MD, Creative Producer and Executive of Can Can Productions, Rebecca Papworth

CanCan is responsible for Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4, which is filmed out of Leeds Dock. The company’s inception began with a BBC1 Sitcom commission ‘Home From Home’ which was the first credit for CanCan Productions in 2018, which provided the momentum to get the company up and running. We talked to her to find out a bit more about her role and work life.

What does a typical day look like for you?

At the moment, I’m overseeing Steph’s Packed Lunch on C4, 500 minutes of live TV a week is very time consuming! I’m in studio in Leeds once a week, overseeing remotely the rest of the week. CanCan development takes up the rest of my time, working with my team reading scripts, working up formats and having talent conversations.

How has your location in Leeds City Region informed or aided your business plans and development?

We are proud of our location in the North and represent an indigenous company invested in success in the regions, that’s a USP we bring to all our conversations with broadcasters and commissioners.

Your base in Hebden Bridge gives you access to the different views and voices of the North. What’s your view of the Northern voice in broadcasting?

Steph’s Packed Lunch has at the heart of it a very distinctive Northern voice in Steph McGovern, we feature a raft of lunchmates every day that is rich with local voices. Our on-screen experts, human interest stories talent and production team feature lots of local representation which is fantastic and something we continue to grow. 

What advice would you give to your younger self or someone aspiring to work in the creative industries?

Determination, hard work and resilience... you’ve got to really want it! It’s not a business for the faint hearted.

How has the LEP helped in the past and how can it support in the future with your business’ objectives and ambitions?

The LEP have offered a mixture of advice and practical support with Steph’s Packed Lunch. The mixture of practical help and contacts and financial incentives is hugely beneficial to our chances of continued success.

How has the business had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and both lockdowns?

We are working largely remotely; Steph’s Packed Lunch is a masterclass in lockdown production and logistics which the PM, Paula Greer, has to take most credit for.