rts yorkshire

Lisa Holdsworth, Sally Ogden and Jin-Theng Craven discuss gender inequality in screenwriting as soaps are axed

The cuts in unscripted TV and the cost of living crisis, said Holdsworth, the creator of upcoming Channel 4 drama Dance School, had hit the largely freelance workforce in the industry hard. “If you have to keep a roof over people’s heads… it doesn’t feel stable to be working in television at the moment. I don’t blame anyone who’s looked elsewhere,” she said.

Amy Garcia on 10 years at Look North, mobile journalism and early work

Anyone who has questioned the importance and relevance of regional news will have been conclusively set straight by presenter Amy Garcia.

The anchor of BBC Yorkshire’s flagship news show celebrated 10 years at Look North by speaking about her life and job to media and communications students at the University of Leeds.

“I started in kids’ TV at the age of 19, presenting CITV programme S Club TV,” she recalled. “That was my first experience in live TV, interviewing the big bands of the early noughties, like Atomic Kitten and Busted.”

Northern Film School wins big at the RTS Yorkshire Student Awards

Elliot Foster, Annie Foulkes and Andrei Stanescu won the Entertainment and Comedy Drama award, with Foulkes also recognised in the Craft Skills: Writing category. The judges praised Kate Is Sad for its “great script and cracking performances”.

Northern Film School students also took home the Drama award with Worry-Fear-Unease. The Triptych, which the judges called “cinematic, with great art direction, strong performances and an ambitious story structure”.

Libby, Are You Home Yet?: The ethics behind true crime

What Lisa [Squire] wanted was for us to get this message across: you should always report non-contact sexual offences. Because it does make a difference.” Candour Productions’ Anna Hall was speaking at an RTS Yorkshire event on 31 January – five years to the day that Squire’s daughter Libby was abducted, raped and murdered in Hull.

Just how this reporting makes a difference becomes clear during Humberside Police’s hunt for Libby’s killer, in Candour’s powerful Bafta-winning, three-part series Libby, Are You Home Yet?.

Grace Ofori-Attah on her Yorkshire set medical drama Malpractice

Malpractice won favour with both critics – “intricately plotted and beautifully, leanly written”, said The Guardian – and audiences: it was ITV1’s most watched drama launch episode of 2023 when it aired last spring. Ahead of filming starting on series two, the RTS talked to some of the talent behind the show, including its creator, former NHS doctor Grace Ofori-Attah.

She pitched an idea for a hospital-set thriller about medical malpractice to Simon Heath, CEO of World Productions, whose award-winning dramas include Line of Duty and Save Me.

Leeds hosts student supper for students and production companies

Through their links with universities, the RTS Yorkshire Committee understood that the post-Covid generation of students may struggle with traditional networking events that often require students to approach industry professionals, one on one, in a noisy, high-pressure environment.

Not everybody has that confidence, and some students feel excluded due to their age or because they are neurodivergent. The student supper was a low-pressure event, at a community-run space in Headingley, Leeds, to start conversations and build confidence.

Yorkshire indie producers go yomping

A group of soliders in camouflage dress and war paint sit and stand in a forest

Paul Wells, series director of BBC One doc Soldier, and Mark Tattersall, executive producer of Channel 4’s Top Guns: Inside the RAF, discussed making the docs at an online RTS Yorkshire event last month.

For Top Guns, Leeds-based True North Productions took cameras inside Scotland’s Lossiemouth airbase and the planes policing Nato airspace. Tattersall, an experienced hand at making military docs – he worked on Channel 5’s Warship: Life at Sea – said the RAF wanted to “showcase what it did [and was offering] access to nearly all areas”.

Happy Valley goes nap at the RTS Yorkshire Awards

The third and final series, made by Lookout Point TV and shot in the Calder Valley, also nabbed awards for Professional Excellence: Post-production and Professional Excellence: Drama and Comedy Production.

A deeply moving programme about former Leeds Rhinos rugby league player Rob Burrow, who has motor neurone disease, was a double winner on the night. He was the subject of BBC Breakfast’s Rob Burrow: Living with MND, which won the News or Current Affairs Story and Single Documentary awards.

From Happy Valley to Better: TV's love affair with Yorkshire

Eighteen months ago, like James Herriot dolloping piccalilli on to Farmer Horner’s swiftly replenished plates of fat bacon, television decided that you can have too much of a good thing.

At the 2021 Edinburgh TV Festival, Channel 5 commissioning editor Daniel Pearl declared that he wouldn’t make “another programme about Yorkshire”. Ben Frow, the broadcaster’s content supremo, has recently followed that by announcing a reality-heavy slate, replete with a Tim Peake-fronted show exploring space.