Directing the General Election - Rob Hopkin
Rob Hopkin was at the very apex of the General Election programme. He was the main director in the Television Centre gallery responsible for bringing together scores of outside broadcasts in four nations, five star presenters in London and much more. Here he discusses how such a huge broadcasting operation comes together.
Controlling at the BEEB - Andy Griffee
Andy Griffee became Controller, BBC English Regions in March 1999, 11 years after joining the BBC as a Broadcast Journalist. Working out of the English Regions’ headquarters at BBC Birmingham, Griffee is responsible for over 3,000 staff based across England, and for 3,000 hours a year of regional television programmes, over 250,000 hours of local radio from the BBC’s 39 local stations and 42 Where I Live local BBC internet sites. Here he talks about his job and responsibilities at the BEEB.
Reporting Current Affairs - Paul Kenyon
Paul Kenyon is a highly experienced reporter and producer who has worked across BBC News and Current Affairs, and has also presented on Five Live. In 2005 he was the first reporter to film Iran’s secret nuclear sites, making an hour-long documentary which was shown around the world. Hear him in conversation with John Mair.
Managing GMTV - Paul Corley
A former Coventry schoolboy who is now a top TV executive recently came back to the city to share the secrets of his success. Paul Corley was born in Coundon and went to school at Moseley Avenue Primary and Bablake School where he was the head boy. After graduating from Oxford University, he worked for the BBC and then went to work on to the ground-breaking Channel 4 series “The Tube’. He went on to be Controller of factual programmes for the ITV Network, Controller of factual programming
Brand Design in Television - Martin Lambie-Nairn
Lambie-Nairn began his career in 1976. In the 80’s his company quickly built a reputation for broadcast design with the launch of Channel 4 in the UK. Arguably this identity changed the face of television branding, as it was the first time a TV company had used its on-air identity to say something about itself as a brand as well as being the first to be designed to work on and off screen. This led to many years of working with the BBC during which he was part of re-defining the BBC brand. He
Tot’s TV - Anne Wood, Ragdoll
Anne Wood, Stratford based Ragdoll’s Founder and Creative Director talks to John Mair in the Coventry Conversations series about her work, her remarkable success with Teletubbies and her most recent and ambitious project, “In the Night Garden” In The Night Garden (100×30’ episodes) is intended for children aged 1-3 and has been devised by Anne Wood and Andrew Davenport, the partnership responsible for Teletubbies. As with Teletubbies, it has international appeal and a breadth of scale
Commercial Radio in the UK - Gillian Reynolds
Gillian Reynolds MBE is a Liverpool born journalist and broadcaster. During her career, she has worked as Radio Critic for the Guardian and for the Daily Telegraph, as well as Programme Controller of Radio City, Liverpool. She has served as Member and Vice Chair of the Art Council of England’s Film and Video Broadcasting Panel. She was a Member of the National Sound Archive Advisory Council, and chairs the Charles Parker Archive Trust at the Central Library, Birmingham. She is a Council member
The History of Channel 4 - Channel 4 Day - Maggie Brown
Maggie Brown has been covering the media industry for over twenty years and has built a reputation as one of the countries most respected and highly regarded specialist media journalists. Granted access to Channel 4’s rich archive and frank interviews with the founders, chief executives and stars alike, she has recently completed a fresh British Film Institute history on the channel due out in November. Here she discusses the history of Channel 4.
Founding Channel 4 - Channel 4 Day - Jeremy Isaacs
Sir Jeremy Isaacs was Channel four’s founding Chief Executive (1981 – 1987). He has also held positions such as Director of Programmes at Thames Television (1981-1987) and Director General of the Royal Opera House (1988-1996). Hear him discuss what Channel 4 is for.
Re-inventing Entertainment on 4 - Channel 4 Day - Kevin Lygo
Kevin Lygo was Channel 4’s head of entertainment between 1998 and 2001 where he commissioned programs such as TFI Friday, Smack the Pony and Spaced. He has also worked for Channel Five as Controller of Programs, and then he returned to Channel Four as Controller in 2003. He is now the Director of Television and Content for the channel. Hear Kevin about Channel 4's vision for re-inventing entertainment.
Jon Snow - Channel 4 Day - Coventry University
Jon Snow presents Channel 4’s award winning ‘Channel Four News’. In April 1989 he was made the lead presenter shortly after joining. Jon was named Journalist of the Year at the Royal Television Society Awards in 2006 for his coverage of America’s New Orleans disaster, Pakistan and Africa. Jon has also anchored Nelson Mandela’s walk to freedom in 1990 and the Berlin Wall collapse in 1989.
‘Crowngate’ and ‘TV Fakery’ - Will Wyatt
‘Crowngate’ was one of the biggest media news stories during the frenzy on TV ‘fakery’. At the time Wyatt promised he would endeavour to “establish a full understanding of the events” that led to the furore surrounding the film about the Queen. Wyatt now works as a media consultant and company director. In 1988, he was Head of Documentary Features before becoming Managing Director BBC Network Television. In 1996 he became Chief Executive of the BBC, overseeing the launch of BBC Onli
The Middle Class Bent at Radio 4? - Mark Damazer
Mark (born 15th April 1955) is the controller of Radio 4 and BBC 7 in the United Kingdom. He trained at ITN in 1980. He joined the BBC World Service as a current affairs producer in 1981. From 1982-4, he worked at ITV on TV-am, returning to BBC News in 1984. He joined Newsnight as an editor in January 1986. In August 1988, he became deputy editor of the Nine O’Clock News, becoming editor in 1990. In 1994, he became Editor of Television News Programmes, then Head of (what became) Current Affai
Why are you so good? - Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman – the best broadcast interviewer of his generation - comes to the Coventry Conversations live via video link from Television Centre in London. His style, which some see as aggressive, usually gets results whoever the interviewee. Jeremy has just again won the Royal Television Society Presenter of the Year Award. In this Coventry Conversation Jeremy talks about what makes him so good at what he does.
Making Documentaries that Matter - Paul Watson
Paul Watson and controversy go together hand-in-hand. This is what he does in his films and in the media storms that so often surround them. Paul is making documentaries that matter. Little wonder they cause ripples in TV executive suites and in the press. Paul lives his films. Literally. He has retooled so his “crew” is just him and a digital video camera. It allows him to get right in the face and under the skin of those he is filming. In this Coventry Conversation, Paul talks about maki
Doing TV Drama - Kate Harwood, BBC
Kate Harwood is much garlanded within the Television industry for her production skills. Her credits include David Copperfield, Beggars Bride, Close Relations and Daniel Deronda. Kate has won two BAFTA awards for dramas from both ends of the social scale: Eastenders from the bottom and Charles II – the pride and the passion from the top. In this Coventry Conversations Kate talks about making TV drama.
My Experience in Documentary - Alex Holmes - Writer, Producer and Director
Alex has been responsible as producer/director/writer for three major pieces of recent UK television history: In 1999 he was the series editor of the groundbreaking series Macintyre Undercover; In 2004, Dunkirk told the human stories of the Dunkirk landing in factual drama form; and his latest offering is House of Saddam which was based on 2 years of research. In this Conversation, Alex comes to Coventry fresh from Los Angeles and London to talk about the latest drama.
Beginnings - Jon Blair, Award Winning Director and Producer
Jon Blair is a multi award winning film and television producer and director, and is the only director working in the United Kingdom who has won all three of the premiere awards in his field; an Oscar, an Emmy (twice) and a British Academy Award. In this Coventry Conversation you can hear Jon talking about his career.
I Have Seen the Future - Peter Barron, Google
Peter Barron is an enigma; he left one of the best and most high profile jobs in British television journalism – Editor of Newsnight – in the summer of 2008 of his own violation. He jumped ship to the digital world of Google where he is Head of Public Relations for the UK and Ireland. Peter's spell at the helm of Newsnight was the longest since the programme's creation and the most creative – he brought in blogs, vodcasts and more. In this Coventry Conversation you can hear Peter talking
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis
Martin is an award-winning TV and radio presenter, national newspaper columnist and bestselling author. An ultra-specialised journalist, he spends his life focusing on how to cut bills without cutting back. He is also an innovator/entrepreneur and his website, moneysavingexpert.com, is one of the most visited destinations on the Here he speaks live to Coventry Conversations via video link from BBC Television Centre. This podcast was recorded on 13th March 2009.