South Tyneside graduate lands job on BBC children’s TV shows

A graduate from South Tyneside is on cloud nine as she lands dream job on BBC children’s TV shows whilst graduating at the same time as her partner.

Katie Stubbs began her BA (Hons) Screen Performance degree at the University of Sunderland in 2019 with her sights set firmly on a career in front and behind the camera.

Three years on the 21-year-old from Cleadon has graduated from her course and bagged a job as a assistant director working on BBC children’s TV shows. Katie also got to celebrate her partner’s Declan Marshall graduation in his Automotive Engineering Degree.

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During the first year of her studies the global pandemic hit and Katie set up a successful business alongside Declan.

Sunderland University students Katie Stubbs and Declan Marshall who have set up their own business The Magical Moment during lockdown. Picture: DAVID WOOD

‘A Magical Moment,’ launched with university scholarship funding, in partnership with Santander, saw the couple dressing as characters from popular movies from Disney to Marvel, performing at everything from birthdays parties to school discos.

They continued working during lockdown by performing at a social distance on the doorsteps of delighted children and their families. The business has continued to grow since.

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Katie said: “It’s been fantastic to finally be graduating. It’s been a rollercoaster from start to finish, but I’m excited about my future and being able to take on full-time opportunities in the industry now I have completed my degree.

“I have had a great time at Sunderland. The university has provided me with many amazing opportunities.”

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Decland Marshall and Katie Stubbs graduating
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In her second year, Katie was selected for the Lord Puttnam Scholars Scheme, creating an online documentary about life in lockdown, which Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam included in an Open University talk.

Before finishing her course she landed a full-time job as the third assistant director with CBBC, responsibilities include looking after and blocking extras and crew on their popular children’s programmes.

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As well as her full-time job, Katie is also an assistant director and acting in an up-and-coming new musical which is coming to Sunderland. She will also continue teaching drama at the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts in Sunderland at weekends.

Sharing her advice, Katie added: “Just give it your best try! And take all of the opportunities Sunderland offers. The Puttnam Scholarship opened many opportunities for me as it helped me on my CV with other jobs in the industry.”