TV Diary

11 Jul 2014
Not many bring-your-daughter-to-work days include a war briefing in Parliament. All in a day's work for Andrew Scadding

It’s the football again this week. To be honest, my only issue with the footie is that Holby City gets shifted around, and that’s my weekly appointment-to-view TV.

Holby City, I hear you ask? Yes, I answer. I know it’s popular and British and, yes, I know it’s not a box-set political drama from Washington or, come to think of it, set in Schleswig-Holstein or Malmö – but I love it.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Bristolian and Holby is kind of, er, Bristol.

An inside view of the enemy within

16 Jun 2014
The inside story of an independent, crowd-funded film about the 1984-85 miners strike. Report by Hywel Wiliam and Tim Hartley

Margaret Thatcher labelled them the “enemy within” and the media cast them as “Arthur’s Army”. 

Marking the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 miners strike, Sinead Kirwan and Owen Gower from production company Bad Bonobo explained at a Wales Centre event how they made Still the Enemy Within as an independent, crowd-funded film. 

Together, they raised £75,000 to tell the hidden story of the people behind the longest national industrial dispute in British history. 

High stakes for the BBC

11 Jul 2014
A key issue in the Scottish independence debate is the fate of the BBC if Scotland votes yes, reports Maggie Brown

In June former Prime Minister Gordon Brown finally ignited the debate about the BBC and Scottish independence by raising the “EastEnders” question. The key issue is whether the country’s 5.2 million citizens would have uninterrupted access to all current BBC services, if the referendum vote is for separation, and Scots’ licence fees are then diverted to a new national broadcaster.

Convergence in a box

16 Jun 2014
Richard Halton tells Torin Douglas why YouView is an essential part of British TV's future

It’s little wonder that YouView’s CEO, Richard Halton, is smiling. After years of delayed launches, regulatory rows, changes of chairmen and negative headlines (such as “Alan Sugar should kill the YouView brand”), the venture that Halton has nurtured from its earliest days as “Project Canvas” can look ahead with confidence.

Archives set free of the past

16 Jun 2014
RTS/Focal Jane Mercer Memorial Lecture by Anthony Wall. Report by Matthew Bell

A packed audience for this year’s RTS/Focal Jane Mercer Memorial Lecture was treated to Arena Series Editor Anthony Wall’s experiments with archive footage on the BBC’s idiosyncratic arts strand. Within Wall’s output, Christopher Columbus, Johnny Rotten, Shirley Bassey and Kendo Nagasaki happily share screen time.

TV design: apply within

16 Jun 2014
Matthew Bell learns what it takes to fill the vacancies in TV's design disciplines

The UK’s reputation in the traditional TV and film crafts of make-up, costume and production design is unrivalled – and the good news is that there is no shortage of work in these areas.

That was the overwhelming conclusion of the recent RTS Futures event, “Making it in TV design”, where aspirant make-up artists and designers were given advice from a panel of industry practitioners.

A man with worldwide ambitions

11 Jul 2014
The CEO of BBC Worldwide wears no tie and no airs. Tim Davie tells Andrew Billen why he is not bashful about money or public service

The Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide is a personable, persuasive but modest fellow with a south-London accent. Tim Davie wears no tie and has no airs.

When we run out of our allocated time in the Robin Day Meeting Room at New Broadcasting House, he finds, after a few wrong turns, an empty cubicle named after Elizabeth Cowell (BBC TV’s first continuity announcer), where we can continue.

30 days in the life of a new channel

16 Jun 2014
London Live, the new multi-platform broadcasting operation serving the capital, has ignored much of TV's established playbook, reports Steve Clarke

From BBC Two to TV-am, getting a new television station on air and establishing it has never been easy. But on 31 March London Live, the biggest channel in former Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s new wave of local-TV services, arrived in one piece.

And so was born the capital’s first bespoke, multi-platform network channel aimed at the under-35s. 

Why we need to embrace uncertainty

11 Jun 2014
Michael Lynch says machine intelligence will reinvent TV - assuming we survive the blistering speed that technology is advancing, learns Steve Clarke

Prediction may be very difficult, particularly about the future – but put technology entrepreneur Dr Mike Lynch on stage at the Royal Society and you are guaranteed a mind-stretching performance. 

The Cambridge-educated scientist, described as Britain’s answer to Bill Gates (Lynch’s wealth is estimated to be in the order of £500m) provided a typically stimulating address.

Speed date the entertainment gurus

16 Jun 2014
Futures members probed and pitched at some of the biggest names in Entertainment television, writes Matthew Bell

speed date the entertainment gurus
Two Futures members quizzing one of the Gurus (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)
The top primetime ­entertainment shows ­– Strictly Come Dancing, The Voice UK, Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor – all occupy a unique place in the ecology of British TV.

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