to the BBC show in the head role in 2013.
However, he said he had reached this position without resorting to nastiness, adding that being nice and kind to others were crucial attributes that would help students along the way.
Listen to Mr Treadwell-Collins talk about why he would have liked to have attended The Perse, the importance of drama in education and his advice for anyone thinking of a career in the creative arts.