BBC

Fran Unsworth: Facing the challenges for BBC News head on

Fran Unsworth (Credit: BBC)

When I ask the BBC’s director of news, Fran Unsworth, if the first year in her new role has lived up to her expectations, she gives a hollow laugh.

“I always knew it was going to be a challenging job, let’s put it like that,” she admits. “But quite how challenging it turned out to be – pretty quickly into it – I possibly hadn’t anticipated.

BBC renews Killing Eve for a third series

The announcement comes just days after the US premiere of series two, which aired on BBC America and AMC on Sunday 7th April.

Killing Eve, which follows MI5 agent Eve (Sandra Oh ) on the hunt for assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), was a break out hit in 2018, with BBC iPlayer receiving over 46 million requests for series one of the drama so far.

BBC opens applications for Content Commissioner development programme

(Credit: BBC)

The broadcasting company is offering six training placements for talented TV professionals with a disability, and those from black, Asian, and minority backgrounds, to develop their commissioning skills.

Now in it’s third year, the six-month programme will place applicants into one of the BBC’s commissioning teams, including BBC Two, Arts, Drama, Entertainment, Popular Factual and Specialist Factual.

The Interrogation of Tony Martin wins big at West of England Awards 2019

RTS Award Winner David Nath (Credit: Jon Craig/@JonCraig_Photos)

David Nath – the co-founder of Story Films – picked up the Director award, while Joe Carey won the Editing prize. Nath’s script for the programme was taken verbatim from the police interview recordings of Tony Martin, the Norfolk farmer who shot a fleeing burglar dead in 1999. The judges described it as a “truly exciting piece of television, so well done technically and very well cast”.

Our Friend in the North West: Cat Lewis talks production centres in the UK

Cat Lewis

As TV producers, we’re facing more global competition than ever before. Whenever they wish, viewers can watch one of many programmes from around the world on Netflix or Amazon, rather than one of our shows. Or they can stream or download dozens of feature films available via their TV sets.

I genuinely believe that the best response to this difficult situation is to embrace the creativity of the whole country, and not just rely on London­based programme-makers.

Production Focus: Who Do You Think You Are

Charles Dance (Credit: BBC)

Graham, who founded the programme’s producer Wall to Wall, came up with the idea for a genealogy series in which famous faces discover the truth about their ancestors – but it took a decade and a half for a commissioner to bite.

“This show is 15 years old this year but this year is also the 30th anniversary of me trying to sell it to the BBC,” he said.

BBC faces the bill for licence fees

 New Broadcasting House (Credit: BBC/Jeff Overs)

Twenty years ago, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown set a time bomb ticking. This summer, it looks likely to blow up in the BBC’s face.

In November 1999, the Guardian reported: “Chancellor Gordon Brown swept away the burden of the BBC licence fee for the over-75s yesterday, in a move that delighted the broadcaster but left the rest of the television industry alarmed that the move might presage a rise in the licence fee for others.”

The ultimate professional: Fiona Bruce

Fiona Bruce (Credit: BBC)

Whoever replaced national treasure David Dimbleby as host of BBC flagship Question Time faced a daunting prospect. Having fronted the show for an age-defying 25 years, he cast a long shadow, and there was intense pressure on the corporation to pick someone who wouldn’t be overpowered by the role.

Fiona Bruce was regarded in some quarters as an unlikely choice to succeed such an iconic broadcasting heavyweight. Viewers didn’t have to wait long for her baptism of fire.