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TV producer from Sevenoaks who worked on Big Brother, The X Factor, TOWIE, Made In Chelsea, American Idol and more encourages young people to follow dream careers


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As a teenager who fell in love with TV and film by begrudgingly getting his siblings to perform in home videos, a young Nathan Palmer from Sevenoaks never could have imagined that one day he would be producing some of the most famous TV shows in the world.

Now 33 and living in New York, Mr Palmer is a Supervising Producer on The Real Housewives of New York City.

In 2017 he worked on America’s Got Talent
In 2017 he worked on America’s Got Talent

During his 12 year career, he went from being a runner and a researcher, to an assistant producer before eventually working his way up to where he is today.

Now, while continuing to produce shows most of us will no doubt binge watch this winter, Mr Palmer is also using his platform to show young people in Kent, who may not feel like the industry is accessible, that the world of TV and film is open to their future.

He grew up in Bramble Lane, Sevenoaks and studied Media in West Kent College in Tonbridge.

It was through studying this course the beginning of his career quickly began to spiral.

Speaking of his time as a student, he said: "I discovered the world of video editing and I soon realised that I could create something really fun by bringing my passion for filming and editing together.

In 2009, Nathan worked on Big Brother as a researcher
In 2009, Nathan worked on Big Brother as a researcher
Nathan in front of the famous Big Brother house doors from his time on the show
Nathan in front of the famous Big Brother house doors from his time on the show

"So I decided to work hard at college, and then university, with the dream of one day working on my dream show Big Brother."

In his first year after leaving university he was able to do just that.

His first job in TV was on a fashion show for Channel 4 called ‘Frock Me’, hosted by Alexa Chung and Henry Holland.

He got the job after gaining two weeks work experience at a production company through a friend.

After this show, he then went on to work on Big Brother as a runner.

He even travelled East coast of American working on the American Idol tour bus
He even travelled East coast of American working on the American Idol tour bus
Nathan (left) with the judges from American Idol in Nashville in 2017
Nathan (left) with the judges from American Idol in Nashville in 2017

He said: "I realised straight away that it is a very competitive industry but if you are enthusiastic and show you are willing to work hard then you can easily get noticed.

"It soon became apparent that it’s about who knows you, which helped me jump between shows, as I built useful contacts in each role that would then take me onto my next job."

Throughout his TV career he has worked alongside Katy Perry, Simon Cowell, Sting, Nicole Scherzinger, P Diddy, Meghan Trainor, and Denise Richards to name a few.

He has toured the east coast of America on an American Idol bus where he listened to thousands of singers everyday and decided who got the ‘golden ticket’ through to the TV judges.

He has also followed a substance abuser as they left jail and filmed the challenges he faced as he spent his first few days back in the real world after years of incarceration.

Nathan directing the Real Housewives of NYC
Nathan directing the Real Housewives of NYC

While it's nice he can share all these incredible stories, the main thing Mr Palmer wants to do is let young people know that despite the uncertain times Covid has brought, there is plenty they can put their mind to.

He said: "What I love about this industry is that you never know where you are going to end up next, or what you are going to learn, which is a big reason why I recommend it to anyone who is thinking of it.

"I’ve never had to work a nine-to-five job in my life but I have sat in Sting’s apartment in Manhattan and interviewed him on his career.

"As an Englishman in New York, if you are a fan of his music you will know the irony.

"I want to show young people that no matter where you grow up, however small life may seem, there is a huge world out there to explore with exciting career options available to you.

He was involved with the X-Factor when Mel B and Emma Bunton went to judges houses in Mexico
He was involved with the X-Factor when Mel B and Emma Bunton went to judges houses in Mexico
Nathan worked on the X-Factor in 2014 and filmed Louis Walsh in a Bentley for the shows opening titles
Nathan worked on the X-Factor in 2014 and filmed Louis Walsh in a Bentley for the shows opening titles

"I was never the smartest kid in school or the top of the class, or the most outgoing.

"I found something I was passionate about and followed that path, without knowing where it would take me, and I still don’t fully know now where I will end up, which I find exciting."

Nathan has not long finished filming a new TV show in the mountains of Vermont called ‘Winter House’, for the network Bravo.

His biggest advice for anyone looking to enter the industry is to 'use your contacts', adding: "I was told moving to America at my age and level in the industry was too hard but it was doable and I listened to the latter advice and made it happen by asking people who had done it before.

"You can achieve big dreams when living in a small town so believe in yourself. If you don’t try, others might, so be the one to do it first and don’t wait for anyone else.

He added: "Contacts are so important so don’t be afraid to use them, it’s what got me where I am today.

"Producers are always looking for someone enthusiastic who wants to help and so make yourself that person.

"If you don’t have any contacts then look up your favourite TV shows or films and find out which production company made them, and email them to see if you can help in any way.

"You won’t hear back from them all but you will from some."

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