MediaCity boss in conversation with Gordon Burns

Posted on Thursday 30th April 2015

Peter Salmon in conversation with Gordon Burns

Some of the region’s top business people joined staff and students from the University of Bolton for an evening with the Director of BBC England and leader of MediaCity UK, Peter Salmon.

Speaking at Bolton Business School’s ‘An Evening with…’ event, Peter recounted his career path to former BBC presenter Gordon Burns.

Beginning in 1981 at the BBC, Peter has progressed from a trainee to become one of the most senior and influential figures in British media.

After spells as a volunteer teacher in Malaysia and as a newspaper reporter, Peter joined the BBC and began working as a trainee on well known programmes such as Blue Peter, Newsnight and BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat.

He then became a producer on Crimewatch and Bristol's Natural History Unit before joining Channel 4 as Controller of Factual Programmes.

He enjoyed an extremely successful period before joining Granada to oversee the renowned documentary series, World in Action and Britain's longest-running soap, Coronation Street.

‘I didn’t have a plan but I was always inquisitive,’ said Peter.  

 ‘I didn’t like to settle, get too comfortable or complacent. I always thought what’s next.'

 In 1997 he returned to the BBC and has enjoyed a variety of different roles ever since.

 Between 2000 and 2005 Peter served as Director of BBC Sport, launching interactive TV and overseeing the coverage for the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.

 Today he serves as Director of BBC England where he is now responsible for nearly 3,000 staff based at the headquarters in MediaCityUK, Salford.

 One of Peter’s biggest triumphs was overseeing the move of five departments from the BBC’s headquarters in London to Salford.

 Over 40 weeks, 1,000 people moved from the south to be a part of the new home for BBC Sport, BBC Children's, BBC Learning, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Breakfast.

 Since then 800 new people have joined the corporation and made the area one of the most advanced and ground-breaking media hubs in the world.

 In advice to students, Peter said:

 ‘Don’t let people stop you, don’t stop yourself. Don’t think ‘I’m just a boy from Burnley’.

 ‘If you spot someone who is remarkable, try and get close to them. Some of their magic dust might just rub off on you.’