Monday, August 19, 2019

Sense of place

Things are not always as they seem on tv. They're quite often Stockport.

The forthcoming series of Peaky Blinders uses the Stockport Plaza as "Bingley Hall", setting for an Oswald Mosley meeting. Stockport Town Hall was also hired, for scenes as the headquarters of the Shelby Company.

Meanwhile, while most of Derren Litten's new comedy, Scarborough, is shot in Scarborough, the hairdresser's 'Geraldine of Scarborough' was actually in the Underbank, Stockport.

Doctorin' the House

Radio 2 dj Ana Matronic has been award a Doctorate in Music by Solent University.

Getting to know you

The Dean of Winchester Cathedral brings news of former BBC DDG Mark Byford in his August newsletter.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Career paths

Saturday's Times choose to celebrate the life and work of Sunday Times columnist and all-round-good-egg Jeremy Clarkson. ("When you look at all those BBC salaries that are published you think, ‘You get that for an hour’s work.’")

I wondered about the career of Oisin Tymon, the Top Gear producer who failed the Clarkson test of hot food procurement and felt his measured, good-egg, response. He is now billed as Head of Development and Executive Producer at Carnage Films, "Specialists in Automotive Creative and Film". It boasts most of the major car manufacturers as clients, plus Shell and Red Bull.

You can see a piece of Oisin's recent work here.

No words

It seems that the past friendliness between Boris Johnson and Today programme editor Sarah Sands is over. The Mail on Sunday reports that the new Downing Street Director of Communications Lee Cain has told staff he considers the show a 'total waste of time'.

The paper says he has told Whitehall spin doctors and special advisers to ignore it – and to refuse to put up Ministers to appear on it.  It also claims that senior BoJo advisor Dominic Cummings told a No 10 staff meeting last week: 'I never listened to the Today programme for the entire year of the referendum and I intend to repeat this while I am here.'  He apparently urged colleagues to avoid the programme too, 'unless they change format and actually start exploring serious subjects in a serious way'.

It's not clear when this policy came into force: Kwasi Karteng, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy appeared on Friday's programme. At the end of last month, Dominic Raab had this exchange with Mishal Husain.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


The BBC has gone out to tender for a new advertising contract, initially for two years with an option for a further two years, at up to £25m a year - and the challenge is to deliver "youth".

" New digital behaviours, particularly for younger audiences, means that it is becoming increasingly challenging to reach young audiences solely through promotion on our owned media channels. Thus it is essential, in order to fulfil our public service obligations, that we use paid for media channels to complement our owned media in order to engage critical audiences, particularly younger audiences who are spending less time on our owned platforms, with the right reach and frequency to create awareness of the programmes and services they have paid for through their licence fee."

The current contract is held by the Havas Group, awarded in 2015; they set up an office in Manchester as well as London as part of their offer. The contract was thought to be worth up to £15m a year.

Havas will be pitching again; they've produced a case study on their 2017 campaign to get "youth" to watch FA Cup coverage, called #No Guts No Glory.

Friday, August 16, 2019


From Monday for a week, Edinburgh Fringe visitors can get a one-hour art lecture from the BBC's Will Gompertz (£14, plus booking fee). He's performing in the Underbelly venue at Bristo Square, alongside shows such as Shit-Faced Shakespeare and Yuck Circus.

Bad dream

Will the BBC never stop raiding the 80s for 'new' programmes ?

Continuity Times

The first collection of Tortoise stories in book form is out. For clarity, I mean the first paperback from the slow-news online start-up led by former Times and BBC editor James Harding. It features articles from former Times writers Simon Barnes and Catherine Nixey.

The 192-page collection is available to the public at £12.99. Members, like the BBC's James Purnell and Amol Rajan, can get it for £9.99 plus postage.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Trusting times

BBC Studios CEO Tim Davie has been re-appointed as a Trustee of The Tate.  He gets a second four-year term; the recommendation for maximum time in post suggested by the Charity Governance Code is nine years.

Still no news on the disqualification sought by the Insolvency Service against former Kids Company trustees. Alan Yentob was chair for 19 years.

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