Battle of the Broadcasters 2012 – report

Battle of the Broadcasters 2012 brought together leading channel executives and RTS Futures members to answer tricky telly questions that covered subjects as wide-ranging as comedy TV moustaches, resigning director-generals and drum ’n’ bass star Goldie’s love of the full English breakfast.

The first-ever RTS Futures quiz welcomed teams representing the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, ITV, MTV, National Geographic, Sky and UKTV – each made up of a couple of execs from the channel and four eager Futures members.

Britain’s Got More Talent and This Morning presenter Stephen Mulhern was the evening’s compere, stepping in for fellow ITV presenter Philip Schofield at late notice.

Mulhern guided the teams through seven rounds of questions, including "TV winners", "Guess that tweet", "Famous TV moustaches" and "Last night’s TV". One round was devoted solely to Schofield and included questions on the host eating guinea pig in Peru, sending Gordon the Gopher to Room 101 and interviewing Chelsea Charms, a woman who boasts the world’s largest breasts.

The questions ranged from the serious, "Who is the current culture secretary?"* to the wilfully obscure, "In which town was Antiques Roadshow based last night?"** (See below for the answers.)

After a closely fought battle C4 pipped the BBC to the title, with UKTV in third place. An unofficial team of RTS Futures committee members placed last (!).

The RTS Futures members in the winning C4 team were rewarded with a meeting with BBC1 controller Danny Cohen for their efforts. “It can take years to get an audience with Danny – that’s an amazing prize,” said RTS Futures chair Camilla Lewis. 

The winning C4 team was made up of RTS Futures members Boe Olaleye, Julia Veidt, Lea Donovan and Sana Soni, plus Jody Smith, Sian O’Connor and Syeda Irtizaali from the broadcaster. 

The producers of the event, which was held at ITV’s London Television Centre in November, were Tom O’Brien and Jonny Coller. Broadcaster team members included:

BBC: Sean Hancock, executive producer, entertainment, Chris Sussman, executive editor, comedy (London) and Karl Warner, commissioning editor, entertainment

BSkyB: Phil Edgar-Jones, head of entertainment

Channel 4: Syeda Irtizaali, commissioning editor, entertainment and Jody Smith, multiplatform commissioning editor, comedy and entertainment

ITV: Jamila Metran, programme manager, CITV and Katy Thorogood, commissioner for factual and daytime

MTV: Ilya Colak-Antic, director of external development

National Geographic: Hannah Demidowicz, head of commissioning and acquisitions and Jules Oldroyd, vice-president of programming and strategic development

UKTV: Richard Watsham, senior commissioning editor, Tanya Qureshi, development producer and Sharifa Mansour, commissioning assistant.

Report by Matthew Bell

All pictures copyright Paul Hampartsoumian

* Maria Miller

** Farnborough, Hampshire