Chief Executive Officer, MEC UK
Chantal Rickards is Head of Programming & Branded Content at MEC in London for the EMEA region. She arrived in June '07 from UKTV, a network of channels owned by BBC Worldwide and Virgin Media. She had spent nearly six years in commissioning and channel management for the BBC, concentrating on their lifestyle channels: UKTV Style, UKTV Food and UKTV Gardens. Her programmes ranged in style from serious documentaries to practical 'how to' lifestyle series. While there she had responsibility for commissioning and executive producing up to 16 television series a year. She was also responsible for acquisitions and scheduling during her time there.
Prior to UKTV Chantal ran the Carlton Food Network, re-branding it as the Taste Network and helping create a joint venture between the supermarket chain Sainsbury's and Carlton TV.
A former executive producer. producer and director, Chantal spent the early part of her television career making programmes for BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 in the UK. She worked on a mixture of live and recorded shows, for terrestrial and digital channels and her credits include This Morning for ITV ( magazine show), Masterchef for BBC1 (factual entertainment ) , Countdown for Channel Four (quiz game show ), Through the Keyhole (celebrity panel show ), City Hospital ( live OB for BBC 1 ) and Parkinson ( chat show ) for ITV.
For a brief spell after university Chantal worked in publishing, initially selling space and then running the marketing department for Campaign and Marketing magazines in London. Just before getting in to television she was a show business publicist with clients ranging from Michael Caine to Jeremy Irons.
Branded content projects include Britain's Best Brain on Channel 5 paid for by Nintendo, Farm Camp on Children's ITV paid for by supermarket chain Morrisons, the TV Book Club on C4 funded by opticians Specsavers, Biospheres Connections on National Geographic Channel from Star Alliance, Meals in Moments on Channel 5 from SPAR supermarkets, Technology of Business on BBC World News funded by Xerox and the launch of DJ Hero on My Space paid for by Activision. Most recently Chantal has created content projects for Visa Europe with Sky 1 and Bourjois with Channel 4. She is currently working on two partnerships with Big Brother and Channel 5, Olympics related programming for Lloyds Banking Group and a factual TV series for BBC World News.