Media student success stories

Find out where our successful graduates are now and what they thought of their time at the University of Bedfordshire.

Media Performance graduates

Gemma Hunt - TV Presenter Gemma Hunt

Gemma is a presenter for CBeebies show Swashbuckle. She regularly returns to the University to run Media Masterclasses.

“I learnt the craft of presenting here at the University, because they gave me all the groundwork; not just how to perform on camera, but also studio etiquette, how to behave in the industry, how different types of corporations work."

Melvin Odoom - Radio and TV Presenter Melvin Odoom

Melvin, who graduated in 2001 from the then University of Luton, presents Kiss FM’s Breakfast Show alongside fellow Bedfordshire graduate Rickie Haywood-Williams. He also presented the Xtra Factor and ITV2's coverage of the Brit Awards in 2015. and took part as a contestant on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

He says: "Luton was a really great place to find myself as an individual. I learnt life skills there and how to be a young adult. Although I had a passion for radio I didn’t really have the skills to do it until I came to Luton. It really prepared me in terms of my skill set.

“My lecturers were very big on getting me involved in things outside of the degree, like student radio. Coming to Luton really gave me that radio experience so when I worked for the BBC Radio 1Xtra as a broadcast assistant, I wasn’t scared in that environment; I was completely comfortable.”

Tamara-Lee Notcutt - LA Casting Director Tamara-Lee Notcutt

Tamara joined what was then the University of Luton aspiring for a career on stage. But her eyes were opened by the wide-ranging course and, having realised she wasn’t cut-out for becoming an actress she turned her attention to a role behind the camera.

Tamara is now an Emmy-nominated Senior Casting Director at Walt Disney Studios responsible for choosing the likes of Chris Hemsworth for the role of Thor. She has previously cast big names for big films such as Tom Hardy, Tom Hiddleston and Michael Fassbender.

She says: “I didn’t think about the different aspects of performing [before I came to university]. The course made me realise that there are so many different things involved in television and film production."

Sarah Jane Cass - Talent Agent and ManagerSarah Jane Cass

Sarah works in Los Angeles as a talent agent and manager representing actors, TV presenters and on-screen experts in the US and UK entertainment industries.

Sarah said: I really enjoyed my time at Bedfordshire and the course I studied. If I had my time again, I would take advantage of learning to edit, shoot and produce so I had prepared myself more for the practical side of things within the industry.

“The University’s equipment is of a high industry standard so students should make the most of hiring it out and collaborating with fellow students to create their own films and video content.”

Sam Darlaston - Radio and TV Presenter Sam Darlaston

Sam worked the University’s community radio station, Radio LaB 97.1fm, and attained work experience in a paid role at Applause Store where he still works today as a TV Audience Manager – working on shows such as the X Factor helping to organise the audience.

“My three years at Bedfordshire provided me with the best education; I’ve loved it. I arrived wanting to be an actor, and I still hope to pursue this one day, but now hopefully everything I’ve done on the course, like the radio unit, will set me up now for my role at KISS. I’m so happy I can’t believe it, but trying to take it in my stride.”

Mandy Thandi - ActressMandi Thandi

Just one year after graduating Mandy secured an on-going role in the hit BBC daytime drama series Doctors. “I never thought in a million years that just one year after graduating I would be appearing in a TV soap.”

Speaking about her experiences at Bedfordshire, Mandy said: “The course here prepared me really well. Initially I wanted to go to drama school but I never got in.

“But when I came to University, I learnt everything from being behind the camera to being in front of it so it prepared me really well. The course was designed to put theory into practice.”

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