Lenny Henry

Broadcast Hotshots shine at RTS Futures event

RTS Futures and Broadcast Magazine BAME Hotshots Christmas Party at the Hospital Club

RTS Futures turned the spotlight on TV’s diversity – or lack of it – at its final event of the year where a panel of young Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) talent revealed their struggles and triumphs in the industry.
The panel was drawn from Broadcast’s 26 BAME Hot Shots of 2015, which the magazine announced in August.

Why can't we get enough of nostalgia TV?

Rodney, Del Boy and Grandad from Only Fools and Horses stand in front of a fence and look into the camera

“People like familiarity and ITV3 is a very safe environment,” says John Williams, Head of Scheduling Strategy, ITV1, ITV3 and ITV4. “The evergreen dramas are nice and soft; Vera, Endeavour, Midsomer Murders are what the channel is – those are the pillars of the schedule. On ITV3, we do not do explosions or gruesome murders.”

Never Die wins top Sir Lenny Henry Award at RTS Midlands Student Television Awards 2024

Lenny Henry sits down in a TV studio, looking off camera

Never Die scored a hat-trick, also winning the Factual Short-form and Craft Skills: Camera awards. Sir Lenny Henry said of the winners and his pick: “What a glorious plethora of talent, some lovely heartfelt and careful work. I was really moved by Never Die. You guys are incredibly talented and should keep going.”

A team of Staffordshire University students took home the Drama award for Night Light, while Leo Wright picked up two Craft Skills prizes, Production Design and Writing, for No Man’s Land.

Narinder Minhas reviews Access All Areas: The Diversity Manifesto for TV and Beyond by Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder

Oh, noooo. The D word. Surely not Donald? No, not that D word – the other one. The one that makes your heart sink a little, too. The one that reminds you of years of struggle. The one that tells of endless meetings with fellow campaigners in drab rooms, banging heads against brick walls.

Sir Lenny Henry: Diversity makes TV better

Sir Lenny Henry (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

Following his speech, in a Q&A with diversity campaigner and advertising executive Karen Blackett, Lenny Henry described the pace of change in the hiring of women and disabled and ethnic-minority people behind the screen as “glacial”. His point was reinforced by the findings of Ofcom’s latest diversity report, discussed in earlier Cambridge sessions.

RTS Midlands Student Awards 2019

Sir Lenny Henry (Credit: Jack Lawson)

The Dudley-born comedian sent a message to the awards. “Thank you for sending me these films to peruse, enjoy and, in some cases, spit out my tea with laughter,” he said.

“The hard work and perspiration that has gone into these little gems is very easy to see. The makers care about their films and filled each frame with emotion, enthusiasm and energy. I laughed a lot at the winning entry, but I was also moved by the other pieces.”

BBC Four announces season celebrating British diversity

(Credit: BBC)

Four part series A Very British History will tell the stories of various communities around Britain, including the Jewish community in Leeds, Afro-Caribbeans in Birmingham, Ugandan Asians in Leicester and Romany Gypsies in the home counties.

Photojournalist Don McCullin will travel the country, capturing its diversity in Don McCullin: Looking for England. After sixty years as a photographer, 83 year-old McCullin will visit communities around the UK, from inner cities to seaside towns, and lets TV cameras inside his darkroom for the first time.