Lorraine Heggessey

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.”

TV's top business leaders weigh in on future challenges

From left: Tony Hall, Andrew Griffith, Lorraine Heggessey, David Abraham, Dido Harding and Tom Mockridge (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Among the subjects they covered were the UK’s inadequate digital infrastructure, Netflix, Brexit and, inevitably, The Great British Bake Off. 

Matt Hancock’s speech in the previous session found favour with the panel. BBC chief Tony Hall welcomed the emphasis the Minister of State for Digital and Culture had put on “social and regional” diversity in television. 

Lorraine Heggessey: Crises never go away

Lorraine Heggessey at the RTS London Christmas Lecture 2015

Top Gear was “an accident waiting to happen”, said Lorraine Heggessey, who told the audience enjoying her RTS London Christmas Lecture that she would have dealt with the programme’s presenter, Jeremy Clarkson, more quickly.

“Jeremy is a bit like a spoiled toddler,” she said. He had “crossed the line several times with quite racist remarks and got away with it”, added the former BBC and TalkbackThames executive.

TV in 2020: All roads lead to content, say experts

Adam Crozier, David Abraham, Lorraine Heggessey, Tom Mockridge and Tony Hall (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

It was time to take stock. After three days of intense and stimulating debate, Lorraine Heggessey corralled some of broadcasting’s big beasts onstage to chew the fat at the final session of Cambridge 2015. Was television heading for Happy Valley or was the House of Cards about to collapse?

Is American ownership of UK producers good for British television?

David Abraham and Nick Southgate (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

There is little agreement about whether increasing US ownership of Britain’s independent sector threatens or sustains home-grown production and the UK’s unique creative culture.

A feisty session at the Convention, “Working for the yankee dollar? Consolidation and creativity”, offered conflicting views, not only on foreign ownership but also on the surprise review into the terms of trade announced by minister John Whittingdale the day before.

Winner of BBC Grierson Trustees' Award announced

Kim Longinotto (Credit: BBC)

Documentary maker Kim Longinotto has been named as the 2015 recipient of the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award.

The Grierson Trust awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the documentary world, were set up in memory of the Scottish documentary maker John Grierson, to celebrate the best work in the field.

Longinotto has made a name for herself creating films that focus on the lives of women across the globe, giving a voice to many living in repressed societies.

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.

Grierson Trust unveils British Documentary Awards nominees

The shortlist for The Grierson Trust 2015 British Documentary Awards has been announced.

The BBC and Channel 4 dominate the list, with 34 and 25 entries respectively.

Channel 5 features in the list for the first time since 2009, with nods for GPs: Behind Closed Doors and Can’t Pay? Final Demand Special.

First-time nominees include Vice for The Islamic State, BBC iPlayer with Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake, CNN for Extreme Antibiotics and, in a children’s first, CBBC with Mr Alzheimers and Me.