Working girls

Reading Room founder Margaret Manning has turned mentor for the BBC’s Working Girls programme, in an episode which airs next week.

The BBC Three series is billed as seeing ‘girls with a non-existent work ethic teamed with successful businesswomen in an attempt to whip them into shape’.

Margaret Manning and Leanne Duffy
Margaret Manning and Leanne Duffy

Next Thursday’s episode will see 19-year-old Leanne Duffy taken under Manning’s wing in an eight-day internship at Reading Room.

Reading Room was apparently chosen as a good destination for Duffy’s internship after a historian on the programme discovered that she comes from a long line of women working in the creative industries.

Manning says, ‘It was incredibly nerve-wracking. I hadn’t met Leanne for the first time, so the first time I met her was on film.’

She adds, ‘I’d looked at her CV beforehand though and saw some real intelligence there. I thought, “This is someone Reading Room could work with”.’

Manning says Duffy was ‘really thrown in at the deep end’ during the internship process, which saw her work as a runner, take on marketing tasks and work towards taking part in a pitch.

Margaret Manning and Leanne Duffy
Margaret Manning and Leanne Duffy

So does Duffy thrive at the Reading Room and take part in the pitch process at the end of the show? ‘I wouldn’t want to give that away,’ says Manning. Looks like you’ll have to tune in to find out.

Margaret Manning’s Working Girls episode will be broadcast on Thursday 24 March at 9pm on BBC Three.

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