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EMBARGOED UNTIL 1400 02/06/2020

New research by Viva La PD shows that most freelancers from the TV industry could face up to half a year with no work, no income or government support. This is due to the Covid-19 pandemic that’s hit the sector hard, and critical gaps in the Chancellor’s support schemes.

According to our latest survey, over half of the highly-skilled professional TV freelance workforce haven’t worked at all since lockdown was enacted. 57% have no work on the horizon for at least the next 3 months. This is a devastating blow given that 55% also don’t qualify for either of the government’s Coronavirus support packages.

The latest survey backs up research in our previous report “Freelancers: Fighting For Survival” with a clear upward trend in workers wanting to leave the industry. Nearly 60% now say they are taking steps to find work in a more secure sector, as the current crisis has highlighted how precarious being a television freelancer is.

  • Just 10% of freelancers have worked consistently throughout the lockdown period.

  • 57% of the workforce have no work on the horizon at all.

  • Almost 60% of freelancers are considering leaving the industry, or have already left for another sector.

  • Almost all respondents want to see a change to the way they are hired.


“We welcome the Chancellor’s extension of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, but he still needs to address fundamental gaps in the scheme. Over half the TV freelance workforce remain completely unsupported. Not affording freelancers the same support received by other employees will lead to decimation of our industry. We are already seeing signs of an exodus. Before Covid-19, the creative industry was the fastest growing in the UK, the Chancellor should act now before it’s too late.”

James Taylor Report author and Viva La PD Co-Administrator


  • The report is published by Viva La PD, an independent community group for Television Producer / Directors with over 1200 members. Its purpose is to expand on our previously published report “Freelancers: Fighting For Survival” (also attached) and to produce an up-to-date assessment of Covid-19's impact on the freelance television workforce.

  • The findings in the report are based on a survey of nearly 2000 freelance television professionals, who have been affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. The majority of whom have found themselves without work or alternative income.


Download the full report here:

Viva La PD No Work No Support 02-06-20
Download P • 243KB


James Taylor, report author and Viva La PD Co-Administrator is available for contact.


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