STV

Our Friend in Scotland: Stephen O’Donnell

Credit: STV

Scotland’s screen sector is buzzing. The daily lives of ordinary Glaswegians have recently been interrupted by the roar of Batgirl’s Bat Bike and ticker-tape parades, as Glasgow’s 19th-century Victorian architecture doubles for the far-flung or imaginary cities of Moscow, New York and Gotham. 

COP26 arrived in Glasgow last year, with great hopes of a groundbreaking climate deal and an equally dazzling array of A-list talent. 

Simon Pitts's TV Diary

Credit: STV

Day one of COP26 in my adopted city of Glasgow. I moved to Scotland nearly four years ago to join producer-broadcaster STV and I’ve grown to love it here. 

One of the big plusses is that I get to commute to work by bike, not tube, and I’m certainly glad of it today because COP has closed all the roads. 

The only downside to cycling is that you invariably get soaked. Even by Glasgow’s standards, today’s rainfall is biblical. Some would say it’s highly symbolic for the start of a global climate conference. 

Careers in Tech in TV: What does the industry have to offer?

There has long been a technology skills gap in TV due to the competitive recruitment of graduates in related fields, and despite the best efforts of employers, that gap remains.

As Freeview’s Head of Technology Partnerships, Alex Russell, acknowledged, “It’s certainly true that companies like Google and other tech giants can pay higher graduate salaries. As a smaller company though we offer a different sort of environment with the same benefits around flexible working, an exciting range of projects, a great pension. It’s just about getting ourselves noticed.”

Old Trafford to host Soccer Aid for Unicef

Due to lockdown restrictions the match will be played behind closed doors, but the game will be broadcast live on ITV and STV.

As Coronavirus is the biggest global crisis for vulnerable children and families since the Second World War, the two teams, England and Soccer Aid World XI FC, will come together to ‘Play for Generation Covid’.

The money raised helps children to get the best start in life, but this year it will also help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the impact on their lives through the provision of clean water and lifesaving vaccinations.

UK broadcasters team up on guide for producing TV safely during Covid-19

The guidelines will allow productions to get up and running again, with the emphasis on the safety and well-being of employees.

The guide will be applicable to a broad range and scale of TV programmes of all genres and have been created with the collaboration of industry experts and the external expertise of Dr Paul Litchfield CBE.

Broadcasters have liaised with union representatives and the Health and Safety Executive and worked with First Option safety consultants to the media and entertainment industry.

Our friend in Scotland: Steven Ladurantaye

A mid-March morning. Outside the boardroom window there’s rain and a howling wind. Lights flicker briefly as the meeting of STV News managers gets started. We’re not socially distanced – not yet.

News of the coronavirus has been rising in everyone’s consciousness, even though the outbreak still seems far away. The situation is serious in Italy, and the news from Spain is also grim. Scots consider unrestricted access to Spanish islands their vacation birthright. Things are closing in.

Our friend in Scotland: Simon Pitts talks ratings and life in Scotland

Simon Pitts (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Audiences flock to the BBC during moments of national importance. That’s the received wisdom, anyway. Think World Cup finals, the Queen’s Speech or big news days. After a career in commercial TV, I’d become resigned to this. Until I moved to Scotland, that is.

It’s different here. Partly, that’s because Scots watch more TV than anyone else in the UK, an average of 25 more minutes per day last year, to be precise (thanks for asking).

RTS Scotland launched its 2020 student awards at STV Headquarters at the start of October

RTS Scotland awards launch at STV (Credit: Ben Gallacher)

They included Sedona May Tubbs and Kieran Howe, who were part of the team from the Royal Conservatoire Scotland who won the Drama category with their film What Separates Us From the Beast.

Sedona said, “any students thinking about submitting their work should not be afraid and just submit and keep submitting”.

A similar message was echoed by Marco Di Gioia from the University of Stirling’s team that produced the Factual category winner, The Bad Guy.