There was a range of senior executives sitting around the table including Twenty Twenty’s Director of Programmes Maxine Watson, former Head of BBC Religion Aaqil Ahmed, Creative Director at Agatha Christie Basi Akpabio, Douglas Road newly appointed MD Angela Ferreira and of course me.
Under Frow’s guidance, Channel 5 has seen an upturn in its fortunes with a raft of hit Factual programmes and some big names drawn to the channel including Jeremy Paxman and Michael Palin. Last year The channel was awarded its first-ever Bafta with “Cruising with Jane MacDonald,” and was also named as Channel of the Year.
Despite its success, the broadcaster is keen not to rest on its laurels and wants to continue to build on that success.
Ben Frow explained “…we want programmes that are engaging, intelligent, well made and have a relevance to the viewer.”
Guy Davies was particularly looking for “Reputational one-offs which reinforce our commitment with first class talent and could fall within our new ‘Modern Britain’ occasional strand. Recent successes here include ‘The Accused’ and ‘Slum Britain: 50 Years On’.”
Adrian Padmore said he wanted, “Ambitious observational documentary series that offer a unique view of modern Britain. Surprising characters, clever storylines and territories that feel connected to the way we really live today”.
TV Collective Founder and Director Simone Pennant MBE steered the conversation, with Diversity very much on the agenda. There was lots of advice on offer. “Know our audience” the executives advised, “understand our tone and where we are coming from.”
With so many tasty titbits of information (and food) to take in over the course of the meal, all that’s now needed is for producers to “listen and learn,” in Frow’s words, before submitting that all important idea and pitch.
TV Collective Diners Club continues with another industry get together in the spring.