Creative Mentors

To help production companies reach their full potential, the Fund has Creative Mentors who provide strategic advice and to the founders and their teams. Their experience across BBC and Discovery Channels as well as the Indie sector gives valuable Media business acumen to the Growth Fund companies. Their insight can help with a company’s strategic planning, refining development slates as well as business coaching.

Our Creative Mentors help select companies to become part of the Growth Fund as well as sitting on the fund’s Advisory Board. Meet them below.

Lorraine Heggessey Independent Advisor

Lorraine Heggessey Independent Advisor

Lorraine Heggessey is the Chair of the Grierson Trust and is one of the UK's best known media executives with wide ranging experience across the broadcasting and production sector.

She started her career as a journalist and produced current affairs, science and general documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The first female Controller of BBC One, Lorraine comprehensively rebranded the channel turning it into the most popular network in the UK. She launched a raft of hit shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Spooks. She then became Chief Executive of TalkbackThames which produced over 600 hours of TV a year, including Britain's Got Talent, The X Factor and The Apprentice.

Lorraine went on to launch a new nations and regions indie group, Boom Pictures, and grew it to become the eighth largest production group in the UK in under two years after acquiring the Welsh company Boomerang Plus and Plymouth-based Two Four. The group was subsequently bought by ITV. She then moved into the charitable sector as CEO of The Royal Foundation the main philanthropic vehicle for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Lorraine is an Independent Advisor to Channel 4's Growth Fund and a member of Angel Academe a group that backs female-led tech companies.

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Marjorie Kaplan Creative Mentor

Marjorie Kaplan Creative Mentor

Marjorie Kaplan has been a senior executive in the media industry for over 20 years, most recently as President of Global Content at Discovery Communications, and has worked with talented content creators all over the world. 

She created the multi-award winning Discovery Kids brand, oversaw the reinvention of Animal Planet and has overseen television channels for every audience from children and families to women and men. Marjorie was named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business and is currently a mentor at Merryck & Co, a global firm focused on leadership acceleration, and a member of the ProSiebenSat1 Supervisory Board and a member of the board of trustees of the Grierson Trust.

Marjorie joined the Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund in January 2019 as a creative mentor and advisory board member.

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Tracy Forsyth Creative Mentor

Tracy Forsyth Creative Mentor

Tracy Forsyth is an experienced commissioner for UK and international TV channels, including BBC Worldwide, BBC Television and UKTV. 

Tracy has a track record of developing, funding and scaling unscripted IP for global audiences. As Genre Director, Factual Entertainment and Formats at BBC Worldwide, she enabled the global roll out of high profile international brands such as Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear and The Great British Bake Off. She is also Professional CoActive Executive coach working with high potential creatives and leaders in the industry and the Producer of the Women in Film & Television Mentoring Scheme for mid-career women.  

Tracy joined the Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund in January 2019 as a creative mentor and advisory board member.

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