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Paul Crompton biog...


I got a job in nuclear engineering when I was aged 15. Sheet metal work, welding and stuff. Stuck it out for 6 years.


At nights and weekends I made short films and was in a band - the 'Madchester' period. NME, Manchester Evening News and a few 'zines wrote about us, we sold t-shirts and did lots of gigs.


In my mid 20s I got a job at Granada TV in the kitchens washing up, I went on to manage bands in the TV studios and also got to present a TV report.

I was offered a job as a director for a series on local politics and I haven't looked back. That was 30 years ago. I love making observational documentaries. It is a massive privilege to peer into other people’s lives.


For 3 years I worked in commissioning at Sky1, a year each at Channel 5 and ITV. At ITV I was responsible for peak-time single docs such as: 'Raining In My Heart' and 'Secret Life of Twins'. I also oversaw pre-watershed factual series.


In 2014 I teamed up with Spark Media and created the award winning hit series 'Escape to the Chateau' and later its spin off daytime series 'Escape to the Chateau DIY'. Before that I worked with Viv McGrath at Gecko Productions and  I have formed my own company, Barge Pole, with actor Timothy Spall.


I work as a consultant to new indies like Glasgow-based BEEZR TV and currently at Alamo Pictures were we are building a portfolio in feature-length documentaries.


-Granada TV's digital channels.

-Specialist arts channel BBC Arena.

-Channel 5's in-house production. 


​3 documentaries have picked up 8 film festival awards: 'The Limbless Mountaineer', 'The Aviatrix' and 'Iron Men'. I Exec Produced and Directed BBC Four’s hit series, 'Timothy Spall: Somewhere at Sea' which was nominated for a BAFTA and short-listed for a Grierson Award. I commissioned 'Steven Gerrard - A Year in My Life' which picked up an RTS Award. 'Escape to the Chateau DIY' was nominated for Best Daytime in the Broadcast 2019 TV awards and 'Escape to the Chateau' won Best Lifestyle programme at the Real Screen Awards in New Orleans.


I also spent a few years with a video arts crew called Basement Video who specialised in public performance art pieces, contemporary dance and recording live gigs. Run by Imagineer Tosh Ryan from Rabid Records, it had a merry band of great people.... Jilted John, Gordon the Moron, Frank Sidebottom, John Cooper Clarke, Jon Ronson and Tony Wilson Victor Brox... the list goes on....

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