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19 April 2011

David Waters - Media Producer

David Waters - Media Producer

David Waters is Directing Assistant Producer on the most watched music programme on telly -Songs of Praise (X Factor is a reality show!). He got work experience in the BBC after graduating in theology and has happily been in BBC Religion and Ethics pretty much ever since. In his spare time David is a veteran member of the Toft Tornadoes Church football team (“We won the national cup last year no thanks to me!” he says) and played the drums for a band called The Naked Covers. He loves good music, travelling, Blackadder, Friends (the TV show and the real thing), all sports and chicken korma.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

A farmer first of all but that soon ended when I realised what time you needed to get up. After that ambitions ranged from designing cars to youth work to being a Blue Peter presenter.

How did you get involved in the media?

I studied theology at Durham because I loved it - the academic side and the way it both challenged and enhanced my faith. But I never thought I'd use it to earn money. Broadcasting had always sounded interesting and I spoke to a couple of church friends connected to the industry but didn't have much of a plan. I thought if I was going to be useful anywhere I would be useful in BBC Religion so I applied for work experience and got placed in Entertainment.

In my youthful naivety I applied for a job on Songs of Praise not realising it was a bit above me. But it got me some more work experience and all seemed rosy. Then reality hit and I was sat at home waiting for the phone to ring. I got some experience with an independent production company before being invited back in to BBC Religion for a couple of weeks. For a year or more I was never on more than a 4 week contract and sometimes it looked bleak but I kept hanging around and eventually got a research contract on a Bible documentary series … using my degree! That was 2003 and I've been here ever since.

Best story of 2010?

In my role as a local preacher I often visit small chapels in the Cheshire countryside with tiny congregations. It would be easy to write them off but this story really touched me and reminded me always to challenge my pre-conceptions.

In one little chapel there was an elderly couple who I knew only through chats after the service. When Ken passed away my Dad and I felt we wanted to attend the funeral. It took place in a small church but the sermon was given by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu. Ken had lived in Uganda for 11 years, opening his house to any young people in need. One of whom was John Sentamu. At Ken's funeral he said that if it had not been for Ken's love and Christian example he would have dropped out of school and would not have been a Christian! Wow. Ken was not spectacular, he simply lived a life transformed by the love of God and walked faithfully to his ways …and how God used him.

What biblical text or narrative has inspired you in your work?

Philippians 4:8 is an obvious one but one I keep coming back to. "… Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things". There is so much darkness in this world it is good to be reminded, spurred on to seek and share all that is good and wonderful.

Who would you like to share a taxi with?

If the taxi could go anywhere in time (and had sufficient seats) … C.S. Lewis, Eric Liddell, Rowan Atkinson, Shane Williams and the Saturdays (if my girlfriend is reading this then the last one is a joke!)

Tell us one of your most hilarious faux pas.

Far too many to mention…including turning up at a location 150 miles away at 10.30pm and realising I had forgotten the camera and having to drive back.

What single thing would most improve your work in the media?

Higher morale.

What is your dream for society?

For people (including myself) to be satisfied and grateful for all that they have and more aware of others who have much less. For aspirations to be raised, not toward money and fame but toward being better people and better values. For people to realise politicians can't really do anything about the real things that make life better, only God can do that. I pray that God's love and peace may be known in a world that so desperately needs it.

What makes you happy?

Having things to look forward to, sunny days, the people I love, being inspired.

How do the media bring wellbeing to the world?

It would be easy to question whether they do. But then I think of all the brilliant times I've shared around a TV with my family, all the times a programme has made me laugh, made me think, lifted me up or just brightened my journey into work.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My iPhone.

What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?

Urm…winning the national church trophy with the Toft Tornadoes (and maybe my degree…and the programmes I've made…good relationships…and my local preachers' accreditation.)

Tell us a joke.

I found a note on my car the other day that said "Parking Fine" so that was nice.
(Mr Tim Vine I salute you!)