The Perse School

BAFTA Award-winner returns to The Perse to give inspiring talk on TV career

2 Feb 2018

BAFTA Award-winning television producer Tom Miller (OP, 1997) came back to The Perse to give a riveting insight into his career.

Tom, who left The Perse in 1997, won the prestigious honour at the British Academy Children’s Awards last year for his work on the Horrible Histories special Sensational Shakespeare.

During his 42 Lecture, he explained how he had decided he wanted to pursue a career in TV and film while studying history at Oxford University.

After completing his degree, Tom recounted how he enrolled at New York Film Academy and spent six months learning the ropes before getting his first job as a runner – “you get people their tea” – on Channel 4 show So Graham Norton.

He also became a reader for a film and TV production company, writing synopses and critical analyses of scripts, and told students it was a good way of getting their foot in the door using skills they had already gained studying at The Perse.

Tom went on to produce TV series featuring Graham Norton and Sarah Millican, describing the role as overseeing everything from scripts and costumes to locations and editing.

He has most recently been involved with Horrible Histories though, and he showed off some examples of the CBBC children’s programme’s fun and informative sketches on figures such as Al Capone, Henry VIII, Stalin and Martin Luther King.

The show’s success culminated in the BAFTA Award, on which he said: “It was a real thrill to go up and collect the award with the whole team.”

However, Tom explained how he is now working on new projects after recently forming his own company, Water & Power Productions, with two fellow Old Perseans and school friends Sam Myer (1995) and James Swarbrick (1997).

Afterwards, he said he had enjoyed returning to The Perse and reflected on his first experience of drama while at the School.

Tom said: “I got involved in one production with Mr Green, The Importance of Being Earnest, where I was listed as co-director, although I’m quite sure I did almost no directing!

“I remember even then getting a thrill out of the process of putting the show on, even though I essentially did very little on it.”

Listen to Tom talk about why he relishes being a TV producer and his tips for those considering a career in television or film below.


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