BBC Four

Who will own the future of television?

RTS Cambridge Session 1

Who will own the future – the broadcasters, the content owners or the global tech behemoths, such as Google, Facebook and Apple? The question is not new, but it is becoming ever more pressing for people in television.

James Purnell, the BBC’s Director, Strategy and Digital, led this comprehensive opening debate, “Happy Valley or House of Cards? Television in 2020”.

Kim Shillinglaw: It’s bloody hard to make great television

Kim Shillinglaw

When Kim Shillinglaw became Controller of BBC Two last year, one of her predecessors took her for a drink. Roly Keating had launched BBC Four, moved on to BBC Two and filled in as temporary boss of BBC One. In a meeting room in New Broadcasting House, Shillinglaw recalls with terrible clarity what he told her.

“He said, ‘You will find BBC Two is the toughest. Let me tell you that now. BBC Four has a lot of individual commissions but not very much money, so there’s a limit to how many things it can commission.

Michael Jackson: From Macclesfield to Manhattan

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's stellar career encapsulates much of the creative history of TV during the past 30 years. He was an innovative independent producer back in the 1980s, reinvented BBC Two in the 1990s, and went on to run Channel 4. There, he launched Queer as FolkAli G and Big Brother, before crossing the Atlantic to work for the legendary mogul Barry Diller.

Today, still based in New York, his career has swung full circle. Jackson is once again working as a producer.

BBC Four goes slow with a week of special programmes

A gentle journey along the canal, the careful crafting of a wooden chair, and a behind the scenes look at the National Gallery will take centre stage on BBC Four as the channel embraces slow television.

BBC Four Goes Slow will feature a week of programming following activities or journeys in real-time, without editing or narration, in contrast to the frenetic pace of most regular programming.