ITV CEO Carolyn McCall on "supercharging streaming", the advertising downturn and Big Brother

The past few years have been eventful for most, but the highs and lows of ITV’s fortunes have been particularly pronounced. Its advertising revenues were hit hard by the pandemic, but the broadcaster bounced back to achieve record advertising in 2021-22. At the end of 2022, there was another watershed moment: it launched ITVX, its heavyweight streaming service to replace ITV Hub with a combined 26,000 hours of ITV and Britbox content. But, this year, its advertising ­revenues have again slumped.

UK Keynote: Carolyn McCall, ITV | RTS Cambridge Convention 2023

In conversation with BBC Chief Economics Correspondent Dharshini David, ITV Chief Executive Carolyn McCall, gives a progress report on ITVX, and talks about the company’s upcoming business challenges.


  • Dharshini David, Broadcaster, Economist and Author


  • Carolyn McCall, CEO, ITV

The session was part of the RTS Cambridge Convention 2023, with Principal Sponsor Channel 4. The convention took place on 20 - 21 September at King's College, Cambridge.

How The Effects of Lying 'transcends race'

The Effects of Lying is a remarkable film, not least because it was made on a microbudget in only 12 days. And despite a cast of high-profile, mostly British Asian, actors, there’s not a curry in sight.

Its writer, director and actors were keen to point out, following a screening at Birmingham Indian Film Festival – an event held in partnership with RTS Midlands – that the script transcends ethnicity.

The Effects of Lying, currently streaming on ITVX, is a comedy about a dysfunctional family who could be from anywhere.

ITVX unveils first look at mysterious comic thriller Passenger

Wunmi Mosaku stands in a frosty woodland with a flashlight in ITV's Passenger

Across six parts, Passenger follows a Former Met Police Detective called Riya Ajunwa (Wunmi Mosaku) as she investigates a series of strange crimes in the fictional small Northern town of Chadder Vale.

Riya is listless. She first arrived in the declining town five years ago and has been searching for that 'one big crime' that will revitalise her career ever since.

Then one night a local girl, Katie Wells (Rowan Robinson), mysteriously disappears. She reappears the next day ostensibly safe and sound, but for Riya, if not the locals, none of it sits right.

ITV reveals Big Brother eye’s makeover for new reboot

Big Brother is returning from a five-year hiatus, and at a new home on ITV2 and ITVX. The new cast of housemates will be able to enjoy the classic tasks, nominations and eliminations that were seen in the original 19 series, however, they will stay in the house for just six weeks instead of 12.

The iconic logo’s rebranding nods to the new contemporary feel ITV wants for the show. The eye is comprised of circles showing hashtags, lips, several eyes, and the words “Big Brother”.

Laura Whitmore to investigate cyber-stalkers and incels in new docuseries

A blonde haired woman stands next to a drain pipe in an allyway lit with cold blue lighting

In one of the instalments, Whitmore will explore the world of ‘involuntary celibates’ or ‘incels’, a male-dominated online community where men who find it difficult to interact with women engage in anti-women discourse. In recent years these forums have moved off the internet and into the real world; in both the UK and US, incels have sought ‘vengeance’ for their feelings of rejection in the form of violence, including mass shootings.

New Take That documentary on the making of their musical coming to ITVX

A new Take That documentary entitled 30 Years in the Making will be released as a companion piece to the bands upcoming feature film Greatest Days. The film, which stars Aisling Bea (This Way Up) and Jayde Adams (Ruby Speaking), will be a musical using Take That’s discography about four women who reminisce on how their lives were changed by their favourite boyband 25 years ago.