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Jazz Shapers

Shaper: Jimmy Mulville

Jimmy Mulville co-founded Hat Trick Productions in 1986. It is now one of the UK’s leading independent producers of comedy, drama and entertainment, with popular and award winning programmes across many channels, including: Episodes, Derry Girls, Outnumbered, Spy, Father Ted, Room 101, Some Girls, Dr Thorne, Boomers, Fonejacker, Dinner Date, The Revolution will be Televised, Facejacker, The Kumars at No 42, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, and, of course, the long running BBC1 series Have I Got News For You, which Jimmy himself created in 1990.

In the US Hat Trick launched ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ on ABC in 1997. Running for seven years, it was the first British series to be recreated for American network television by a British producer.

Before moving to television in 1982, he produced for BBC Radio, where he developed and produced the award-winning ‘RADIO ACTIVE’. In 1999 Jimmy received the BAFTA Award for ‘Outstanding Creative Contribution to Television’. He is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Liverpool.

For more than 25 years Jimmy has been working with some of the best writers, producers, performers and crew who in turn attract the best on-screen talent. Some of the brightest names in British television began their careers and continue to build them under the Hat Trick brand.

Follow Hat Trick Productions on Twitter @HatTrickProd.

Interview Highlights

I was an only child and I liked hearing people laugh when something was deemed funny, I was very encouraged to act at school.

I got a place at Cambridge, mainly due to the efforts of one particular teacher who saw that I was quite good at languages. He picked a couple of guys for extra tutoring and changed our lives.

I am completely obsessive.  When I ask for tea & biscuits I don’t mean one cup of tea & a biscuit, I mean a pot of tea and a packet of biscuits.

I always say that creative people like a safe environment.

Our mantra is we create quality content for profit. We ask ‘is this something that we would watch and is it going to make money?’ Because it has to do both if we are going to be in business.

It’s a fantastic feeling when you are pitching an idea and it’s sold. You see that moment in their eyes when they’ve bought your idea.

There is a moment of ‘right we can do anything!’ and then straight after that moment is ‘…oh God, I’ve got to make a programme’.

What I try to do is try to put challenges in my own way… it’s about finding things that kick me out of my comfort zone & keep me on the straight and narrow.

I went through a very dark time – a friend said, ‘you must always find out where you are incompetent. Try and find out your level, try and find out where the edges of your competence are’.

You’ve got to enjoy struggling and take full responsibility for everything going on in your life; it’s such a relief not to blame other people.

Shaper: Nigel Birell

Having initially joined the company as its first Non-Executive Director in 2013, Nigel Birell is CEO of the Lottoland Group, a multi territory regulated, fast growing gaming group with a workforce of 350 people in 11 locations, and nine million registered customers in its 13 markets. Nigel is also the: Non-Executive Chairman of the London [...]


Jazz Shapers - 5 days ago

Shaper: Ciro Romano

Ciro Romano is the founder and festival director of Love Supreme Jazz Festival which since its birth in 2013 now gathers 50,000 people in its weekend attendance and has become the largest jazz festival in the UK. Ciro had envisioned himself in the Music industry since a young teenager where he would attend Music festivals [...]


Jazz Shapers - 2 weeks ago