RTS Midlands

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight discusses upcoming project A Christmas Carol in drama masterclass

Steven Knight (right) (Credit: Teresa Bogan)

The early December event – organised by BBC Birmingham in partnership with RTS Midlands – celebrated the writer’s latest project, a three-part adaptation of A Christmas Carol, a highlight of BBC One’s festive schedule.

The Dickens classic has been adapted countless times, which is why Knight said he undertook a detailed study of the original text in search of a fresh take on a familiar story.

Our friend in the Midlands: Caren Davies on the ambition and heart of Birmingham

Caren Davies (Credit: RTS Midlands)

Over recent weeks, many column inches have been written concerning the success of the Birmingham-inspired TV series Peaky Blinders.

Its move from BBC Two to BBC One has been seamless. More people watch it in the Midlands than anywhere else in the country.

Peakys has undoubtedly put Birmingham firmly back on the national and global map, but the city’s reputation struggles to shake off some outdated prejudices.

TV industry professionals share their tips at the RTS Midlands Careers Fair 2019

Doctors star Elisabeth Dermot Walsh at the RTS Midlands Careers Fair 2019 (Credit: Nick Robinson)

Alongside Q&A panel sessions with top execs who work on some of the country’s biggest shows, practical workshops In the exhibition hall included how to make drama with BBC One’s Doctors in their specially created hospital set, filming on smartphones, using drones and how to make a podcast.

The major broadcasters joined more than 40 exhibitors from across the industry to give attendees one-to-one advice on how to break into the industry, from creating the perfect CV to gaining professional experience.

The cast of ITV2's Zomboat! discuss escaping a zombie apocalypse in Birmingham

Hamza Jeetooa, Cara Theobold, Adam Miller, Leah Brotherhead and Ryan McKen (Credit: Nick Robinson)

Jeetooa said: “If you messed up your line, the boat team had to get on and very slowly reverse the boat back to the starting spot. That’s the reverse of shame.”

The 69ft narrow boat, called Dorothy, is the fifth star of Zomboat!. It plays a vital role as the very slow means of escape for sisters Kat and Jo and friends Sunny (Jeetooa) and Amar when a zombie apocalypse breaks out in Birmingham.

David Harewood: Britain is very dynamic but, sometimes, I watch TV and I don’t see that

David Harewood (Credit: CBS)

Actor David Harewood spoke about his bumpy road to success – including the tough life lessons he learned from Spike Lee and from Erik Estrada of CHiPs – in a candid and entertaining homecoming evening in Birmingham.

During the RTS Midlands’ “In conversation with…” event, the Homeland star enthralled the audience in the prestigious surroundings of the Council House’s Banqueting Suite.

RTS Midlands get animated with Bottletop

Steve Smith, founder of London-based animation studio Beakus (Credit: Bottletop)

Steve Smith, the founder of London-based animation studio Beakus and Olobob Top producer, described the hard work and personal risk involved in getting an animation idea commissioned for television. He discussed the development of the characters, how the animations were refined to make the production process manageable and gave the audience a glimpse into the incredible amount of planning required in producing a series.

RTS Midlands Student Awards 2019

Sir Lenny Henry (Credit: Jack Lawson)

The Dudley-born comedian sent a message to the awards. “Thank you for sending me these films to peruse, enjoy and, in some cases, spit out my tea with laughter,” he said.

“The hard work and perspiration that has gone into these little gems is very easy to see. The makers care about their films and filled each frame with emotion, enthusiasm and energy. I laughed a lot at the winning entry, but I was also moved by the other pieces.”

Strictly Come Dancing: the masterclass

Head judge Shirley Ballas, dancer Giovanni Pernice and his celebrity partner from the 2018 series, Faye Tozer, joined the new executive producer, Sarah James and her predecessor, Louise Rainbow, to discuss the work that goes into producing the hit BBC One show.

Rainbow, who has been Strictly’s executive producer for the past six years, explained that pre-production begins in January, when discussions start on securing celebrities before the show’s launch the following September. 

RTS Midlands Awards

Khan won the Acting Performance (Male) and Outstanding New Talent awards, and was also named Best Writer, with the co-writer of Man Like Mobeen, Andy Milligan.

More than 300 people attended the awards ceremony, which was hosted by television presenter Trish Adudu, at Birmingham Town Hall in November.

ITV News Central took home a hat trick awards for News Programme of the Year; Journalist of the Year for Balvinder Sidhu; and Digital Creativity.

Aardman model maker Jim Parkyn shares his secrets of animation

(Credit: Bottletop)

A crowd of animation fans were let in on those secrets and more at the very first “Animorsels” evening at Antenna, Nottingham in late October.

Aardman model maker Jim Parkyn was the star attraction at the evening event, which was organised by the Nottingham-based animation and production company, Bottletop and sponsored by RTS Midlands.