Colin McKeown at LJMU (c) Alan Humphreys
Colin McKeown at LJMU (c) Alan Humphreys

BAFTA award winner Colin McKeown MBE has been made an honorary professor by the Liverpool Screen School at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU).

The title is awarded to those who are closely associated with the university and make a significant contribution.

Huyton-born Colin is one of 13 children and started his career as a production trainee at Granada Studios before becoming a prominent contributor to the production of the renowned TV drama ‘Brookside’.

He has since built a career in the production industry spanning 50 years, earning an MBE along the way.

He is the founder and chairman of LA Productions, a Kirkdale-based film production company that has produced TV dramas and documentaries for broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and Channel 5.

Colin spoke exclusively to MerseyNewsLive and said that he is appreciative of the award, but it doesn’t ‘inflate’ his ego.

He said: “Does it mean anything to me personally? To be honest with you, no, but it means a lot to other people, and I think it gives you credibility.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of recognition. If anybody gives you any form of acknowledgement of what you’ve achieved, then of course you put your thumbs up and say ‘thank you very much’.

“But does it inflate my ego in any way? I’d be a sorry man if it did.”

He wants to use his position to provide the next generation of aspiring producers with more opportunities than he had at that age – but insists it comes down to the student.

He said: “There are opportunities now. There are courses, there’s universities like this one that are geared to help and bring you up on that ladder.

“But what they can’t instil in you is that drive to say, ‘I want to reach the next step’. If you bring your self-esteem forward, you can achieve anything.”

Granite Harbour
Granite Harbour

Colin acted as a producer for LA Productions’ most recent TV drama ‘Granite Harbour.’ Based in Scotland, the three-part murder mystery raked in millions of views and has been renewed for a second season.

Colin said: “We, as Scousers, don’t like people mimicking us – we don’t like people ‘taking the Michael’ – so I didn’t want to go into Scotland and start telling them how to be Scottish!

“I listened to what their fears were; and when I last looked, it had been shown continually on iPlayer, and it’s on over 14m views – I’d say that’s a hit, wouldn’t you?”

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When it comes to filming in Liverpool, Colin feels there’s room for improvement. He has shown his support for the ongoing Littlewoods Project in Wavertree, which is set to transform the 1938-built Littlewoods building into a film and production studio hub in an effort to make Liverpool “the Hollywood of the North”.

The plan is to build two 20,000sq.ft of studios, providing sound stages for high-budget productions and performance/screening spaces open to the public.

The £70m project will offer a state-of-the-art space for the next generation of budding producers wanting to break into the TV and Film industry.

Colin said: “I thought it was important 40 years ago to be honest with you! I don’t know why it’s taken so long.

“It’s taken too long, but that doesn’t in any way dent the importance of it.”

His position as an honorary professor at LJMU will allow him to act as a mentor for students at the Liverpool Screen School, as well as advise the university on undergraduate courses and improving diversity in the student body.

Featured image (c) Alan Humphreys



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