Big Brother

Channel 5's Ben Frow swaps Big Brother for "life-affirming" shows

Ben Frow

It’s a good time to sit down with Ben Frow, Channel 5’s director of programmes. A purple patch that started with the station winning Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh TV Awards last August has just been topped with the station’s best Christmas since 2005 – and all this after Frow’s “carnage” assessment of the first half of the year.

From his now much more comfortable perch, the executive is happy to reel off a catalogue of titles that, in those first months of 2018, passed most of the nation by.

Becky Crosthwaite: Finding a place in reality TV

Becky Crosthwaite

There are so many different jobs in the reality TV field, from Story, Art, Gallery and Edit Producing to Directing, and the best way to get into the genre is usually as a Runner or Logger. When I started out in TV I didn't know games teams existed but I knew I wanted to work in a creative and ideas-based environment. I worked in a few development departments, but it was frustrating pouring my heart and soul into creating formats that sadly sometimes just wouldn't get commissioned. Then when I heard about games from a colleague, it was like fireworks going off in my head.

Love Island will return after reaching record viewing figures

Beating Channel 5 staple Big Brother in Monday night's ratings, the erotically-charged TV contest won 6.9% of the audience share with 1.3million viewers over BB's 1.2million.

ITV2 has already started looking for 2017's participants after announcing earlier this week that season 3 had the green light.

The show caused uproar among the viewing public for broadcasting sexually explicit encounters between housemates. Nonetheless, Love Island's audience peaked at 1.5million, improving on last year by 700k. 

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.

Ben Frow: The passionate TV exec

Ben Frow

Ben Frow is not as other directors of programmes. They tend to be sober, jargon-ridden and cautious – at least when speaking to me. They talk of "passion" but rarely show it: steady as the ratings sink or, occasionally, rise. Frow is funny, camp and outspoken, easily bruised and easily enthused.

 

He was obviously not what Richard Desmond, the Daily Express publisher and, for four years, owner of Channel 5, was expecting either, when he summoned him for a job interview in 2012.