RTS events

Jeff Pope reflects on his TV career in screenwriting

Martin Freeman in A Confession (Credit: ITV)

You could be forgiven for thinking that Jeff Pope was obsessed by the macabre. Why else would he be drawn to such odious topics as the Moors murders, serial killer Fred West or Britain’s last hangman, Albert Pierrepoint?

He puts it like this: “If drama is about conflict, which it is, you’re looking for the extremes of conflict. Those areas are love, fate and, I would argue, crime.

“I am not a depressive person or ghoulish but it’s the old journalist in me: there’s a good story in it.”

Mark Thompson warns government policies endanger the BBC at the Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture

Mark Thompson, President and CEO of The New York Times Company (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Giving the third Steve Hewlett Memorial Lecture at London’s Westminster University, he accused policy makers of largely concentrating “on tightening the funding pressure and other constraints on the BBC further” including “the disastrous withdrawal of funding free licence fees for the over 75’s” agreed in the 2016 Charter now coming into full effect.  

4 Blocks creators spill the secrets on making drama

4 Blocks (Credit: TNT Serie/Turner)

Since its debut in 2017, Berlin gangster series 4 Blocks has been pocketing awards and thrilling audiences. The TNT Serie drama has also shaken up the sometimes cosy world of German television.

4 Blocks tells the story of the Hamady crime family, which is engaged in a bloody fight with the rival al-Saafi clan for control of the drug trade in the Neukölln district of the city.

At an early-evening screening in central London at the end of January, the RTS – in partnership with TNT Serie and Turner – celebrated the release of the show’s second season.

Building a Buzz: What makes a good PR campaign?

Chaired by Trevor Morris, Professor of Public Relations at Richmond University and former CEO of Chime Public Relations, the event showcased the work of three PR experts.

They included Taylor Herring managing partner James Herring, who admitted that public relations cannot work miracles in television: “The product needs to be great – if you’ve got a terrible TV show, you can have the best PR campaign in the world and no one will be there for the second episode.”

Noddy Holder hosts RTS Midlands Big Telly Quiz

Hosted by Slade star and local living legend, Noddy Holder, the teams were put to the test on all things “telly” – and, as an extra treat, BBC WM’s Richie Anderson fronted the interval game.

“The Radio Brainwaves”, a team from BBC Radio claimed the top spot, beating other teams from the BBC, Central News, members of the Doctors cast and The Producers’ Forum, as well as independent production companies such as North One and Full Fat Television.

Helicopter guru John Watkinson explores the theory and dynamics of flight

Using his signature approach – no nonsense, plain speaking – Watkinson jumped straight into basic aerodynamic theory, revealing that not only do rotors provide lift, they also replicate gyroscopes, a key consideration for safe control.

He went on to describe some of the critical helicopter components that keep the aircraft in the sky and manoeuvre it wherever the pilot wants. Reliability is paramount and safety is always in the mind of a helicopter designer.

In Conversation with Matt Brittin | Full session

Watch the full session of Matt Brittin, President of EMEA Business & Operations, Google in conversation with journalist Kate Bulkley at the sold out RTS evening event. Brittin talks about his Google's place in the TV industry, touching on subjects such as fake news, British original content and the development of YouTube Red.

Read the event report and watch the highlights video here

The Crown: how the Netflix series became event television

This is according to the screenwriter behind The Crown, Peter Morgan, whose lavish retelling of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth II, commissioned by Netflix, has won widespread acclaim.    

Morgan, speaking at an RTS early evening event, The Crown: Deconstructing The Coronation, predicted a paradigm shift as streaming, rather than broadcasting becomes the norm.    

“It really isn’t like television anymore. It’s absolutely overwhelming. It’s partly the way in which we make it is not like television.