The Voice presenter Reggie Yates returns to Islington college

Reggie Yates with students at City and Islington College

Reggie Yates with students at City and Islington College - Credit: Archant

TV presenter Reggie Yates visited students at his former college to give advice on how to make it in the industry.

The Islington born star studied his A-levels at Islington and City College’s Goswell Road campus from 1999 to 2001 after being a pupil at Central Foundation Boy’s School in Finsbury.

Yates, who has presented BBC’s Top of the Pops and The Voice, has recently also been acclaimed for his writing – picking up Best UK Short Film at the London Independent Film Festival.

“I grew up in a home where there was pressure on me to pursue academic subjects, but I wanted to take the creative route which led me to studying at City and Islington College,” said 31-year-old Yates who grew up on the Mersey Estate on Liverpool Road.

“At this point I had already been working in the entertainment industry for ten years. Actually studying what I had been doing really helped me grow and develop. I was encouraged and I learnt from my teachers that it is ok to have an idea and to have a vision of what you want to achieve and to go for it.”

Yates’ is now a constant on British television and last week traced his family history on hit BBC series Who Do You Think You Are.

Asked about his subsequent work writing and directing documentaries and how young people can break into the industry, he said: “Always be prepared, have your work ready on your YouTube channel so that you can impress and take the chance when it comes.

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“You don’t have to have money to do it and you simply have to give people your YouTube URL and how good you are will speak for itself.”

Sixth Form media tutor, Bernard Buliatis, who taught Reggie during his time at the College, said: “What Reggie had in abundance when he was here was the ability to charm in a genuine way and he was always very polite.

“He has made a success of himself through that natural ability but also hard work, ideas, and always going the extra mile.”

A Level media and film student, Korrie Powell, said: “Meeting Reggie today was inspirational. He was very funny and as an aspiring film director myself, the fact that he used to study here gives me hope that I can make it in the industry too.”