In the spotlight this week is Kieran Doherty, chair of the Royal Television Society in Northern Ireland (RTS NI) which will be hosting its fifth awards on November 7, showcasing the best programmes and the best people making a positive contribution to the north’s creative industries. His day job is joint managing director of Belfast-based Stellify Media which makes Who Wants to be A Millionaire among many more popular TV programmes for BBC NI, ITV, Channel 5 and Netflix.
What was your first job?
I was a sales assistant at the outdoor specialist shop Millets. I was 16 years old and up until that point the only time I’d been up a mountain was to go on the beak from school. I didn’t put that on my CV though.
What qualifications do you have?
I have a couple of GCSEs, a GNVQ and a HND in media from Belfast Met.
What do you attribute your success to?
It’s partly down to the work ethic I got from my mum and dad and partly down to all the amazing people who’ve helped me along the way. This industry is particularly hard to break into and if the guys who got in ahead of me hadn’t held the door open I wouldn’t be here.
How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
I’m mostly black and white with the occasional splash of colour.
Who do you look up to in business?
There’s a guy who works in this new coffee shop I’ve started going to who seems to have memorised all the regulars’ orders and, rain sleet or snow, he is always in great spirits. I admire that guy.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
I get out of their way.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?
From a media sector point of view I wouldn’t change a thing. We’re punching above our weight and the world has taken notice. We just have to keep at it.
What website or app could you not do without?
WhatsApp. I can’t stand emails. People feel the need to write paragraphs when they send emails. WhatsApp seems to force brevity. Plus you can see when they’ve read it – if they don’t reply it’s because they don’t want to – but I’d rather worry about that than suffer the existential dread of never knowing if they got it.
What was the last book you read?
I’m currently reading Shoe Dog, the memoir by Nike founder Phil Knight.
What car do you drive?
I don’t own a car. My wife drives a Seat something. A white one, I think.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I used to teach martial arts. I have a black belt in Aikido.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
I try to get to the gym as much as possible. And I like to read. I recently joined a book club to force me to read books I wouldn’t normally choose which has been eye opening.
:: The RTS NI Awards will be held in The Mac Belfast on November 7