‘Network your socks off’: inside the RTS Midlands Student Awards 2024

A group of students hold up RTS Awards in front of screens displaying the RTS branding

The audience at this year’s RTS Midlands Student Television Awards left knowing much more about the current state of the TV industry, how to get started – and, especially, the importance of networking.

The top piece of advice from the awards host, young actor and director Theo Johnson, was to “network your socks off”.

He added: “You’re always one step away from the person who can change your life, trust me. It’s been the most important thing for me. But be polite, don’t be scary or stalkery.”

Next generation of TV writers in peril

“Crisis? What crisis?” This was the 1979 tabloid headline that encapsulated the Callaghan Government’s apparent blissful ignorance of the proliferating emergencies surging towards it.

Shortly afterwards, James Callaghan was ousted and Margaret Thatcher was elected. Then followed the long and bitter miners’ strike. And we all know the consequences of that.

Lisa Holdsworth, Sally Ogden and Jin-Theng Craven discuss gender inequality in screenwriting as soaps are axed

The cuts in unscripted TV and the cost of living crisis, said Holdsworth, the creator of upcoming Channel 4 drama Dance School, had hit the largely freelance workforce in the industry hard. “If you have to keep a roof over people’s heads… it doesn’t feel stable to be working in television at the moment. I don’t blame anyone who’s looked elsewhere,” she said.

Our Friend in the Midlands: Kully Khaila on the cancellation of Doctors

Kully Khaila poses in a selfie

Like a patient receiving life-changing news when they only went in for a routine check-up, last ­October’s BBC announcement that the long-running daytime drama Doctors was to be axed was a shock. 

For more than two decades, Doctors has been part of the TV audience’s daytime routine across the nation. The final episode will be shown in December 2024, when the surgery closes its doors for ever. It promises to go out with a bang. 

Craft and resolve: Ash Atalla, Clare Richards, Inzamam Rashid and Steve Hughes deliver RTS Student Masterclasses 2023

Inzamam Rashid talks to Helen Scott on stage at the RTS Student Masterclasses 2023

The RTS Student Master­classes drew a crowd of more than 300 this month to hear four of the industry’s top talents talk about their careers and offer first-hand advice on how to make a start in television.


Inzamam Rashid, a Sky News correspondent based in the north of England, told the packed Journalism masterclass: “I always wanted to do the news, [as] a reporter, a newsreader or [working] behind the scenes.”

Long-running BBC soap Doctors will end after 23 years

Headshots of individual cast in hospital scrubs with white lettering spelling 'doctors' superimposed on the image

Since its debut in 2000, Doctors has followed the fictional lives of NHS doctors, nurses, and receptionists, as well as their families and friends. Alongside these continuing story lines, they also have a story of the week which focuses on a patient and their individual life, usually for a one or two episode arc.

Winners announced for the RTS Midlands Awards 2020

The writers of the Tiger Aspect production, Guz Khan and Andy Milligan, were named Best Writers for the third year running.

Dúaa Karim, who stars as Khan’s little sister in Man Like Mobeen, won the Acting (Female) award, while the series also took the Craft – Production prize. 

Hereford-based production company and charity Rural Media matched Man Like Mobeen, nabbing three awards for: Flesh (Animation); film-maker Luke Collins (Breakthrough Off-screen); and BBC New Creatives (Short-form).

Behind the Scenes of BBC One's Doctors | RTS Midlands Careers Fair

The team behind BBC One's Doctors takes us behind the scenes of the Birmingham set of the continuing drama, sharing who does what, how they do it and all the gossip. Followed by a Q&A with the on-screen talent. Panellists include Producer, Mike Hobson, 1st Assistant Director and Scheduler, Rachel Stacy, and Actors, Bharti Patel and Dex Lee.

RTS Futures Careers Fair open its doors to emerging TV talent

More than 40 broadcasters, production companies and industry bodies set up home for the day in the Business Design Centre, London, to dispense advice to 1,300 young people hoping to break into TV. A series of sessions – featuring expert panels from across the industry – cast light on television genres, skills and opportunities.

BBC continuing drama head of production Nikki Saunders revealed there was a huge number of entry-level jobs across her department, including runners, camera assistants and make-up artists.