Behind the scenes of The Wright Stuff

11 Feb 2015
Pre-dawn start keeps daytime debate fresh

The Wright Stuff presenters (from left): Kirsty Duffy, Matthew Wright and Eric Johnson
The Wright Stuff presenters (from left): Kirsty Duffy, Matthew Wright and Eric Johnson (Credit: Princess Productions)
There's rarely a dull moment on long-running Channel 5 daytime show The Wright Stuff. Over its 14-year run, guests have had panic attacks on air; streakers have invaded the studio; the audience has thrown both abuse and objects; lights have exploded; and sets collapsed.

Obituary: Tony Pilgrim MBE 1923-2015

11 Feb 2015
Obituary of Tony Pilgrim MBE 1923-2015 by George Pagan

Tony Pilgrim with Her Majesty the Queen in 1987
Tony Pilgrim with Her Majesty the Queen in 1987
Tony Pilgrim, an important figure in the RTS's evolution, has died. He was 91.

In 1960, Tony helped to found the Midlands Centre of the Television Society, of which he became Chairman in 1964.

This led to a seat on the Council, which, in turn, led to his Chairmanship of the Society in 1969.

Are online services going to destroy the broadcast model?

11 Feb 2015
As Amazon signs Woody Allen to make his first TV series, are on-demand services poised to wreck the broadcast model? Stephen Price is sceptical

The traditional way of watching television, as a family around a static set in the corner of the living room, is over, we are told. TV ownership has – for the first time ever – declined.

Now it’s about subscription-based, on-demand content downloaded to watch when you want and where you want; we’ll all be binge watchers soon.

According to this view, the way we watch TV is at, or even past, a tipping point. If only it were that simple.

How fixed-rig has transformed factual

11 Feb 2015
Factual TV has been transformed by fixed-rig docs such as Educating Yorkshire and 24 Hours in A&E. Matthew Bell hears how they are made.

Educating the East End
Educating the East End (Credit: Channel 4)
Channel 4's top fixed-rig series – One Born Every Minute, 24 Hours in A&E and Educating Yorkshire – have won a clutch of RTS awards and Baftas, and have proved enduringly popular with viewers over the past few years.

Our Friend in Ireland

11 Feb 2015
Public-service media has a vital role to play in sustaining a sense of community. So why is the state so slow to grasp that?

Growing up on the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s left me with an acute sense of community – or, perhaps, "communities".

Of course, the Troubles dominated, and our idea of "community", the idea of "Ireland" itself, was the lead story for a media that often had only one story to tell.

Sky spreads its risks

11 Feb 2015
The merger of three European satellite broadcasters is a defensive move.

When Rupert Murdoch tried in 2010 to acquire the 61% of satellite operator BSkyB that he did not own, pandemonium broke out. There were inquiries, protests and threats to a number of powerful reputations.

Eventually, the deal was fatally undermined by the News of the World phone-hacking scandal and revelations that murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked.

Vice News Comes of Age

11 Feb 2015
Launched one year ago, the upstart news network is winning new respect for Vice Media.

When Vice News launched online, in March 2014, it had a lot to prove. Coming from the same stable that had published articles such as "It's time to talk about armpit fetishes" and "Santa was a shroom head", there was a risk that the hipster bible would struggle to make a credible entrance into the field of news reporting.

One year on and Vice is hailing its news channel as a success and established broadcasters have been forced to sit up and take notice.

Send in the drones

11 Feb 2015
Breathtaking footage filmed by drones is becoming part of the grammar of TV. Andrew Sheldon is excited, but warns that producers must tread carefully

We work in an industry that takes new kit to its heart. Right now, drones are the gadget of the moment. They bring a little bit of Hollywood to even the most mundane corners of the EPG.

No jib long enough? Don’t worry, the drone will get there. No helicopter nimble enough? The drone will get it… and without the downdraft ruffling the leaves.

Dating shows: the new rules of the game

11 Feb 2015
From Blind Date to Ex on the Beach, Sanya Burgess tracks the evolution of a guilty pleasure

Ex on the Beach
Ex on the Beach
Thanks to TV, observing people's love lives and dating habits has come a long way from reading the protracted courting rituals of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

From the titan of TV matchmaking, Blind Date, to the more niche Take Me Out, the British public has fallen in love with a genre that mixes the suspense of "Will they, won't they?" with nervous singles blurting out naff chat-up lines.

Social media sets the political agenda

11 Feb 2015
May 2015 is shaping up to be the UK’s first connected general election. Torin Douglas reports.

If anyone doubts, in this digital, social-media age, that television will play a key role in the general election campaign, they need only look at the rows over the leaders' TV debates.

"Televised election debate plans in disarray" was The Daily Telegraph's splash headline over the leak of new proposals drawn up by the broadcasters, after David Cameron refused to take part if the Greens were excluded.

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