Travelling the world, meeting intriguing people, seeing amazing places – and getting paid for it! Sounds like a dream job! It comes as no surprise that the most common question our cast and crew are asked is:
“How do I become a presenter?“
Want to know how to become a travel presenter? Read on… but be warned… THE COMPETITION IS TOUGH.
What qualifications do I need?
Absolutely none! A zest for life, a passion for travel, and a vibrant personality.
What kind of person are you looking for?
Take a look at our hosts. They are all from different countries, background and ages but they all share some common traits. They are lively, confident, and not afraid to get stuck in. You need to be relaxed in front of the camera, be a natural at interacting with people and be happy and enthusiastic at whatever the world throws at you.
How do you recruit presenters?
We have two main types of presenters: these are our general backpackers for our Travel Shows; and then our specialist presenters for programs such as Tough Trains or Adventure Golf.
Peter Gordon was recruited for his culinary skills and Lavinia Tan won a competition in Singapore, but most of our presenters our drawn from the thousands of tapes we are sent. Having a specialty can be an advantage but it is not necessary.
Do I need to be a professional presenter?
No, but any experience will obviously help. Try volunteering on hospital radio, hosting a conference, or joining up on a local course. The more practice you have at speaking in front of people, the more relaxed and professional you will become.
Am I too old to be a presenter?
We don’t have an age limit on presenters and are always developing new programs for different audiences.
How do I apply?
You need to send in a show-reel to the Series Producer at the address below. A show-reel is a short video less than 5 minutes long which will give us an idea of how you come across on camera. It does not need to be shot professionally or in an exotic location but it does need to have personality and energy.
Ian Wright’s First Showreel!
What should I film?
Your video should include a piece with you speaking directly to the camera (PTC or piece to camera), you talking to or interviewing someone else, an activity, and the rest is up to you.
Ian Wright, our longest-running TV presenter advises:
“You know, in any show reel, the first 10-20 seconds are the most important. You see, they have thousands to look at, and about 90 percent are identical. You’ve got to start with the biggest punch you can so that people carry on watching! My showreel was a joke, five minutes long… me in Liverpool Street Station (London) and all my bags fall over, I slip along the floor, hit my head on the camera and start the piece to camera: “Here we are in London…” Then I was trying to change money on the black market, getting beaten up. There was a sequence when I was on the toilet talking about the rich food and advising visitors to take it easy. Then I was getting arrested, ended up in jail… I sent it for a joke, although part of me was hoping… Then I got the letter back for the interview!“
What format does the tape need to be?
The best way to submit your show-reel is on DVD. Regretfully, we cannot return any materials that you send us so please make sure you have a copy. Please do not submit clips via email or links to websites. Our producers simply will not view them as the quality invariably does not do the presenter justice.
What else should I include in my application?
A covering letter telling us about yourself, a resume of any relevant experience, and a photo, can all be useful to accompany your showreel. Also, it may sound simple, but make sure you include your contact details so we can get in touch if we like what we see.
How will I know if my showreel has been watched?
IMPORTANT: Our producers are very, very busy and – due to the hundreds of applications we receive on a weekly basis – cannot guarantee to watch your showreel or respond to your application. However, when we are looking for new presenters we will look at a selection of show-reels that have been sent in. So…
PLEASE DON’T CONTACT US – WE WILL CONTACT YOU!
Presenter DVD showreels should be posted to:
Series Producer, Pilot Productions
The Old Studio
18 Middle Row
W10 5AT (UK)
What about working as part of the crew?
All our production team need relevant experience and our location crews are very small consisting only of a producer, director, camera, sound and presenter. If you have worked in television production before then please send your CV (resume) to the Production Manager at the address above.