Channel 5

TV production outside the M25 is alive and well

C+I’s most popular original show, Murdertown featuring Hull (Credit: A&E Networks)

In recent years, Channel 4’s new national HQ in Leeds and the BBC’s relocation of 2,300 posts to Salford have dominated our perception of out-of-London programme production.

This is perhaps not surprising: the corporation has the largest Ofcom quota for UK production outside the M25 – 50% – followed by Channel 4 and ITV, who both have 35%, and Channel 5, with 10%.

Channel 5 to partner up with BAME owned production companies

Ben Frow (Credit: The TV Collective)

The new initiative is part of the commitment made by channel 5 to create mainstream programmes that accurately reflect contemporary Britain.

The TV Collective was founded ten years ago by Simone Pennant and promotes the commercial and creative value that having diversity can bring to British film and TV studios.

Channel 5 are looking for nine small or medium size BAME companies, primarily based in the regions, who are owned and managed by BAME talent.

Channel 5 expands pre-school content

Peppa Pig (Credit: Channel 5/Milkshake!)

Among the new commissions includes Milkshake! Monkey’s Amazing Adventures, which follows iconic character Milkshake! Monkey as he visits various locations across the UK to learn about the geography and history of the country.

The channel has also announced six potential projects in development for Milkshake! and for the Young Audiences Contestable fund.

Milkshake! also announced a strong commitment to develop content from the UK and has confirmed more investment to boost UK commissions on the channel to 300 programmes by 2021.

Julian Bellamy on the need to build talent pools across the UK

Line of Duty (Credit: BBC/World Productions)

ITV Studios’ Managing Director, Julian Bellamy, wants people to know that he is open for business for creative talent and great ideas – wherever they may come from.

“We’re in a world now where creative talent has never been more in demand, more diverse, more commercial, more mobile – and if you don’t embrace that as a producer, you won’t survive and prosper,” he said. 

Bellamy already has a large talent pool to choose from. ITV’s strategy of acquiring independent production companies means that it owns 23 labels in the UK alone, with investment in a further five.

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.

Our Friend in Leeds: Helen Scott prepares for Channel 4's arrival

Leeds (Credit: Channel 4)

The announcement that Channel 4 will be coming to Leeds literally lit up the city. Social media went mad. Leeds City Region’s #4Sparks campaign had prevailed, and Leeds University floodlit its iconic Parkinson Building in celebration.

Friends and neighbours with no connection to the media were talking about it as a good thing. A new wave of prosperity, jobs and creative pride was on the way.

Moreover, we had been the underdog and beaten off the challenge from the two Andies (mayors Andy Street, heading the Birmingham bid, and Andy Burnham, in Manchester).