A new dawn for diversity?

23 Dec 2014
TV has been ‘hideously white’ for too long. Steve Clarke attends an RTS debate that signals progress is finally under way

From left: Helen Goodman MP, Clive Myrie, Ed Vaizey MP and Stephen Gilbert MP (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
From left: Helen Goodman MP, Clive Myrie, Ed Vaizey MP and Stephen Gilbert MP (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
On the face of it, a privately educated, Oxford graduate Tory grandee and a black TV comic who left school at 16 have nothing in common.

Our Friend in the West

23 Dec 2014
While celebrating Bristol’s success as a creative hub, Laura wonders why some London commissioners treat her as a yokel

Icon Films is based in Bristol, and this febrile, effervescent hub out south west is a fine place to be an indie. It's a dichotomous city, considered conservative and prosperous (think tobacco, Ministry of Defence and banking), but with a long history of innovation and dissent (think Cabot, Brunel and Wesley).

Bristol is home to some of the most innovative companies and institutions in the land. Quantum physicists and playwrights mingle here, using the formal and informal networks that exist – and, through this restless connectivity and constant hubbub, comes great work.

Retransmission: who benefits?

23 Dec 2014
David Abraham and Tom Mockridge debate whether public service channels are subsidising pay-TV platforms. Tara Conlan keeps score

Tom Mockridge (left) and David Abraham (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
Tom Mockridge (left) and David Abraham (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
The fault line that has opened up between commercial public service broadcasters and pay-TV platforms over their value to each other was laid bare in a lively RTS debate between Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham and Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge.

Andrew Billen meets Danielle Lux

23 Dec 2014
Danielle Lux believes the shows she makes, including Mr and Mrs and A League of Their Own, can be a force for good. She attempts to enlighten Andrew Billen

Danielle Lux
Danielle Lux
She is, a senior executive told me, a "truly lovely person – and good, too". "I've never heard anybody bitch about her," said a producer who once worked with her, adding: "I suspect she is a pretty decent human being, which is still a relatively uncommon quality."

I am fully expecting, therefore, to discover a good egg when I meet Danielle Lux, Managing Director of CPL Productions, the game-show company that once was mighty Celador.

The new threats to foreign correspondents

23 Dec 2014
With the emergence of Isis and ebola, TV news foreign correspondents are facing new threats to their lives, reports David Wastell.

The fear in the voices of the Kurdish peshmerga soldiers was unmistakable, as they shouted a warning to the BBC television crew taking cover with them in a shattered building in Jalawlā, 110km from Baghdad.AFP reporter Sammy Ketz drops to the ground to escape sniper fire in Maalula, Syria in September 2013 (Credit: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • Doctor Who: anatomy of a hit

    23 Dec 2014
    The team behind the monster hit reveal how every episode constitutes a regeneration of the sci-fi legend.

    In the decade since its revival, Doctor Who has become a TV institution. Time Lords and assistants come and go, but the popularity of the BBC One sci-fi series remains undimmed.

    As Peter Capaldi's first series as the Time Lord ended in November, show-­runner Steven Moffat and key members of the production team – Executive Producer Brian Minchin, Producer Nikki Wilson, creature effects maestro Rob Mayor and Director Ben Wheatley – sold out an RTS early-evening event, "Doctor Who: anatomy of a hit".

    Connected TV decoded

    23 Dec 2014
    The coming avalanche of connected-TV and mobile services will leave linear TV viewing largely intact, hears Maggie Brown

    The implications of the rapid uptake of connected-TV and the explosion of mobile devices on which users can find and watch content were teased out at a packed RTS early-evening event before Christmas.

    As panellist Dan Saunders, Head of Chromecast for the UK, Nordics and Netherlands at Google, put it with a dash of self-interest: "Lucky consumers... The UK is white hot right now. So many different choices. Awareness is soaring about the ways to find content."

    TV demographics for dummies

    23 Dec 2014
    There was a time when we all sat down together to watch the TV. Not any more. Stefan Stern guides us through the jungle of today’s TV tribes.

    Spectrum scarcity" was not the name of a 1970s prog-rock band, but it dates back to a similar era. We didn't all realise it then, but the days of a three- or four-channel world, with most of us watching the same programmes, were already numbered.

    The soap opera set
    The soap opera set

    Paul Jackson's TV Diary

    23 Dec 2014
    Paul Jackson talks up business opportunities in China, wonders where the next big thing in entertainment is coming from and dines with a TV legend

    I am chairing a panel to discuss opportunities in China at the Televisual Factual Festival. China has become a fashionable market in the past year, with a substantial increase in the value of deals made by UK companies, albeit from a very low base.

    And it can be a valuable market: the lead sponsor on the latest series of The Voice of China paid over $50m for the privilege.

    January 2015

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