John McVay

RTS awards new fellowships

Kay Mellor receiving her RTS fellowship (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

The new fellows represented a broad range of television industry talent.

Included were two of the most influential women in British TV – writer Kay Mellor, best known for Band of Gold and In the Club, and the BBC’s Director of Content, Charlotte Moore.

Also receiving a fellowship was one of the doyens of natural history film making, Alastair Fothergill,

His credits include Sir David Attenborough’s The Trials of Life and Life In The Freezer.

Another new fellow was the much-feted independent producer Stephen Lambert.

Hard Brexit: A turn-off for TV

'Brexit Bring It On' at the London Conference (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Lord Mandelson, a self-confessed “heartbroken European”, set the tone of this debate. Unpicking 40 years of EU membership was complicated, to say the least. He declared: “Brexit is the most complex policy exercise mounted in peace time. Transitioning Britain out of its current merger with 27 other economies is a massive task and it is going to take many years.” 

The advice of the former Labour cabinet minister and European commissioner boiled down to this: “What you as an industry must first do is take a view on what outcome best serves your needs”. 

RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 programme announced

The preliminary programme for this year's RTS Cambridge Convention has been announced. 

The convention, held on a biennial basis, brings together leading figures from the television and its related industry.

This year's event looks forward to television in 2020, focusing on the challenge for content, creativity and business models.

The programme features sessions covering foreign ownership of UK production, the rise of the smart phone in television viewing, and the influence of talent in programme-making.

A future for a Digital Single Market?

EU flag

Ross Biggam, Director General of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT), believes you need a degree in Kremlinology to work out exactly what the European Commission is trying to do with its plans for a Digital Single Market (DSM).

The Commission has faced concerted opposition from the film and television industries – not least the ACT, which represents the interests of commercial broadcasters in 37 countries – over what are seen as attempts to end, or erode, geo-blocking of content across the EU.

What the SNP's 'Team 56' means for broadcasting

BBC Scotland

With Team 56 – as SNP MPs call themselves – forming the third-largest party in Parliament, the impact on broadcasting in the UK is likely to be profound. And the effects are certain to spread beyond the BBC Charter debate.

The economist Jeremy Peat, a former BBC Scotland Governor and Trustee, observes that the general election outcome "represents a massive vote for change," requiring "not sticking plaster, but fundamental change." He adds: "We are miles away from a stable equilibrium."

Disabled people still under-represented in TV

The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) and Creative Skillset have called for the TV industry to improve the representation of disabled people in television.

According to Creative Skillset's workforce survey, released in May, the proportion of disabled people in television is still much lower than in the economy as a whole and has not improved for 10 years.

Just 5% of those who work in TV consider themselves to be disabled, compared with 11% of the wider working population.