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.”

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.

Channel 4 promises more distinctive content for 2019

Ed Stafford will explore homelessness for Channel 4 (Credit: C4)

The new shows are part of a deliberate drive by the channel to offer distinctive content, in a bid to beat competition from streaming services and other broadcasters.

At the launch of the new slate, Ian Katz, the channel’s Director of Programming, said he wants to focus on “entertaining, mischievous and innovative shows about the big issues and arguments in Britain today.”

He added: “Many of the shows [launching in 2019] are not ones that the global digital giants, even as they plough billions into new content, would be remotely interested in making.”

Reggie Yates’ diversity documentary among new BBC commissions

Reggie Yates (Credit: BBC/Ellis Parrinder)

The BBC Two documentary will be joined by a host of specialist programmes that range from the artistry of dance to new series The Novels That Shaped Our World (w/t), which will mark the 300th anniversary of Robinson Crusoe and the origins behind the British novel.

“This year we’ll be giving you a front-row seat to the best in arts and culture from celebrating the novel and the art of poetry with landmark programing, to encouraging participation in the arts with the return of Get Creative,” said Jonty Claypole, Director of Arts at BBC.