A funny thing happened on the stage of America’s Got Talent in 2022. Tom Graham brought gasps from the audience when, with the aid of a talented performer and a lot of deepfake technology, he brought a vision of Simon Cowell to life, apparently singing a ballad while swinging his arms around. Cowell looked equally bewildered and impressed, before asking: “Is it inappropriate to fall in love with a contestant?”
RTS Cambridge Convention 2023
Many British entertainers have crossed the pond in search of fame and fortune in the uniquely competitive US TV market, but few have been as successful as James Corden and returned to the UK looking so at ease with themselves.
As the allegations against Russell Brand circled the broadcasters gathered at Cambridge, there was particular interest in this session about – as the panel chair, John Gapper, put it with an ironic smile – “the incredibly unlikely situation” in which a media crisis erupts involving a well-known TV figure.
How to launch new content depends on the platform you want to launch it on was the main message from some of the leading practitioners at the cutting edge of content creation and marketing.
During an entertaining and engaging session chaired by Roughcut Television Chief Executive, Ash Atalla, it emerged that word of mouth is a key attribute, especially when it comes to relatable and shareable material.
There was no closer pair of speakers on the stage at Cambridge than Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and his good friend, the double Oscar winner Emma Thompson. This was fitting as the duo discussed the need for creatives and executives to work effectively together for the benefit of all.
The subject of regulation was highlighted in the second session on impartiality, which heard from the executives Angelos Frangopoulos (GB News), Deborah Turness (BBC News) and Jonathan Levy (Sky News).
When he sat down in Cambridge for a discussion about the vexed question of impartiality in television news presenters, Piers Morgan was clearly still licking his wounds from his abrupt departure in 2021 from ITV’s Good Morning Britain. He was quick off the mark, offering a “hypothetical” scenario:
As an industry and medium, television’s strength is its ability to constantly evolve – and the steady, if slow, improvement in disability representation is an important part of that.
Disability consultant and Gogglebox star Simon Minty opened the session by celebrating the progress (as well as noting points of regress), before writer and actor Steph Lacey (Stay Close, Creep) reflected on the work still to be done.
Amid the ever-changing media landscape, how can advertisers harness partnerships and consumer insights to give brands more “bang for their buck”? That was the question global branding expert and session chair Rita Clifton wanted answered, along with which factors her panellists thought “will stay the same” and “which will be totally different”.
The past few years have been eventful for most, but the highs and lows of ITV’s fortunes have been particularly pronounced. Its advertising revenues were hit hard by the pandemic, but the broadcaster bounced back to achieve record advertising in 2021-22. At the end of 2022, there was another watershed moment: it launched ITVX, its heavyweight streaming service to replace ITV Hub with a combined 26,000 hours of ITV and Britbox content. But, this year, its advertising revenues have again slumped.