Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Tell Vanessa – TV Show Tell Vanessa – TV Show
Tell Vanessa – TV Show

From radio show presenter to her own TV show! Vanessa Cruickshank delved deep into her own personal life, touching difficult subjects to bring you “Tell Vanessa”. A show where current affairs meets reality talk. Vanessa is no ordinary woman with a degree in management, a  masters in social policy and social work and to top it all of an MBA.


On her show she explores topics and issues that touch not only the community but society in general. The shows also highlights inspirational businesses, personal and moral dilemmas all bound together with quality urban music.


We caught up with Vanessa ahead of her new TV shows, which air every Saturday at 8pm on Sky Showcase channel 212.


EOL: Tell us a bit about the products and services you provide?

VC: Tell Vanessa is all about bringing serious issues forward whilst including segments with a bit of light entertainment as well. We discuss compelling stories, our viewers’ dilemmas, and a pinch of business talk with our local guests and enjoy some good live music.


EOL: What can viewers expect from these new shows. What guests have you got lined up?

VC: We have a few things in the pipeline already. One of them is a music show that will kick off in June, where the viewers can expect some famous faces and well known guest to appear making for some really good entertainment! I am also working on a few documentaries that are planned for release at the end of the year.


EOL: Why did you start the business and what motivated you?

VC: I think for me 2015 was a year of re-evaluation of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be.

Having got a radio presenting position, I figured out that I enjoyed it very much and that I have quite an eye for producing. I really loved the entertainment side of the radio business, which was a stark contrast to my previous professional career.


After reading a certain book, it helped me go back and reflect on what I wanted to do. As a child, I always loved performing and presenting. I got an idea for my own show and just went for it, asking myself what do I have to lose.


EOL: Did you face any challenges in getting the capital to start?

VC: I think many people decide not to follow their dreams because they don’t have the financial capital to do it.


I always looked and analysed how I can make the biggest impact with very limited resources.  I slowly assembled a very good team and I am extremely proud of what we achieved together.


Combining the small budget with an excellent team yielded great results, so I can only imagine what we can achieve once our budget increases.


EOL: Did you have any business background before starting up?

VC: I do have a business background, which started with my education, having got an MBA. I started a number of businesses in the past and worked as a consultant for NHS.


In terms of my entertainment career, I don’t think you have to have a business background (although it has certainly benefited me) but a desire and passion for the industry.


EOL: What were the major challenges that you faced in the process of starting up your business and how did you overcome them?

VC: The biggest challenge for me, was if any TV network would take me seriously, because I had no presenting/producing experience. I have to say that I was surprised how many people are ready to hear you out and even invest in your idea, if you have the dedication and drive to make it happen.



EOL: Which characteristics do you possess that you consider to have contributed to your business success?

VC: It’s determination. I think you need that with everything. I am also very inpatient and like to implement my ideas immediately which some people might also look at as a flaw.


Very often I stay in the office late. But then again I couldn’t do it if I wasn’t thoroughly enjoying what I do. I think that when you really enjoy working on what you do, no matter what it is, you are bound to succeed.


EOL: What have been your major achievements to date?

VC: My major achievement is bringing Tell Vanessa into season two. I learned so much from season one and together with my team we put everything we got into season 2. I also started my very own production company Sassy Little Lady Productions.


EOL: What are the current challenges in your sector and how are you facing them?

VC: At the moment I feel that the biggest challenge within my domain is diversity. I feel that the only time you see black presenters on TV is on black station networks. As a self-confessed TV junkie, I watch a lot of TV, whether for pleasure or for a bit of research and I think the lack of diversity truly sticks out like a sore thumb across the board. I think we should be represented throughout all TV stations.


EOL: What advice would you give to a start up thinking of entering your sector?

VC: Quite simple. If this is what you want do to, go for it! Ask yourself what’s the worse that can happen. If you’re passionate about something, do it, otherwise “maybe it could happen, maybe I could have done it” will always be in the back of your mind. If you don’t try you never know!


EOL: What are your future plans for growth and further success?

At the moment we are wrapping up the filming for season 2 and preparing a few projects, which we start filming in the third quarter. Apart from my already developed project, I think now that I am in conversations with major TV stations, I am very excited about the future and what’s coming next!


Tell Vanessa

Watch Series Two on Saturday at 8pm on Sky Showcase 212 or Freestat 161

Visit www.tellvanessa.com for more details.

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