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'Whites' Produced by BU Graduate

15 November 2010

Michelle Farr on set producing Whites

Television Production graduate is behind BBC hit comedy 'Whites'

Bournemouth University (BU) Television Production graduate Michelle Farr is behind the BBC hit comedy series 'Whites'.

The programme stars Alan Davies and is set in the kitchen of a country house hotel. It screened on BBC2 with ratings reaching three million.

Michelle, who produced the six part series said: "The day Whites got commissioned was one of the happiest and most fulfilling of my career. And seeing it on screen is indescribable. This is a show that I developed from scratch with the writers Matt King and Oliver Lansley, who came to me in March 2007 after trying to get several shows off the ground. We shot a taster in January 2008, a pilot in 2009, then the series this year."

After graduating from BU's Media School in 2003 Michelle secured a job as a trainee script editor for the BBC. She then went into production, working on 'The Ornate Johnsons Edwardian Spectacular' for BBC4. Next came a stint on live comedy, with famous names such as Vic & Bob, Lenny Henry, and French & Saunders.

Michelle's big break, however, came five years after graduation, when she produced series eight of 'Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps'. But the highlight of her career to date has been 'Whites'.

"Working on 'Whites' has been absolutely fantastic," said Michelle. "It was such a great team, both crew and cast. It was a tough ride along the way, but then anything that so many people are passionate about is, and that's a good thing. I wouldn't change anything. It is full of warmth, looks fantastic, and is very funny with great characters, which is exactly what we set out to achieve. They are incredibly talented writers."

Michelle added: "I'm very grateful to BU. I wouldn't be here without it! Firstly, the amount of practical experience on the course was so valuable. These days you would find it very hard to move up the ladder without the skills to self-shoot and edit. The theory also helped. At the time it was hard to see how it would, but it does as it forces you to really think about TV and Film, what makes it work, and form opinions. A lot of my job is giving feedback, so you need to really understand the medium."

Senior Lecturer at BU, Trevor Hearing said: "It's tremendous to see the success of graduates such as Michelle from BA Television Production here at Bournemouth University. It just adds to the outstanding reputation of the course both inside and outside the industry."

But what's next for Michelle in a career that looks set to reach great heights? She said: "I am just beginning work on Series 9 of 'Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps', then next year I will be co-producing the new Gervais / Merchant show 'Life's Too Short'. And, fingers crossed, producing series 2 of 'Whites'.

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