documentaries

Channel 4 wins big at the Grierson Awards

Grayson Perry at the Grierson Awards

Channel 4 swept the boards at last night’s Grierson Awards, which celebrate documentaries that have made a significant contribution to the form.

RTS award-winner Grayson Perry was crowned Documentary Presenter of the Year for his Channel 4 series Who Are You? with Grierson Trust chairman Lorraine Heggessey calling Perry a national treasure who “is an interviewer who gets under the skin of his subjects and an artist who captures their essence.”

Werner Herzog: TV sentimentality is rampant, I can't stand it

Werner Herzog (Credit: Alberto Rodriguez/WireImage)

For a straight-talking man, it’s hard to define Werner Herzog. “Legend” is perhaps the easiest way to describe the 76-year-old, at least based on the reverential whispers that run around Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre ahead of his appearance at the city’s annual DocFest. Best known as the writer, director and producer of more than 60 films, Bavarian-born Herzog is also an author, actor and opera director.

Jimmy Doherty generates buzz to save bees

Jimmy Doherty (Credit: Channel 4)

Can Jimmy Save the Bees? (w/t) sees Doherty explore the declining bee population in the UK and try to understand how the alarming trend can impact entire ecosystems that rely on natural pollination.

The former entomologist will attempt to revive the bee population to reduce the threat towards the viability of agriculture.

Based in Peterborough, Doherty will look at what can be done to solve the problem with local farmers, businesses, government officials and viewers.

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.

Channel 4 commissions new factual programmes

David Lammy (Credit: Channel 4)

The new commissions include a documentary examining if neuroscience can explain the making of murderers, a documentary that follows the journey of an Olympic gold medallist embarking on a daring cycle across the English Channel, and an exploration into the untold stories of the Black Africans who died fighting for Britain in the First World War.

“These are programmes with impact at their core - the power to challenge and provoke, shock and inspire,” said Fatima Salaria, Head of Specialist Factual at Channel 4.

RTS North West get to the heart of BBC One's Ambulance

Emergency Medical Dispatcher Laura Pilling (Credit: Jess Boulton)

The Lowry in Salford was packed for the screening of episode one, series 5, sponsored by The Farm, and to hear from executive producers Simon Ford and Tom Currie, series producer Peter Wallis-Tayler and members of the team about the work that goes into producing the “stories behind the sirens”. The programme, which is set in Manchester, returns to BBC One at the end of May.