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A Day in the Life of... Liz McCann We recently spoke to Liz who holds an SIA Licence and has spent much of her career working in TV and Film security. Liz has also worked as a door supervisor at pubs, events and music festivals as well as performing security duties at the prestigious
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A Day in the Life of... Liz McCann

March 04, 2021

We recently spoke to Liz who holds an SIA Licence and has spent much of her career working in TV and Film security. Liz has also worked as a door supervisor at pubs, events and music festivals as well as performing security duties at the prestigious Eton College.

Keeping busy, Liz has been working during the pandemic at a COVID testing centre where she is in charge of making testing kits.


Hi Liz, thanks for taking some time out to answer a few questions. So you have worked on film sets? Sounds very cool! What was that like?

It was a lot of fun and I think it is the type of work I have enjoyed doing the most. Working within such a large team with so many different types of people meant there was always something going on. I always like to get to the set half an hour before I start my shift - this gives me a chance to assess the area and see what I am working with in my surroundings.

My main role is to ensure health and safety within the filming perimeters. This will involve making sure no paparazzi or members of the public enter the film set – as I’m sure you can imagine, depending on where sets are, they can draw a lot of attention.

I also need to make sure no secret filming is taking place on personal devices so I am always on the lookout to any suspicious looking activity or characters.

Depending on the set, there will be fixtures and cables around everywhere – it’s part of my role to keep everyone safe from injury and to ensure any hazards are well signed as anything like that is a potential hazard for those working on set.

One of the nicest things that came out of my experience working on sets was the realisation that people are people – no matter how well known or “famous” they might be. There was a time I remember how the whole set stopped filming to help find an item that had been reported lost. Even the presenters joined in the search – taking time out of busy pre-set schedules because they cared about the welfare of their team. It showed me that regardless of the reputation the film industry has there are definitely a lot of good people in it.


That sounds busy! Any perks?

Well I did get to obviously meet a few famous faces including Keith Lemon and Paddy McGuinness! It’s nice that you get to work with different people each day and can actually converse with some of them – they are in the main just normal down to earth people.

I prefer working in TV and film because it has always felt like a less dangerous role compared to other positions I have held at events and at nightclubs. It’s very unlikely – and I haven’t had to deal with weapons or drugs and I never felt like I was putting myself in a life-threatening situation.

I mean with every security role there is always a risk but the processes and procedures in place whilst on set are so thorough it makes our jobs much easier. The set teams and overall management make it a priority to take care of everyone’s safety and wellbeing on set.


So, the big question - how did you get into security?

My cousin was actually working in TV and film doing security and I thought it sounded like an interesting job! I found out more, and that’s how I got into security!

When it comes to life and work - It’s who you know that helps you.

I enjoyed the work so much I managed to persuade my nephew and son-in-law to get into this type of security work.


Has this role allowed you to have a balance between work and personal life?

Security work definitely allows you to balance your time between work and having a social/family life. Frontline security can offer great flexibility – you can decide on the days, hours, shift patterns you work which can make all the difference. I get to make time to see my grandkids. You are self employed so you are more in control of your time and can decide how much you can and can’t work.


We’re intrigued to learn a little bit more about working at Eton, what was that like?

Eton was completely different to TV and film as my main priority was looking after the residents – both students and staff. Part of my role was patrolling the campus to ensure everyone was safe and there were no prevalent threats – this could take up to an hour the site was so large. The area was under 24 hour surveillance, so there were cameras everywhere but it was important we were present and knew the ins and outs of the village. I would work alternate shifts – some days I would work a day shift and others during the night.

On this job you always had to be alert to ensure proper risk assessing.


Any advice to our readers?

Always be polite to people, it’s best to “kill them with kindness.”

You never know where your generous acts can take you. Dress smart and presentable, to make sure you look professional for the role.

TV and film is definitely an industry where the show must go on (literally) apart from COVID, nothing has ever impacted this industry so unlike security roles in other industries, you’re never without work.


Speaking to Liz has shown us great insight into TV and film and just how crucial her role is to help the “show go on”!

Do you have a security story you would like to share? Let us know!

If you are currently looking for work then please do get in touch for help around CV’s, cover letters and interviews. Send your CV to for a free review or book a CV package and get one of our expert team to write you a new professional CV.

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