Producer Colin McKeown MBE has been awarded the title of Adjunct Professor by Liverpool Screen School in recognition of his services to education and his enduring support of the university’s media production, film, journalism, drama and creative writing students.
With 50 years of experience in the TV and film industry, Huyton-born Colin started his career as a production trainee at Granada Studios before helping to set up the groundbreaking soap opera series Brookside alongside fellow producer, and screenwriter, Phil Redmond and going on to work with screenwriter Jimmy McGovern.
Champion for Liverpool creatives
In 2000 he set up LA Productions based in Kirkdale, Liverpool, a truly independent TV production company known not just for creating award-winning drama, but also for its commitment in nurturing new talent and showcasing the wealth of creativity on Merseyside, both on and off camera.
Colin has also played a role in promoting diversity in the regional TV industry through the Liverpool Film Academy Educational Trust (LFAET), established by him over 20 years ago to provide education and training to develop new creative talent on Merseyside, working with people regardless of age, gender and ethnicity, or any social, financial or geographical restrictions.
Professor Rachel McLean, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies and Director of Liverpool Screen School, said: “Colin has been a friend and supporter of Liverpool John Moores University for many years. The award of the Adjunct Professor title acknowledges the work that Colin has done not just for the Liverpool Screen School and its students, but the city and TV industry. We are delighted to be able to recognise Colin’s long and rich career in the film and TV sector within the region, nationally and internationally, and to formalise a partnership with him.”
Helped launched many LJMU alumni careers
At LJMU Colin and his team from LA Productions have delivered lectures, talks, masterclasses, attended and participated in events with staff and students and provided placements and internships for Liverpool Screen School students. This inspirational activity has helped many students launch their own careers in TV, with many going into employment with LA Productions.
In celebration of Colin’s achievements, and his new title, the screen school hosted an evening with staff and students, as well as friends and colleagues of Colin, where he shared insights into his life and career in conversation with long-time collaborator Mike Neary.
From teaching a scouse accent to Laurence Olivier to ground-breaking storylines in Brookside to award-winning TV dramas featuring Sean Bean, all while championing women writers and directors as well as Liverpool creatives – the audience were taken right through Colin’s illustrious career with a standing ovation bringing the celebration to a close.
What the honorary title means
The title of Adjunct Professor is an honorary title awarded to those who are closely associated with the university, and who make a significant contribution to the university in terms of education, research, leadership and management, or profession and practice with national or international esteem.
Formalising Colin’s contribution to the screen school creates further collaborative opportunities that will see him act as an advisor on new undergraduate programmes of study and on employability for the screen industries. He will also guide LJMU on growing diversity in the talent pipeline and act as a mentor for students at all levels of study particularly as they near graduation and are searching for employment.