Michael Underwood speaks to the nominees from this year's RTS Programme Awards in partnership with Audio Network
RTS Programme Awards 2017
The RTS Programme Awards, which are chaired by The Foundry CEO, Alex Mahon, honour excellence across all genres of television programming and recognise exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams as well as the programmes themselves.
Dickens is the writer behind BBC Three drama Thirteen, the channel’s flagship programme following its move online
The show follows 26-year old Ivy Moxam (Jodie Comer) who finds her way home 13 years after she was abducted on her way from school.
“There [were] several other projects in development around the same time of someone being captured and escaping,” recalls Dickens. “But most of them were told that way: captured and escaping.”
“We basically started where a show might end and tried [to] be as forward-looking as possible.”
Sean O’Connor insists that not much has changed since he returned to EastEnders as executive producer last summer, after an 11-year absence from the soap.
“All these shows renew themselves…I think they are sort of like chameleons, they change for the time that they are written in and are performed in but fundamentally they remain the same.”
After jumping ship from Hollyoaks to Emmerdale, MacLeod explains his excitement at bringing new ideas to the Yorkshire-based soap.
“I’m always looking for ways to do something differently or surprise the audience with something they haven’t thought of before,” he says.
And that he did. During a week-long storyline, which was ten months in the making, the small village turned to chaos when a multi-car pile up left viewers guessing who would exit the soap, with central characters at the heart of one of the biggest disasters in Emmerdale history.
This year they have been nominated for their 13th RTS award, and are up against Romesh Ranganathan and The Last Leg in the Entertainment Performance category.
This nomination follows the duo’s success in the category last year, beating Adam Hills for The Last Leg, and Jack Whitehall for A League of Their Own.
Ant and Dec met while filming children’s drama Byker Grove in 1990, and they went on to present hit Saturday morning kids TV show SM:TV Live.
“I’d always seen it as a one-off,” she says. “It feels so fragile. I’d hate to ruin it, to extend it longer than it is, [but] I think I’ve found a way.”
Waller-Bridge was nominated in the Breakthrough category of the RTS Programme Awards 2017, alongside Bake Off’s Nadiya Hussain and documentary-maker Philip Wood, for her work on Fleabag.
“It’s a totally different beast,” she insists.
The Big Family Cooking Showdown, which is presented by Hussain and Zoe Ball, pits 16 families against each other in weekly culinary crusades, judged by chefs Rosemary Schrager and Bruno Locatelli.
“It’s about family cooking and different cultures. There’s baking involved depending on who wants to bake,” she explains.
The ten-part series is due to launch in the autumn.