Sinead Rocks, Managing Director, Nations & Regions for Channel 4

We spoke to Sinead Rocks, who was appointed Managing Director of Channel 4 Nations & Regions earlier this year; about her role, her background and her new life in Leeds City Region.

What are you looking forward to most in your new role Channel 4?

I’m passionate about out of London production; I grew up in Belfast but felt I had to move to London for better career opportunities. And that’s just not a practical expectation for many young people these days – nor should it have to be. So to get a role that is going to work with others to help turn that tide is hugely exciting.

What do you love about Leeds City Region?

I’ve been blown away by the welcome we have received here – it has been astonishing. I even had colleagues from the LEP offer to help me house hunt! It’s just such a vibrant region – there’s always something going on and there’s an amazing selection of bars and restaurants that our staff seem to be working their way through…

What would you say to a young person whose wants to work in the broadcast industry?

There’s so much you can do to get started off your own bat – YouTube, social media, blogs and vlogs are all great tools to get yourself out there and to begin to set out your stall. My next tip would be watch LOTS OF TV! Make it your business to know all that you can about what audiences are enjoying and what really works. And finally, go into it with your eyes wide open – it’s invariably not as glamourous as some people think but as careers go, if you’re prepared to work hard it can be the best industry in the world.

What’s been your best find/hidden secret you’ve discovered in the region?

Not sure my picks could be described as hidden….but Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a definite favourite – I’m looking forward to bringing all my relatives and friends when they visit. It’s just such a good day out. And the Everyman Cinema in Harrogate has become my go-to chill out destination – despite the price of the wine!

What was your first job?

I was really lucky growing up; my first job was in a cinema and my second job was in a record shop and alongside that, I worked in a community radio station. So it felt like I was always able to work in environments that really interested me. I learned an awful lot from those early jobs though I’m still amazed my parents let me work late shifts in the cinema during my A levels…

 What was your favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject was probably English and I’ll confess – I actually loved school. Not the studying side of things (I was often in trouble for talking too much) but the social side of it. Put it this way, when I watch Derry Girls it feels like more of a documentary than a comedy…