Posted 09 November 2022
Interview by Frankie Faccion
Mention Darrel-Kirk Lambert

Channel 4 junior production manager Darrel-Kirk Lambert on crafting a solid career trajectory

Production manager Darrel-Kirk Lambert has boundless ambition. Since graduating from uni, his career trajectory has been spurred on by seeing those who look like him run globally renowned entertainment companies. After studying for an MA in film and production, Darrel-Kirk started off in the industry working as a runner and production assistant, before landing his current role as junior production manager at Channel 4, where he’s overseen projects from the Drinking Games YouTube shorts to a promo video for television series Make Me Prime Minister. Here, Darrel-Kirk shares why you should ask lots of questions on the job, as well as the possible pathways to pursuing a career in TV production.

Darrel-Kirk Lambert

Darrel-Kirk Lambert

Job Title

Junior Production Manager, Channel 4



Place of Study

MA Film, Edinburgh Napier University (2016-2017)
BA Film Production, University for the Creative Arts Farnham (2010-2013)

Previous Employment

Production Coordinator, Daisybeck Studios (2021-2022)
Production Secretary, Emmerdale on ITV (2020-2021)
Junior Production Coordinator, Rebel Television (2019-2020) and Icon Films (2018-2019)

Social Media



What I do

How would you describe what you do?
My job is to be the logistical lead on all the projects for our in-house production team, with a focus on creating digital-first content for 16-34 year olds.

On any given day, I could be working on production schedules, budgets, negotiating contracts with contributors or providing our crew with any other logistical support they might need to create our original content.

What kind of skills are needed to do your role? Would you say you need any specific training to do what you do?
To be successful in any production management role, you need calmness, resilience, attention to detail, awareness of how to budget, an ability to problem solve and good communication skills.

As for training, I think it really depends on the individual. Personally, I went to university and studied bachelor’s and master’s degrees in film production. It was here that I picked up the soft skills and general understanding of how the industry works, and since I’ve been in the workforce, I’ve been able to put what I learnt at university into practice.

But university isn’t the only option. There are a wide range of apprenticeships that offer a direct route into the industry where you can learn from industry professionals and college tutors.

“University isn’t the only option. There are a wide range of apprenticeships that offer a direct route into the industry.”

Can you tell us about one of your favourite projects to date?
Drinking Games
on Channel 4 Comedy.

There are other projects that we are working that I can’t mention right now, but I’m really excited for them to be released in the near future.

How I got here

How did you land the job?
I found my current role on LinkedIn by setting up job alerts for the positions I was looking for. I applied for the role in December 2021 and following a two-part interview process, I was offered the role and started in March this year.

What was your journey like when you were first starting out?
My first job in the industry was a personal assistant position at a factual production company based in Bristol. Starting out was a big learning curve; it was tricky to balance what I learnt during my course versus the reality of how the industry worked.

But with time, I was able to settle in and find my feet. Being a PA [personal assistant] gave me the opportunity to speak to a wide range of people internally and externally. During the conversations I had, I was able to learn more about the business side of the film and TV industry and how it can support the creative and editorial side of productions.

When starting out, you must be enthusiastic and ask a lot of questions. The more questions you ask, the more you learn.

“When starting out, be enthusiastic and ask a lot of questions. The more questions you ask, the more you learn.”

4Studio sign at Darrel-Kirk’s workplace, Channel 4’s national headquarters in Leeds

If you could pick something you’ve found useful or inspiring to your work or career, what would they be and why?
Something that has been really inspiring to me is a series of interviews produced by Complex Magazine called The Blueprint, featuring [the magazine’s CEOs] Will Packer and Charles D. King. It’s great to see how people who look like me start and successfully run multi-million dollar film and entertainment businesses by telling authentic and entertaining stories that serve people of colour.

From these interviews, I was able to structure a career plan with clear goals and targets of how I would like to progress – and hopefully one day I’ll be in a similar position to these men.

What would you say has been your biggest challenge along the way?
The biggest ongoing challenge has been staying true to myself. In my experience, the industry is not as representative as it could be, both in front of and behind the camera. It’s been a challenge trying to balance my passion for working in the creative industry and my cultural interests.

That’s why I really wanted to work at Channel 4, because I believed I would be able to work on projects and with people I could relate to. I am grateful I’m now finally able to do so.

“The entertainment industry is not as representative as it could be, but at Channel 4, I finally get to work on – and with – the projects and people I can relate to.”

What have been your greatest learnings with making money and supporting yourself as a creative?
Talk to as many people as you can whilst working and make a good impression. This will ultimately decide how many projects you get to work on.

A lot of production companies host networking events for talent and crew, so make sure you attend as many as you can and stay in constant communication with their talent advisors. There will always be a project they need crew for.

Your ability to make money also depends on the skillset you possess. Like most industries, some skillsets will be oversubscribed and some skills will have a shortage. Try to research the skills that are currently underserved and see how you can forge a pathway into those careers. It will be a bonus if you have multiple desirable skills. The more skills you have, the greater chance you have to market yourself at a very decent wage rate.

“Talk to as many people as you can whilst working and make a good impression. This will ultimately decide how many projects you get to work on.”

Can you share some inclusive schemes or initiatives you’ve come across for emerging creatives looking to get into the television industry?
There are a few schemes I’ve come across that could be useful to those trying to break into the industry: Creative Access, Screenskills, Sharp Futures, Channel 4 Apprenticeships and Mama Youth.

My advice

What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t limit yourself on how far you can go.”

The only person stopping you from achieving all your goals is yourself. Things will happen where you might question your natural ability, but we all make mistakes, so be sure not to dwell on the bad times for too long. Take lessons from them and keep moving forward.

What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar career?
As I mentioned earlier, you could either go to university or become an apprentice. Once you’ve completed your studies or training, the career path you would take to get to where I am currently could look like this:

  1. Runner or Personal Assistant
  2. Production Assistant or Production Secretary
  3. Production Coordinator
  4. Junior Production Manager

Do your research, give it thought and make sure this path lines up with your long-term career goals. Remember that it’s very admin- and procedure-heavy – I wanted to learn the business side of digital content, film and TV because my long-term aim is to become head of production or CEO of a production company. So think about what it is that you want to be doing in the long-term and go from there.

Interview by Frankie Faccion
Mention Darrel-Kirk Lambert