BORN and raised in Milford Haven, Annabel Jones has gone on to shock audiences and win awards with one of the biggest shows around – Black Mirror.

Speaking to the Milford Mercury, Annabel spoke about her move from Pembrokeshire, university and how she ended up producing an award-winning TV show by an unlikely route.

“I was born in Milford Haven and lived there ‘til I went to university in London,” she said. “My father’s family have lived in the area for generations.

“When I was very young, we lived in Thornton where nearly all of my father’s family lived – grandparents, great-grandparents, great-aunts and uncles, cousins. My poor mother…”

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At school in Pembrokeshire, Annabel remembers her English teachers being a big inspiration.

“I don’t remember being expelled [from school] so I think I did alright,” she said.

“I loved my English teachers, Mr Robert ‘Bobby’ Nesbitt and Miss Angela Spillane, who were both deliciously eccentric. They were a big inspiration for me.”

Despite where she ended up, Annabel never set out with the intention of working in TV and didn’t have a career in mind after university.

“A career?! I wouldn’t have been so cocky! I was still in shock that I’d got into university.

“When I left university, I had no idea what I wanted to do so I did the obvious thing – copied my flatmate.

Milford Mercury: A scene from the episode San Junipero PICTURE: NetflixA scene from the episode San Junipero PICTURE: Netflix

“I started training to be an auditor for Deloitte, a big accountancy practice in London.

“I think they quickly realised they’d made a huge mistake, so they stuck me in their small media department.

“I got to work with all their film, music and TV clients who didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t know what I was doing.”

From there, Annabel landed a job at Endemol Shine – the company behind everything from Big Brother to Peaky Blinders – where she met a group of comedy writers who would come to shape her future.

“With a shared sense of humour and a shared lack of qualifications, we set up a comedy TV production company called Zeppotron,” she said.

“That was the start of my working – I can’t call it professional – relationship with Charlie Brooker [Black Mirror's co-creator].”

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Since it launched in 2011, Black Mirror has wowed – and occasionally shocked – audiences. In the show’s first episode, a British prime minister is forced to have sex with a pig on live TV or a member of the royal family will be killed.

Since then, the show has gone on to win numerous awards, including an Emmy last Sunday (September 15) and is up for another this weekend - something Annabel has never quite gotten used to.

"Obviously I’m delighted about winning the Emmy for Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch. This Sunday’s award will be for Best TV Movie and it’s trickier.

“We’ve been very lucky to win the Best TV Movie Emmy for the last two years so we can’t complain!

“You never get used to winning awards. Each year you’re always nervous and always thrilled if anyone thinks it’s good enough to be recognised with an award.”

When pressed about what has made her most proud of Black Mirror, Annabel said it was difficult to name any one thing.

“Oh god, all of it,” she said. “I suppose I’m most proud of the fact that we make small, very intimate dramas and that they seem to resonate with people all over the world.

“I’m not particularly interested in bombastic conceptual sci-fi pieces because I struggle to have an emotional connection to them.

“I like that in Black Mirror we have tender love stories and stories about grieving in the modern world alongside contemporary dystopias and satirical thrillers. I’m proud of the diversity of story-telling.

“The fact that people watch it all over the world on Netflix is incredibly flattering. And terrifying so I try not to think about that!”

The writing process for the show involves a lot of time spent developing ideas, Annabel said this mostly consists of her and Brooker sitting in a room, attempting to offend each other, while trying to avoid eating too many biscuits.

“You can’t ask me which my favourite episode is!” Annabel said.

“It’s like asking what’s your favourite child - which we all know but can’t say…only joking, in case my kids ever read this.

“If I had to spend time in the world, I’d say San Junipero which is probably our most uplifting film. Maybe we could do a Welsh sequel and call it Saint Ishmaels.”

Asked what the best advice she had received, she said: “Everyone is making it up as they go along. I acquired that. No-one’s giving that advice out – they’re too busy bluffing.”

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Annabel said her parents are proud of her and the show’s success: “They do a very good job of pretending they like every episode. Occasionally they even claim to have understood some of them.

“I think they are very proud which of course makes me very happy.”

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Despite producing a hit TV show, Annabel said she has never forgotten her home.

“I remember most the beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast. The tranquillity and the sense of isolation in the winter and the fun when everyone descended on the beaches in the summer.

"I also remember the freedom of growing up in a small town where you pretty much knew everyone. The sense of security and the confidence that that gives you.”