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Lizardfish TV makes careers-themed film series for BBC Bitesize

Russell Kane goes to the zoo

BBC Bitesize has commissioned Manchester-based Lizardfish TV to create a series of films that see comedians try their hands at ‘real jobs’ for the day.

Comedians Get Real Jobs was commissioned for BBC Bitesize Careers to promote apprenticeships amongst school leavers, showcasing what other options might be available to those who feel that higher education might not be for them.

In the series, we see Fatiha El-Ghorri earning her stripes as a model shop apprentice at F1 Williams, Sarah Keyworth donning a helmet and boots as a Fire and Rescue Trainee and Russell Kane knee-deep in Rhinoceros dung as an apprentice zoo keeper at Chester Zoo.

The comedians are each chaperoned by a real-life apprentice, who guides us through their day-to-day and what they love about being an apprentice.

With Fatiha nearly totaling her virtual car on the F1 Driving Simulator, and Russell caring more about coffee breaks than rattle snakes, the comedians resolve that they will not be quitting their day jobs anytime soon. However, what is clear to see is how much the real life apprentices enjoy the work they are doing, and that they really are getting the most out of their experiences.

Apprentice zoo keeper Charlotte Wood tells viewers: “The experiences you get to be part of are absolutely out of this world. Like you wouldn’t get to do them in a classroom.”

Despite the apparent benefits of apprenticeships, National Statistic figures from the 2022/23 academic year show that apprenticeship starts were down by 6.1 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

BBC Bitesize Careers is keen to develop films that showcase a variety of options for young people and help them to make informed decisions about the best route for them after they finish school. The new apprenticeship films sit alongside a range of other content about lots of different jobs and training options.

In a second film titled ‘Bad Careers Advisor’, Lizardfish sent CBBC presenter Sam Nixon undercover into a high school to offer unsolicited and misguided careers advice under the alias ‘Barry’.

The motive of this film is to point the student viewers to the BBC Bitesize Careers page, where they can take a quiz to see what might suit them the best – university, a job or an apprenticeship – and to offer them actual, genuinely helpful advice on their future careers, unlike Barry.

When asked by one hopeful astronaut what they would need to get started with their space career, Barry simply answers “Rocket.”

BBC Bitesize executive producer, Andrew Swanson said: “With Comedians Get Real Jobs we wanted to give teenagers a day in the life of certain apprenticeships as a way of showing that there are lots of different routes into the working world.

“If you get past the rhino poo and the crashed cars there’s some really great tips and advice that young people can use to decide if the apprenticeship route is for them and that’s what Bitesize is all about.”

Comedians Get Real Jobs was commissioned by Lee Kitchen and Andrew Swanson at BBC Bitesize Careers and was produced and directed by Amee Fairbank-Brown. The films can be found on the BBC Bitesize Careers website.

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