BBC

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.

BBC unveils new daytime line-up

Good Morning Dagenham (Credit: BBC)

Blue Planet UK, presented by Springwatch’s Gillian Burke and Countryfile’s Steve Brown with Chris Packham, deals with British marine life and makes its debut on BBC One in March.

It will be made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and provide a “health check of our seas”.

In common with Blue Planet II it highlights plastic pollution. The series will offer “practical solutions for how to get involved across the country and tackle plastic pollution”.

Bodyguard snags the top spot on BBC iPlayer

David Budd (Richard Madden) (Credit: BBC/BBC Studios)

In 2018, BBC iPlayer received requests for 3.6 billion programmes throughout the year.

Among the top ten requested shows per series included Bodyguard, Killing Eve, McMafia, Doctor Who, Keeping Faith, The Cry, Dynasties, Our Girl, Bing and MOTD Live.

“In 2018 we saw people who use iPlayer increasing the amount of time that they spend watching programmes on it,” said Dan McGolpin, Controller of Programming for the BBC.

Strictly Come Dancing: the masterclass

Head judge Shirley Ballas, dancer Giovanni Pernice and his celebrity partner from the 2018 series, Faye Tozer, joined the new executive producer, Sarah James and her predecessor, Louise Rainbow, to discuss the work that goes into producing the hit BBC One show.

Rainbow, who has been Strictly’s executive producer for the past six years, explained that pre-production begins in January, when discussions start on securing celebrities before the show’s launch the following September. 

Agents make a bid for content production

Entourage (Credit: Sky)

This begins with a true story. I have withheld the real names, as I still want to do a little business, and certainly have lunch now and again, in LA. Some years ago, I went to see some senior executives at one of the major US talent agencies. We chatted amiably for the first 10 minutes, as you do. The normal stuff. “How long are you in town?” “I love London… you must know my friend Jack. He lives in Liverpool. That’s kinda near, isn’t it?” “The guy who runs NBC is going to be toast by Christmas.”

RTS gets festive with a look at Christmas TV past, present and future

Anita Singh, Lord Grade, Kate Phillips, Kate Russell (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Over nearly four decades, Michael, now Lord, Grade walked the corridors of power at London Weekend Television, the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV – no one is more qualified to discuss the enduring appeal of Christmas telly.

Lord Grade commissioned many of the nation’s most memorable festive programmes, including the 1986 Christmas Day EastEnders when Den issued Angie with divorce papers. Ratings topped 30 million, although that figure includes viewers of a repeat showing.

Killian Scott and Sarah Greene lead new BBC drama Dublin Murders

Killian Scott and Sarah Greene (Credit: BBC)

Inspired by Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad novels, the series follows detectives Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene).

It sees the pair attempt to solve the murders of a young ballerina and a vivacious free-spirited woman.

Set during the height of the Celtic Tiger financial boom, the two murders, seemingly unrelated, are revealed to be connected through the cruel elements in both cases.

Freeview announces launch of new mobile app

The free app will provide viewers with the chance to watch on-demand content and live stream channels BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on mobile devices.

On-demand services BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 and UKTV Play will allow audiences to catch up on their favourite shows on the go, with a ‘Recommendations’ feature to help users discover new programmes.