A Day In The Life

Sophie Argent

Sophie Argent

Posted 01 February 2018

New York Program

September 2004 Intake

My Alarm Goes off at… 6am (when I don’t have the urge to hit snooze to 6:15 that is!)

I'm Responsible For… Giving legal content advice on issues which arise in the course of making and broadcasting programmes on Channel 4. This can involve issues such as the legality of secret filming, filming children, defamation and an array of ethical and regulatory issues (like harm and offence and filming criminals).

I Got The Job… After doing work experience at Channel 4 for a week. I was very interested in media law but what I wanted to do was very niche and not every media organization advises in a way which is actively involved in the production process. However, my experience at Channel 4 was pivotal in helping me to know it was right for me. After doing work experience, I kept in touch with the Deputy Head of the department for a few years and he told me of a suitable vacancy which came about because one of the lawyers was going on maternity leave. Luckily I was kept on and became permanent, and five years on I am still here.

My Typical Day…Is very varied! I advise on over 80 programmes across all genres (Current affairs, Documentaries and Non-fiction such as dramas), so it can involve anything from meetings discussing programme makers going to hostile environments and countries, to attending a live entertainment show to give on the spot legal advice, reviewing a script for a new drama, and defending programmes which have been broadcast and are subject to legal or regulatory challenges.

The Culture Of My Workplace… Is fairly relaxed but at the same time very vibrant and hectic at times.

My Most Memorable Work Moment… Was attending the BAFTAS after one of the programmes I advise on was nominated (and won) a BAFTA. It was a surreal experience seeing A List celebrities literally rubbing shoulders with you as you walked the red carpet together!

My Role Models are… Too many to mention. However, for a number one spot I would say my Mum whose grace and kindness, combined with determination during some very tough times has kept me in awe for many years. I have also been incredibly lucky to have worked for some amazing bosses like Heidi Reavis my Mountbatten sponsor from 2004-2005 and Prash Naik, former General Counsel of Channel 4. I am also a big fan of women and civil rights attorney Gloria Allred and foreign correspondents such as Christina Amanpour, Lyse Ducet and the late Sue Lloyd-Roberts who was also a foreign correspondent. I see so many journalists and programme makers in my profession, many of whom are women with their own young families, who literally risk their lives and witness some of the most horrific crimes and tragedies in countries all over the world.

The Most Challenging Part of My Job… Is handling so many programmes and crises often all at once, and then having to see a very public reaction unfold to a programme you have advised on.

The Best Part of My Job… Is helping programme makers to get some very difficult and challenging programmes to air.

After Work… I usually like to go home and cook something nice to eat or go out with friends. I use to love attending dance classes so hoping to resume that in the next few months along with piano lessons. I try to avoid watching television though!

Plan B: If I wasn't doing this, I would… Probably be involved with an NGO in an advocacy and legal role combined. I am about to embark on an international human rights LLM so it may come to fruition in a few years time. Alternatively, I am really interested in meditation and reiki so teaching and practicing in that field would be great for me!