Arts Q&A: TV producer Gareth McGreevy
Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, television producer Gareth McGreevy
1. When did you think about a career in television and what were your first steps into it?
I went a roundabout way of getting into television. I studied Law at Queen’s and became involved in the Students’ Union, editing the law society publication, The Verdict. I then trained and worked for seven years as a primary school teacher before I got ill and stepped out of the classroom and took this time to pursue my career in TV.
I got accepted onto NI Screen’s AIM High scheme in 2019 and enjoyed 18-month placements in the industry, at BBC NI, Below The Radar and Waddell Media before joining Waddell’s as Assistant Producer. I have worked on many shows since, but now work predominantly out of Dublin. I’ll be series producing Googlebox Ireland.
2. Best gigs you’ve been to?
Snow Patrol in Ward Park, Bangor and Celine Dion in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve 2013. Such a performance and I’m so glad I got to see her live, especially since her recent health announcement.
3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?
Weddings and birthdays are cheesy, so who doesn’t love a bit of Steps to fill the dancefloor?
4. The record you’d take to a desert island?
Cara Dillon’s 2001 album of the same name.
5. And the book you’d take to a desert island?
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
6. Top three films?
All depends on the mood really…
Thriller/Horror: I’m a fan of the 90s horrors like Urban Legends and Scream but also thrillers like What Lies Beneath and Sixth Sense.
Animation: Shrek – it’s timeless, great comedy for all ages and has such a great cast.
Seasonal: Home Alone - it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
7. Worst film you’ve seen?
I’m not one to judge, but I do feel that sometimes when movie titles continue producing sequels aimlessly, it can bring negativity to the franchise. Also, remakes which aren’t executed as the original – some things are best left untouched.
8. Favourite authors?
Rhonda Byrne and Paula Hawkins.
9. Sport(s) you most enjoy and top team(s)?
Being a Co Down man, I would have to say Down GAA. I take great pride in my own club, Saul GAC, and both the men’s and ladies’s teams are featuring well this year within the county.
10. Ideal holiday destination?
I have family in New Zealand and it’s somewhere I have always wanted to visit, so it is definitely on the wish-list.
11. Pet hates?
People who don’t walk, drive or move with purpose. For example, stopping in the middle of a shopping centre for no reason while people are trying to get on their way.
12. What’s your favourite:
Dinner? Turkey, ham and stuffing with copious amounts of gravy.
Dessert? Sticky Toffee Pudding
Drink? Soft drink has to be Appletiser, but when it comes to the hard stuff, nothing beats gin and ginger.
13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?
I have different friendship groups through my work and other hobbies and interests. One of my closest friends is Helen Smyth. We perform together with St Agnes’ Choral Society and met over 15 years ago.
14. Is there a God?
I believe there is some universal power out there making us all move and tick – what form that is in, I am not sure. I do believe in manifesting your own future and ideals.
:: Gareth McGreevy is Chair of The Royal Television Society Awards Northern Ireland, which are taking place in Belfast City Hall on Thursday June 1.