“I loved having this photo taken at The London Palladium, it’s a special place.  It was my first experience performing with Grimsby’s Stage One Theatre Company back in 2000 and now, 20 years later, it’s where Britain’s Got Talent is being filmed, a show I have a special connection with.”

Julia Thompson has a career spanning 20 years in the television industry, working on productions from ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes, This Morning, and The Generation Game to being a key creative on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, before joining Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment.  Julia helped pitch and then produced the pilot episodes of Britain’s Got Talent, which has gone on to be the biggest selling TV format of all time, shown in 194 countries around the world.  She then became Director of Entertainment for SONY Pictures Television, before returning home to set up her very own production company, East Coast Pictures.

“East Coast Pictures was set up to create a direct link from my home into the TV industry, offering practical opportunities to local young people to gain experience in front of and behind the cameras.”

Bringing together industry directors and producers, the young team of budding media professionals got hands on experience, writing, filming and editing for the Cleethorpes Air Show, Business Hive Live, The Lincolnshire Kitchen, Eye on Crime, children’s series The Tinkers, weekly online series What’s On NEL! for DiscoverNEL, as well as videos for many local businesses, dance groups, charities, and schools.

“I’m so proud of all the ECP team, I call them my dream team! So many have gone on to be Presenters, Researchers, Assistant Producers, Camera Operators, professional Photographers, Social Media Producers and Journalists, as well as running their own video companies and enjoying careers that are not in TV. ECP aimed to give the young team, the skills and confidence to make their way in the world and have lots of fun along the way.

“Despite my career taking me to Manchester and London, I am proud to call Grimsby and Cleethorpes home.”

Julia is also a member of Cleethorpes Rotary Club where she dedicates time to supporting local charities and organisations. She is Vice Chair of VESR, a group of local business leaders working together to help grow the local visitor economy, services and retail sector at a challenging time, and Chair of CoastNEL, the local group of businesses and organisations who secured £3.8 million to be spent on regeneration in Cleethorpes.  In this role, Julia became the co-creator of the much-loved Festival of the Sky, winner of two National Festival Awards. 

“I wanted to create a unique event for families, that brought together outdoor activities, entertainment, arts and culture.  Thanks to the expertise of a company called From the Fields, as well as support from the Arts Council, the festival saw groundbreaking new displays, like the Fire Garden as well giant kites, marching parade, birds of prey, live music and a showcase for local arts and culture groups. Things have gone full circle to where it all began for me.”