Rick Edwards

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.”

Rick Edwards and YouTuber Beau Ouimette lead new history series River Hunters

Rick Edwards and Beau Ouimette (Credit: History Channel)

River Hunters follows Ouimette, an experienced river detectorist, and Edwards as they search for artefacts in rivers and waterways across the UK.

The pair visit a range of historically significant sites that cover events such as the Wars of the Roses, the Reformation and the English Civil War.

Working with local archaeologists and historians, the duo reveal the stories and people behind the historical treasures, redefining social history.

Rick Edwards, Roisin Conaty and David Baddiel solve the public's problems

Celebrity Advice Bureau puts a star-studded cast to work as agony aunts and uncles, solving all their viewers’ problems.

Drawing on their personal experiences, the celebrity cast will solve problems ranging from the everyday to the downright bizarre.

From hiding killer hangovers, 3am nappy changes and taking vicious revenge on cheating exes, the celebrities will show themselves to be a flawed, frank and twisted as the rest of the viewing public.

How to get started in TV comedy

Funny ha ha? The serious business of working in TV comedy” offered invaluable advice to an audience of wannabe comedy producers and writers. The panellists, expertly chaired by Rick Edwards, the writer and presenter of ITV2 panel show Safeword, demonstrated that there are many routes into the genre.

BBC Comedy head of talent Daniell Morrisey started out in TV as a trainee floor manager on BBC One drama Casualty. He recalled this being “a massive baptism of fire at the age of 20”.

Event report: Funny ha ha?: The serious business of working in TV comedy

There were sobering words among the laughs generated by the panel, which was expertly chaired by writer and presenter of ITV2 panel show Safeword Rick Edwards.

BBC Comedy producer James Farrell, who boasts Mrs Browns’ Boys among his credits, warned the audience of would-be comedy producers and writers that “comedy is the most difficult genre by a mile to get into and make”. However, he added, “the flip side is that there are very few people who are good at it so, if you’re talented and tenacious, then you will make it”.

Bryan Cranston to star in Philip K. Dick anthology

Electric Dreams: The World of Philip K. Dick is a 10-part anthology dramatising the work of science fiction novelist Philip K. Dick. The author's books have previously been the source of Hollywood films such as Total Recall, Blade Runner, and Minority Report.

Each episode will be a one hour standalone drama, with contributing writers from both the US and the UK. Heading up the writing team is Battlestar Galactica​'s Ronald D. Moore.