Channel managers and exec producers call for more diverse talent in TV at RTS Futures event

Iain Coyle, Baileigh Walsh, Rick Edwards, Maxine Watson and Sohail Shah (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

“We need more voices on telly – there’s not enough working-class people in telly and not enough diversity,” said UKTV head of comedy entertainment Iain Coyle.

“All the different voices that make up this country need to be working in television – not just the poshos who’ve been to Cambridge and Oxford,” said Sohail Shah, the MD of new indie King of Sunshine Productions.

He added: “Without new talent you don’t get any kind of progression in TV.”

Industry experts share the secrets to get comedy on TV

Tom Davis, James de Frond, Lara Singer and Andrew Brereton (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

A packed RTS Futures event, “Pitching script to screen”, offered aspiring writers and producers tips on how they should hone and sell their ideas to commissioners.

Leading the panel of seasoned comedy and entertainment practitioners was Tom Davis, the star of the RTS and Bafta award-winning BBC Three sitcom Murder in Successville.

How to take your idea from script to screen

The panellists (l-r) Tom Davis, James de Frond, Lara Singer and Andrew Brereton (Credit: RTS/Paul Hampartsoumian)

A packed RTS Futures event, Pitching Script to Screen, offered tips on how aspiring writers and producers should sell and hone their ideas.

Leading the expert panel of comedy and entertainment practitioners was Tom Davis, the star of the Bafta-award winning BBC Three sitcom, Murder in Successville.

Throughout the session he stressed there was no substitute for hard work and that even experienced TV actors and writers like himself never stopped learning.

Davis said that it was important to be “passionate” regarding the ideas you are trying to sell.

Pitching Script to Screen

Sharing their experiences and insights into developing and pitching scripted content with be actor, stand-up and writer Tom Davis, development producer Lara Singer and MDs of Shiny Button Productions Andy Brereton and James De Frond.

Meet the panel:

Andy Brereton

“There’s no ‘one size fits all’ for treatments": industry professionals on how to present the perfect pitch

Audience members work on their pitches with help from the professionals (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

“Development is anything that takes your show on a journey from a blank page of terrifying nothingness to the end of filming,” explained Andy Cadman, executive producer of ITV2’s Love Island.


Cadman was joined on the panel by All 4 commissioning editor Thom Gulseven and ITV2 scheduler Alex Wootten, who explained what they look for in a pitch.


Tips in 60 seconds...How to pitch an entertainment idea

David Williams is the Creative Director of Entertainment North at the BBC.  Based at Media City, Salford, he is responsible for developing entertainment shows across all BBC channels. While doing this, he also works on Dragon's Den and has been responsible for Junior Doctors: Your Life In Their Hands.  Here he gives us his unique insight into pitching your own idea to people like him.