posted on 17 Sep

We had a quick chat with the new director of Sky Atlantic, Zai, read on to see what he loves about his new job at Sky.

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Hi, I'm Zai Bennett and I'm the new Director of Sky Atlantic. And when I say new, I'm literally four weeks into this amazing job. Prior to joining Sky, I was Controller of BBC Three and before that Controller of ITV's digital channels so TV is firmly in my DNA.

I have been a Sky customer for many years and a huge admirer of Sky Atlantic since it launched. I'm an avid viewer of Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Mad Men so when the chance came to work with such world class shows, with all the impressive teams, plus the opportunity to shape Atlantic's truly ambitious originations strategy, I was desperate to join.

I've started at a really exciting time in Atlantic's story. When you look at our autumn/winter schedule you start to see the fruits of Sky's investment in content. Not only do we continue to have the best of the US but with Fortitude, our original crime thriller, you begin to understand the scale of our ambition. Like every stand out show on Atlantic, at the heart of Fortitude, is a brilliant story. It's gripping, intriguing and provoking. Beautifully shot and with standout performances from a talented cast that includes Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Ecclestone and Sofie Gråbøl, Fortitude sits shoulder to shoulder with our HBO content.

HBO has always been the backbone of our enviable schedule and this autumn we've got its latest drama, The Leftovers, starting. From the genius that is Damon Lindelhof (he of Lost fame), The Leftovers is the story of what happens when 2% of the world's population all disappears at exactly the same time, on the same day. It's a story of a community coming to terms with its grief and its struggle to try and make sense of the new world. As you'd expect from an Atlantic show, it has an amazing cast led by Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler and Christopher Ecclestone.

Then in October, Steven Soderberg's brutal medical drama, The Knick starts. Set in the 1900s in the Knickerbocker Hospital, New York, it is an unflinching and unsentimental portrayal of the surgeons who saw themselves as medical pioneers, striving for advancement whatever the cost to patients and often themselves. Steven directed all ten episodes and his cinematic touch is evident in every scene. The cast is led by Clive Owen, who plays Dr William Thackery, a medical genius beset with his personal demons. I promise after you've watched this not only will you be hooked but also incredibly happy to be born in today's sanitised medical world.

And then it is with a sad heart that we bid a fond farewell to Boardwalk Empire, the show that launched our channel three years ago.

Such brilliant shows and so many more in the pipeline; with shows this good I'm almost looking forward to winter.

posted on 16 Sep

Our HQ is based in Osterley, West London but just across London in Brick Lane is where Sky Network Services are based. These are the people that look after all of our Broadband and Telephony business. Based in the heart of East London are 200 people in a number of specialist teams:

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The biggest group of people work in the Network Operations Centre (NOC). The NOC runs around the clock to make sure our network services are running well and our customers are happy.

Our broadband network is made up of 3,500km of Sky Fibre - the equivalent distance between London and New York!  The NOC monitors, manages and protects this network’s components and resolves any issues. The NOC also manage the data centre; this can be the servers which deliver content for Sky Go or NOW TV or the smooth running of our major online services.

Network Implementation

This team actually builds and maintains the Broadband and Telephony network in London and South East England. A big part of this is looking after the physical hardware in the Brick Lane data centre, where enormous computers and servers house the millions of pieces of data. The team also has a state of the art ‘Test Lab’! Here they build and test the next generation of Broadband and Telephony products and services.

Mechanical & Electrical Operations

This team works day and night to keep the lights on in Brick Lane. This team is essential to the seamless running of our power hungry Brick Lane data centre. They work very closely with Implementation to provide power and to maintain a cool temperature, as the machines can get quite hot!

Switch & Voice Development

This team designs, tests and integrates all of our telephony services for customers and corporate use, which includes our internal phone systems and audio conferencing.

posted on 16 Sep

We caught up with Mark, a producer of European football on Sky Sports 5, we found out a lot about exactly what goes in to producing a match on a European scale.

I started thinking about the UEFA Super Cup right after the final whistle in Lisbon back in May. Gareth Bale had scored a crucial goal in the Champions League Final and knowing the Super Cup was in Cardiff, he would be heading back to his home city. I spent the flight home brainstorming with our reporter – ‘can we go to Gareth’s school? How did his football career start?’

My television career at Sky started in 1992 in tape dispatch. These were the days when we only used tapes. After that I moved into the archives when the Premier League started in August that year. I guess you could have called me a librarian and I was only meant to stay a week. A year later I found myself out of the libraries and into the Sports department as a junior. After that I worked as an editorial assistant and worked my way up to producer over about 10 years, which I’ve been doing now since about 2001.

As a producer, it is my job to decide what goes in the programme. For the Super Cup we had 1hr 45 mins of build up before the game and I’ll write the running order for that and work out how we film it. It’s my job to tell the story before the game and after it. That could involve the guests that we choose and what features do we put into the show whilst keeping it interesting and accurate.

Take a step forward in time to the Super Cup, we started rehearsals at around 3.30pm before going on air at 6pm. There were 135 people involved in our production team that day – 25 cameras, 20 cameramen, technicians, engineers, riggers, production staff, a statistician, graphics team and 13 trucks!

And although we plan as much as possible, things still change at the last minute. We wanted to film some segments of the preview outside and had to decide at the last minute to go ahead with it. Luckily the rain stayed away for another 10 minutes before the heavens opened – quite heavily.

We were host broadcaster too, which meant covering the match for UEFA and the feed that would be going to the rest of the world.  That meant a lot of the team had arrived in Cardiff a couple of days earlier to start setting up. They’d be staying in Cardiff well into the night after the game too (and that isn’t just for some well-earned beers).

We got the channel off to a good start. It was a good game with relatively few issues and that is testament to the team who do this regularly. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve achieved and we’ll see you again soon. I’m now looking to the Champions League proper starting all of which will be on Sky Sports 5 – our new home of European football. 

posted on 8 Sep

Jack's looking forward to conducting his first interview for Sky News having done a broadcast journalism degree at university. Find out more about him here.

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What programme are you on?

Planning, work experience

What’s the best thing about working at Sky?

Ongoing movement and the development of news


Describe your role in one word


What’s your favourite Sky show?

Sky Sports News

What were you doing before working at Sky?

I was studying broadcast journalism at university.

What do you do at Sky?

Make calls, and set calls. I have also been out with a reporter and will be performing an interview myself.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people I have met.

What surprised you most about working at Sky?

How calm everyone is at stressful times.

posted on 8 Sep

She loves Game of Thrones, and recently spent a year living in France as part of her degree, find our more about what makes Pearl tick here.

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What programme are you on?

I’m a Marketing intern in NOW TV.

What’s the best thing about working at Sky?

The people

Describe your role in one word


What’s your favourite Sky show?

Game of Thrones

What were you doing before working at Sky?

I had an international studying year in France as part of my degree.

What do you do at Sky?

Currently working with social media and marketing, by creating social refonts and shadowing.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Learning new skills and meeting new people in a variety of roles.

What surprised you most about working at Sky?

The office structure and mixture of roles and hierarchy.

posted on 27 Aug

Meet Omari, currently on a third-year placement within the Marketing team at Sky.

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What programme are you on?

Marketing Placement

What’s the best thing about working at Sky?


Describe your role in one word


What’s your favourite Sky show?

Game of Thrones

What were you doing before working at Sky?

Being a typical student, partying and of course working very hard.

What do you do at Sky?

I work in the Consumer Acquisition Marketing Team, looking after our Sky adverts in press and direct response TV targeted at new customers.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Working with amazing knowledgeable people.

What surprised you most about working at Sky?

The pace surprised me most, it's very fast but rewarding!








posted on 27 Aug

"Every day I’m pushed out of my comfort zone. There’s always something which challenges me, but I think that’s great It’s the best way to learn." find out more about what Briony does at Sky here.

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Briony – Marketing Graduate

Life before Sky

I’m a graduate, I went to Newcastle University where I studied Marketing and Management. I’ve always been interested in marketing, especially the brand side of things. I did a placement at Mattel for a year and worked on the Barbie brand, which was cool! While I was there I came to Sky a few times, because of the connection with Nickelodeon (we aired ads on the channel). So I knew from those visits that this was my kind of company, and that these were my kind of people. We got a tour of the Studios, which decided it for me. I applied not feeling massively confident, because I knew they get so many applications for the graduate programmes.

I grew up in East Yorkshire, so moving down for the job was a little bit scary. A big move, but it’s been good.

I’ve never used contacts to get where I am. I went to a state school, I’m a normal girl, and I go home and people are like “you’re doing well, you’re from a small town and you’re living in London”.  For people who are from my kind of background, Sky’s a great company because you don’t have to be well-spoken and well-connected to get in. You just need to show that you work hard, which I’ve always done, and that you’re keen and determined.

Now I’m on Movies, on the Brand team, and my last rotation was with the Direct Marketing team. So it’s been varied. Every six months I get a new rotation. They make sure you get experience across all the different areas of marketing over  the two years.


Everyone I work with here is likeable and personable. That’s one of the best things about working for Sky: the people. It’s a very young  and vibrant office I work in. I felt part of the team from day one, which to me, is really important. Everyone is so ambitious and talented so it’s a really inspiring place to work.

In the Brand Marketing time it’s really varied on a day-to-day basis. I deal a lot with all the approvals, everything has to be sent to myself and another exec to check that it’s in line with our branding and messaging. It’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve also managed campaigns, for example the Sky Movies Superheroes campaign (the pop-up channel) that went live in April. I also managed our ‘Believe’ campaign which was a big deal as it was the first time Sky Movies has ever launched a film on the same day as the cinema release.

Proudest Moment

There was a big event we did with Classic FM for Sky Movies, where we partnered with Classic FM and got the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra to play famous movie soundtracks. It was absolutely amazing; Myleene Klass and Richard E. Grant presented it so meeting them obviously made it that bit more exciting! I  managed  the majority of it, working really closely with the Classic FM events team .  It was great to say “I helped do that, I helped craft this, I managed the branding, I managed the guest list” – that was a proud moment. But the real highlight is how much you change.

Looking back to what I was doing last year, I was just a student. It’s nice to think how much I’ve grown up and learnt in a year. You didn’t really think you could achieve these things at the beginning, but Sky pushes you. You have your bad days, your long hours, your stresses, but you’re never bored! Every day I’m pushed out of my comfort zone. There’s always something which challenges me, but I think that’s great It’s the best way to learn.





posted on 27 Aug

"You may be a graduate, but you’re expected to do so much more and that’s a great challenge to rise to. I don’t feel like ‘the graduate’ – I’m given the same amount of work and the same responsibilities as everyone else" - find out more about Coralie's life at Sky here.

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Coralie – Corporate Affairs

Life prior to Sky

I grew up right next to the Port of Felixstowe and my parents both work there. Pretty much my entire family live in the same town and I love going back to see them. But I really wanted to get out of Felixstowe and find my own way. Working at Sky is the complete opposite of what my parents do!

What brought you to Sky

I applied for the Corporate Affairs Graduate scheme as it affords you the opportunity to rotate through so many other areas – I wanted to try different things. I arrived at Sky primarily with an interest in politics; from a young age I loved the debates and discussions. So while my final rotation on the Graduate Scheme is in Public Affairs and Policy, I’ve developed so many other interests by rotating.  I’ve gained an insight in to Internal Communications, and my job now in PR. Currently I work across all of Sky’s products and services sharing the great things we do with journalists, It’s become a real passion of mine. 

Highlights and proud moments

During my first few months here I was involved in organising a screening in the Sky Canteen for Dracula – we even brought in props from the actual set -- and we achieved one of the biggest staff turnouts we’ve ever had. So that was a highlight; right there at the beginning I was trusted to perform at that level. It wasa proud moment for me because I think I’d been here only two months at that point, and the amount of organisation that had gone in to it shows how much is achievable here on the Graduate Scheme. You wouldn’t expect to do that in your first two months let alone your first year at any other company.

You may be a graduate, but you’re expected to do so much more and that’s a great challenge to rise to. I don’t feel like ‘the graduate’ – I’m given the same amount of work and the same responsibilities as everyone else.

Before I started, I was worried that I wouldn’t be given enough responsibility. And I think in previous internships, I’ve been seen as the intern and given the administrative tasks. But it’s completely the opposite at Sky. I came here and was put straight to work.

Going to the Game of Thrones Series 4 premiere at Guildhall was also a very big highlight. That’s the best thing about working at Sky is that you get to be involved in all the exciting things that happen.

I’ve never been twiddling my thumbs here. Not even for a moment. And you have friends outside who’ve had horrible days at work, but every day at Sky in Corporate Affairs is different, fast-paced and exciting. You never know what’s going to happen. Something’s always changing, or something is about to launch.

How Sky differs from my university experience

It’s completely different. On a degree, you’re achieving for yourself, but here everything you do has an impact on others. You don’t want to let yourself down, and you down want to let your team down.

You also feel like you’re personally developing here. I’ve been involved in a lot of other activities outside my main work, like the Sky News Legal course and Development courses.  I was recently on a Building Effective Relationships course, and we learnt how to communicate and negotiate and I’m attending an Influencing People course later this year that I’m looking forward to.




posted on 27 Aug

We caught up with Emily about her involvement in the launch of Sky Academy in November 2013

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Sky Academy – Emily (Programme Management Graduate)

After a couple of months of joining Sky and settling into my graduate role, I received an email, asking for volunteers to help out with the Sky Academy Launch Event as part of Sky’s Bigger Picture initiative…. What’s this I thought?

 Naturally intrigued and curious I replied confirming my interest and within couple of weeks I received my invite. Despite the plea for secrecy… the words David Beckham…naturally produced a short gasp from my mouth and of course it wasn’t long before my manger sitting next to me found out why.

Once the initial excitement over celebrity appearances died down, with Jessica Ennis-Hill, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy joining Beckham on the day, I started to understand and appreciate why such celebrated figures were attending this event.

Sky Academy means that now bigger picture initiatives such as Sky sports Living for Sports, Scholarship schemes, Skills studios as well as Starting Out come together under one Sky Academy umbrella.  As a graduate myself it is great to be part of this alongside the rest of the Starting Out areas of Apprentices, Placements and Work Experience.

Ultimately Sky Academy aims to use Sky’s leading position in terms of sport, media and technology to inspire a younger generation and in doing so create 1 million opportunities for young people to build their skills and self-belief.

The chance to be part of this, was something that really excited me, given it’s a particularly unique and special idea to Sky. The day itself was a great experience, walking into a room full of famous faces was one thing, (including a quick hello to Mr Beckham) but as a volunteer I was able to chat many different senior employers, including execs in a relatively informal set up, the day was also attended to by various external stakeholders including local MPs and schools all of whom were blown away by what Sky was offering through the Academy.

Since the launch of Sky Academy I have been able to continue my work with the Bigger Picture team in the form of a working group to discuss ideas for upcoming Sky academy initiatives. As a result I was even invited to present to an Exec steering group, which included Jeremy Darroch- a nervy experience to say the least but a successful one too!

As a graduate, coming to Sky it can be overwhelming given the size of the organisation and everything that Sky is doing. For me having the opportunity to work with the Bigger Picture team gave me a valuable insight into other activities that Sky is up to and things that I had previously not really known much about.  As a new Graduate or Apprentice coming to Sky I would definitely recommend getting involved with as many different opportunities that may come up, there are so many different things that Sky offer, and you never know who you might meet!


posted on 26 Aug

As part of their development, our graduate Laura got a chance to pull on a Sky t-shirt and spend a day on our Retail stands.

As part of the on-going development on my graduate programme, I was given the opportunity to spend a day with an SRS (Sky Retail Stores) team at Bluewater Shopping centre in Kent.

My day began meeting with Jon Mills, SRS Field Ops Controller. He took me through an introduction of the Retail group, and their unique vision. I then spent the afternoon on the stand with the SRS team, approaching and speaking to customers.

Historically SRS were an outsourced team, however not any more. They were brought in-house five years ago to ensure greater consistency of brand delivery and a “One Team” focus.

I was surprised by how many customers actually approached the stand, to ask for help with their services, upgrades or getting help setting up Sky Go by bringing in their iPad. There are even “regulars” who visit the stand and talk to advisors about everything Sky. It’s great that Sky is able to be part of so many communities by having such a visual presence in over 385 shopping centres.

Some stores (including the one that I visited) now have “Technical Advisors” who are purely responsible for helping customers with their services, and do not get involved with any sales activity, showing a real shift in focus to service as well as sales.

The main thing that I took away from the day is how large and impactful SRS is as a sales channel. Working in the Change team it was great for me to see first-hand the work the team do and I really enjoyed getting out there and interacting with our customers – something I didn’t imagine I’d get to do when I joined the Programme Management graduate role. It was a very enjoyable and insightful day, one that I’d recommend to anybody who gets the opportunity to attend.