What does a celebrity producer do?
Celebrity producers ensure Graham Norton has a full sofa, I’m a Celebrity has the right mix of famous faces and Strictly Come Dancing has a cast that will keep people voting right through the autumn.
Celebrity producers know what all the stars are doing, the stories and gossip and who to contact to book them. From A-listers to Z-listers, celebrity producers have longstanding relationships with agents, publishing companies, press officers and PR agencies. This is essential as they often compete with other celebrity producers to secure an exclusive or book the celebrity their production wants. They are skilled negotiators and experienced at making deals to secure the celebrity for their show.
They love all forms of entertainment, from TV, film and theatre to music and books, and have a busy social life attending premieres and press launches. They get to know who the new stars are going to be and are quick to make contact with agents so that when a production is interested, they have a better chance of booking them. It also works the other way and celebrity producers are often approached by agencies who would like to get their clients more exposure.
Celebrity producers exercise their own editorial judgement on who to pitch to productions. When they do, they prepare and present a well-researched and clear editorial brief. Often a series producer will already have an idea of which celebrities they would like booked for their show and together they will make a final decision.
Celebrity producers usually accompany and manage celebrities during filming, liaising between them and the production team to ensure the series producer gets the required content and the celebrity is happy.
They may be on the staff of productions that require regular guests, such as chats shows, talent, magazine or music programmes, but many are freelance and are hired by production companies when they have a show that requires celebrities to take part, from reality and survival shows to charity challenges, travelogues and talent contests.
What’s a celebrity producer good at?
- Knowledge of celebrity: be across all entertainment genres, have in-depth knowledge of current and past stars, know who’s hot and who’s not
- Building contacts: have established relationships with agents, PR, publishers and press agencies and know who represents which celebrity
- Negotiation: be a persuasive negotiator, confident at securing deals
- Diplomacy: balance demands of production with demands of celebrity or agents, be able to handle tricky people and deal with difficult demands
- Knowledge of production: understand the tone, style, audience and requirements of different shows, suggest and book celebrities accordingly