More to come, including amazing collaborations and must-watch shows.
Secrets of the London Underground
UKTV has commissioned, Secrets of the London Underground (6×60’) from Brown Bob Productions for factual channel, Yesterday.
In the new series, railway historian Tim Dunn (The Architecture The Railways Built) and Siddy Holloway from the London Transport Museum will explore hidden areas of the London Underground that – despite being just feet away from where millions of people regularly travel – hardly anyone knows about.
The pair will explore abandoned tunnels, secret bunkers and hidden staircases that have been concealed from public view for years. They will use their unique and privileged access to tell the story of places including London’s most clandestine tube station; the former terminus of the world’s first electric railway; and a station now only accessible by getting a train driver to stop at just the right place, but which played a key role during the Second World War.
Secrets of the London Underground has been commissioned for UKTV by deputy director of commissioning Hilary Rosen and ordered by Yesterday channel director, Gerald Casey. The series is produced by Brown Bob Productions and the executive producer is Rob Dersley.
UKTV’s Hilary Rosen said: “We’re delighted to be going underground with Brown Bob for this new series on Yesterday. Viewers are fascinated by the Tube and this series promises unseen locations, fresh stories and secrets galore from right across the city. All of which will be brought to screen by the irrepressible Tim Dunn who is this time joined by London Underground expert Siddy Holloway. Prepare to be captivated.”
Jacqueline Hewer, CEO of Brown Bob Productions said: “We’re really excited to be producing another series for Yesterday, taking Tim on a new adventure, and introducing Siddy to the audience. We can promise one thing – you’ll never travel on the tube again without wondering what’s through that door at the end of the platform…”
Yesterday’s Gerald Casey added: “Following the success of The Architecture The Railways Built on Yesterday, it was a no-brainer for us to team up again with Brown Bob and let them do what they do best – bring us great stories about the railway. The secrets that lie beneath London’s streets are amazing and we know we’ll be in good hands with Siddy Holloway and Tim Dunn – in fact, I can’t wait to see how excited Tim gets about all this!”
Secrets of the London Underground is filming now and will air on Yesterday later this year.
British broadcaster UKTV has ordered an International Women’s Day special of its observational series Inside the Ambulance for W, its flagship entertainment channel.
The 90-minute doc, Inside the Ambulance: Wonder Women, was produced by Brown Bob Productions and will focus on some of the women the series featured since its debut five years ago.
The special will include new interviews with the female paramedics including, for the first time, during their off-duty hours and at home.
“As a company run by women, we have always looked to celebrate the Wonder Women in front and behind the camera,” Jacqueline Hewer, joint CEO and co-founder of Brown Bob, said in a statement. “It is an absolute privilege to have been welcomed into the homes of our female ambulance crews for this special program. They’ve spoken to us with honesty, heart and of course, humor. This promises to be a real treat for the loyal audience of Inside the Ambulance.”
W’s Inside the Ambulance: Wonder Women was commissioned for BBC Studios-owned UKTV by Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning, and ordered by Adam Collings, channel director for W. Steve North is genre general manager for comedy and entertainment and Richard Watsham is director of commissioning. Susan Maxwell is executive producer for Brown Bob Productions.
Inside the Ambulance: Wonder Women airs March 8 to mark International Women’s Day.
The BBC has announced a range of new formats and titles for BBC One Daytime and BBC Two Early Peak from Boom, Brown Bob, BBC Studios, Red Sky and Plimsoll.
In the mornings on BBC One, Dom Littlewood examines the booming home delivery industry, tracing the journey of online orders. Deliveries Unwrapped with Dom Littlewood w/t (10 x 45) is executive produced by Rachel Evans for Boom in Cardiff.
Moment of Proof (15 x 30) is a new true crime doc for BBC Daytime, telling the stories of police investigations centred around the moment where detectives realise they’ve cracked the case. Series Producer is Emma Griffiths and the Executive Producer is Jacqueline Hewer for Brown Bob Productions.
Returning for a second series is For Love or Money, presented by Kym Marsh and Ashley John Baptiste, investigating online romance fraud which has soared during lockdown. This follows the first series last year, which also played out in BBC One peak in March. Series producer is Steve McConville and executive producer is Alan Holland for BBC Studios in Salford.
The new formats for afternoons on BBC Two Early Peak include, Saved and Remade (w/t), where a team of experts rework items of sentimental value into desirable contemporary pieces. The series producer is Kim Rossiter and the Executive Producer Jane Rogerson for Red Sky Productions in Glasgow
Also for BBC Two Early Peak is My Unique B&B (w/t), which features aspiring B&B hosts keen to earn a bit of extra cash by transforming their spare outdoor spaces into exceptional holiday rentals. The series Producer is Rebecca Nunn and the Executive Producers are Kate Beetham and Karen Plumb for Plimsoll Productions in Bristol.
Saved and Remade’s Commissioning Editor is Helen Munson with Lindsay Bradbury the commissioning editor nfor the other titles
Carla-Maria Lawson, Head of Daytime and Early Peak says: “Relevant, relatable and inspiring content is the heartbeat of BBC Daytime programming, and this mix of new offerings aims to buoy viewers looking for trustworthy and entertaining television.”
Hitting a century: the benefits of a high volume returner
Inside the Ambulance has transformed Brown Bob and given us confidence to spread our wings, says Jacqueline Hewer
Truth be told: when we first received a commission from UKTV to produce Inside the Ambulancein 2016, it was only in our wildest dreams that we would reach the 100-episode milestone.
Being able to deliver this amount of high-volume lower cost programming – 10 series in just under four years – has been an extraordinary experience, and we are all incredibly proud of what we have achieved.
The show continues to go from strength to strength. It’s the longest running original production on UKTV’s W channel and has been watched by more than 15 million people since its launch.
But now, more than ever, Inside the Ambulance shines a poignant light on the dedicated people who work tirelessly on the frontline to help save lives – day after day, whether we’re in the midst of a pandemic or not.
As our nation rightly pours out its gratitude for the NHS, it’s fantastic that our 100th episode, which airs tonight, showcases the everyday heroism of the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
When you reach any sort of milestone, you inevitably start to go into reflection mode. And recently we’ve been analysing exactly what Inside the Ambulance has meant to the evolution of Brown Bob Productions as a business.
Let’s rewind a couple of years to when Brown Bob was a relatively new UK independent production company.
Having a high-rating returnable series in our armoury was game-changing. It gave us the underlying stability to allow us to think bigger and move faster. With a consistent revenue stream ticking over, Inside the Ambulancebecame our company’s underbellyandsubsequentlyenabled us to heavily invest in our development team – a difficult feat for any small company because of how much you have to put in upfront with no guarantee of a return.
“Having a high-rating returnable series in our armoury was game-changing. It gave us the underlying stability to allow us to think bigger and move faster”
Its early success allowed us to expand and concentrate on other areas of our business too. When you know you’ve got a long-running project with international distribution already attached, you acquire a kind of professional confidence: whether that’s walking into a room to meet a commissioner, sitting on event panels or in conversations with people and organisations about new access.
It also gives commissioners confidence in your abilities, and we were able to quickly move into different directions with different iterations of the brand, such as Inside the Operating Theatre.
There are other – albeit less quantifiable – benefits to having a returnable series in your roster too. Take recruitment. With UKTV tending to commission two series of Inside the Ambulance at the same time, our team would need to be about 60-strong across location and the edit.
It’s given us a fantastic pool of people who return to work on series after series, and have branched out into our other projects too – both rig shows and more traditional series like The Architecture The Railways Built, which is currently airing on Yesterday.
Consequently, we are able to recruit with confidence and speed from our returning teams, and we also have amazing people knocking on our door wanting to be part of the production. Doing a good job on a series like Inside the Ambulanceleads to consistent work and career promotion – so important in the freelance industry.
The show has undeniably helped usto cement our reputation as one of the UK’s leading producers in the fixed-rig genre.
Over the last five years, evolving and adapting the way we can use technology on our various access documentaries has become an ever-changing mission, with many of our skills learned directly from our experience on this series.
We started out with a rig of 10 GoPro cameras, before moving on to 30 for Inside the Vetsand then a colossal 60 for Inside the Operating Theatre. We’ve grown with the times and we now approach every new production with a completely different mindset – now, nothing feels impossible to rig.
Importantly, the series also taught us a lot about building access relationships and about the art of standing back. Understanding the pressures of the professional environment you are filming in – whether that’s a hospital, an ambulance or a busy vets – requires a patience and perseverance that only comes with experience. Inside the Ambulancehas certainly allowed us to hone our craft.
As we move on series 11 and 12, we’d like to thank UKTV for putting their faith in us from day one, and being there every step of the way as we’ve built a successful brand.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the trust and co-operation of all the ambulance crews we’ve filmed with over the past ten series. They’re on the frontline in challenging circumstances every day – and on top of this, we ask them to wear a harness holding two cameras AND keep smiling.
So thank you, and here’s to another 100 episodes.
Jacqueline Hewer is co-founder and chief executive of Brown Bob Productions
Brown Bob Production’s Nicki Gottlieb on the future for fixed-rig shows
I vividly remember the taster tape we produced for season one of Inside the Ambulance for UKTV five years ago. Back then we were only really starting to investigate the full power of GoPro camera technology and how it could be intertwined into broadcast television.
But there we were, gaffer tape and soldering irons in hand, as well as a few back and forth trips to Maplin electronics store, attempting to figure out how exactly to assemble the first edition of a camera rig that would go on to define our company.
It was only really later in the edit suite – where we were patiently holding our breath – that we finally knew everything had come together.
As the footage rolled across the various monitors, we knew we were operating in a completely different space; a new way of working where our camera technology had empowered us to shoot completely new levels of intimacy (in our case close-up scenes between paramedic and patient) that wouldn’t have been possible with a four-person cam-era, sound and lighting crew.
Since those early years, we’ve gone through many different generations of GoPro technology and have adapted our rig multiple times.
At the same time, the fixed-rig camera genre has also evolved quickly – but what’s next for this fast moving, high volume area of programming?
From my perspective, camera rigs are only going to become more and more self-sustaining over the coming years. We’re already moving on from what is known as the ‘hand of the producer rig’ and are now entering a new phase of ‘rig and leave’, where you can operate cameras remotely without actually having anyone on location.
During these times of uncertainty, where everyone is social distancing and self-isolating because of the coronavirus outbreak, this is a particularly topical way of filming. ‘Working remotely’ has certainly had the spotlight shone on it and there’s no doubt this has already rippled through to the production sector. Indeed, maybe we will soon start to see a growing number of remote technology-driven programmes being produced, where rigs are used instead of using large numbers of people on the ground?
Whichever way things head, there’s huge room for this genre to grow. Not least because improved camera technology will reduce operating costs for all concerned, and that’s what our increasingly squeezed broadcasters will want: to find different ways to make more on limited budgets. The advantage of rigged camera shows is that they lend themselves to high volume series; they can be filmed quickly and edited in a reasonably speedy manner. So, at a time when broadcasters’ schedules are continuously altering due to the COVID-19 crisis, these programmes are an attractive proposition to help fill their gaps, often at a cheaper rate then other access-led documentaries.
Next stop, America
But where’s the next frontier for rig-driven factual series? The answer: potentially the US. Whereas the UK now has a strong track record of producing these shows, America – on the whole – just doesn’t tend to produce them in quantity – so far.
It’s one of the main reasons we at Brown Bob recently launched our first US office, with the aim of replicating our way of working for American audiences. There is certainly an intrigue around rig-led shows out there, and a huge opportunity to make a mark at a time when more and more new factual and niche channels are being launched. Things are changing, and as technology evolves along with channels’ demands for high volume series, this could be a unique opportunity for the genre.
Inside the Ambulance indie Brown Bob Productions has expanded into the US with the launch of an office in New York.
The fixed-rig specialist has appointed Gillian Hourihan as development producer to lead Brown Bob US, effective immediately.
US national Hourihan was previously working in Brown Bob’s London office but is relocating. She’ll report to Brown Bob co-chief executives Nicki Gottlieb and Jacqueline Hewer.
Hourihan has 10 years’ experience in television, during which time she developed, produced and cast reality shows for NBC Universal such as E4’s Made in Chelsea, which NBCU-owned Monkey produces.
Her brief is to develop and pitch content to US networks and look for collaboration opportunities. The new venture comes after Brown Bob’s bosses made several exploratory trips to North American markets such as Realscreen to assess opportunities.
Brown Bob has carved out a niche in returnable fixed-rig factual productions such as W’s Inside the Ambulance and Inside the Operating Theatre.
Speaking at the Broadcast Indie Survey 2020 Reveal event in London yesterday, Gottlieb said replicating this model would give the US base a unique selling point and help in programme rights negotiations with Stateside channels and streaming services.
“We have produced 15 series over the last few years using our bespoke rigs and we are delighted that we can now build our capabilities in the US and bring our expertise to American networks,” she said.
Gottlieb told attendees that Brown Bob’s production model would allow it to pursue “hybrid” rights deals on better terms than the usual work-for-hire terms that US networks traditionally offer indies.
Broadcast understands Brown Bob already has several projects in the works with US partners.
The London-based indie, which launched in 2014, counts the BBC’s daytime shows Fraud Squad: NHS and Fraud Squad: The Hunt, Yesterday’s History Hunters and The Architecture Railways Built and Channel 4 shows Paul Merton’s Secret Stations and Great Rail Restorations with Peter Snow among its credits.
W calls for more Inside the Ambulance as series moves south.
LONDON – Wednesday 11th March 2020: W, UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, has commissioned two new series of Inside the Ambulance (2 x 10×60’) and also confirmed that these will now be filmed in Oxford and Portsmouth.
Inside the Ambulance has aired nine series, along with a special Christmas series, since 2016 and has reached 12.3m adults across all episodes (including repeats). The tenth series is coming to W in May and will include the 100th episode.
The series, which is produced by Brown Bob Productions, uses GoPro cameras mounted inside an ambulance and on crew members to get viewers closer than ever to the work of ambulance crews.
The first ten series were filmed with West Midlands Ambulance Service in Dudley, Stoke and Willenhall. The new series – the eleventh and twelfth – are being filmed with South Central Ambulance Service in Oxford and Portsmouth.
The UKTV Original series takes viewers onto the front line of the NHS and captures every moment as first responders tackle thousands of calls each day, from life-threatening emergencies to cuts and bruises. Also featuring the lighter moments of dealing with the great British public, Inside the Ambulance is life-affirming and engaging television.
Inside the Ambulance is commissioned for UKTV by Natalie Rose, commissioning editor and Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning, and ordered by Adam Collings, channel director for W. Steve North is genre general manager for comedy and entertainment and Richard Watsham is director of commissioning. Emma Roberts-Price will series produce for Brown Bob Productions and Paula Campion will exec produce.
Natalie Rose said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Brown Bob on another two series of our highly successful Inside the Ambulance. Our viewers have two brand new locations and a completely new cohort of paramedics to look forward to – with all the expected challenges and surprises this new region will bring.”
Adam Collings said: “W viewers are huge fans of this series, so it’s brilliant to be bringing them more of what they love. We can’t wait to see the stories from the Oxford and Portsmouth areas.”
Brown Bob Productions’ CEO, Jacqueline Hewer, said: “We simply love making this series for W. After producing 100 episodes working with the West Midlands Ambulance Service, it’s time to move on to a new patch. We’re confident the warmth, humour and everyday drama viewers love so much will continue to shine through in these new series.”
The brand-new series of Inside the Ambulance joins a whole host of new UKTV Originals coming to W in 2020. Shows include The Wedding Fixer, a brand-new series which follows highly respected wedding planner Sarah Haywood as she battles to save couples from wedding day turmoil, and the two-part special of Emma Willis: Special Births.
Yesterday hunts history in two new series from Brown Bob Productions
UKTV has commissioned two new series from Brown Bob Productions for its leading factual channel, Yesterday.
UKTV Original History Hunters (6×60) follows father-and-son team Dave and Steve Nuwar, military antiques specialists, as they search for little pieces of history and the riveting tales behind them. From War & Son, their thriving Herefordshire shop, the History Hunters travel the country to source items from fairs, auctions, house calls, and online, and tracing the deeply personal, historical and moving stories behind each item.
Another UKTV Original, The Architecture the Railways Built (10×60) sees railway expert and train enthusiast Tim Dunn exploring the stunning architecture that lines the railway network. He visits stations made up of simple stone buildings, decorative Victorian grandeur, art deco masterpieces and striking glass and concrete structures created over the last few years. But Tim doesn’t stop at stations. He’s been given a platform to explore any structure which owes its existence to the railway: viaducts, signal boxes, tunnels, pedestrian passages, workshops, railway hotels: as well as less obvious buildings like homes, swimming pools and Turkish baths.
Both series have been commissioned for UKTV by deputy director of commissioning and head of factual & factual entertainment Hilary Rosen and ordered for Yesterday by channel director Gerald Casey. History hunters and The Architecture the Railways Built are both exec produced by Audrey Neil. Brown Bob is the production company behind Inside the Ambulance, the longest-running and hugely popular UKTV Original series on W, as well as Inside the Operating Theatre, Inside the Vets, and Inside the Ambulance at Christmas.
Hilary Rosen, Deputy Director of Commissioning and Head of Factual & Factual Entertainment at UKTV, said: “We are commissioning more and more new UKTV Original series for Yesterday. I’m so delighted to continue our partnership with Brown Bob, who we absolutely love working with and whose programmes continue to prove so popular with our audiences.”
Yesterday’s Channel Director Gerald Casey said: “Yesterday viewers are always keen to learn more about the past, and these two new series, helmed by knowledgeable and charismatic experts, shed a light on fascinating aspects of history and culture.”
Jacqueline Hewer, CEO of Brown Bob: “We are thrilled that the team at UKTV share our passion and vision for these two new series. It’s always a joy to work with them, and we are excited to expand our relationship to work with Yesterday.”
History Hunters and The Architecture the Railways Built will air in the spring of 2020, and will also be available on UKTV Play. These new series join a portfolio of successful UKTV Original factual shows on the channel including Abandoned Engineering, Steam Train Britain, and Bangers and Cash. Warbird Workshopand Restoration Workshop are also due to transmit in 2020.
BBC Daytime has commissioned a second series of Fraud Squad
BBC Daytime has commissioned a second series of Fraud Squad from Brown Bob Productions – the ratings-winning series tracking investigations in to people who steal from the public purse. The new series doubles the number of episodes to 10×45, and was commissioned by Lindsay Bradbury. Each episode will continue to feature investigators on the case of people suspected of stealing from the NHS; but the series is expanding its remit to also cover HMRC fraud and cases against public institutions investigated by the City of London police.
Inside The Operating Theatre – Series 2 – Wednesdays from 16th October at 10pm on W
Fraud Squad NHS smashes the ratings
Fraud Squad NHS played to some of BBC Daytime’s highest ever ratings at 9:15am. The series opened with almost 1.7 million viewers, a massive 34% share of the audience. The. . .
Fraud Squad NHS played to some of BBC Daytime’s highest ever ratings at 9:15am. The series opened with almost 1.7 million viewers, a massive 34% share of the audience. The figures consistently outperformed the slot average across the week, with the five-part series achieving average viewing figures of 1.5 million, and a 33% share.
The BBC said they were delighted with the “quality and consistency” of the series.
Fraud Squad NHS was Pick of the Day in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Sun, The TV Times Magazine, TV and Satellite Week, and WhatsOn TV.
Inside the… brand extended again with Brown Bob’s most ambitious rig to date
UKTV today announced it is building out its popular ‘Inside the…’ franchise, commissioning Brown Bob Productions to make a new fixed rig documentary series, this time set in an operating theatre following. . .
UKTV today announced it is building out its popular ‘Inside the…’ franchise, commissioning Brown Bob Productions to make a new fixed rig documentary series, this time set in an operating theatre following the successes of Inside the Ambulanceand Inside the Vets.
UKTV Original Inside the Operating Theatre (20×60′) will air on UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, W and will focus on the busy day surgery unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk. The series offers an exclusive and intimate insight into 4 busy operating theatres, staffed by a dedicated and highly-skilled team of 75 individuals. They carry out a huge variety of operations and procedures, from cardiology through to plastic surgery. Seeing more than 70% of operations going through its doors, the day surgery is at the heart and soul of the NHS, enabling patients to be in and out in one day.
Inside the Operating Theatre was commissioned by UKTV’s deputy director of commissioning and head of factual and factual entertainment, Hilary Rosen and ordered by Richard Watsham, director of commissioning, and Steve North, genre general manager for comedy and entertainment. The series is executive produced by Audrey Neil for Brown Bob Productions.
Hilary Rosen said:
Brown Bob’s latest addition to the ‘Inside the…’ franchise is their most ambitious rig to date, and I can’t wait to see how the stories from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s operating theatres unfold. Once again, they will deliver a strong cast of returning characters working at the hospital, alongside the powerful and intimate stories told by the patients who comes through the doors.
Adam Collings, channel director for W, said:
We’re thrilled to be extending the ‘Inside the…’ brand even further and exploring the inner workings of a surgery. Inside the Ambulance continues to delight our viewers, so it’s great that we’re able to broaden the perspective to another group of highly skilled professionals.
Jacqueline Hewer, Creative Director of Brown Bob said:
Day surgery is the future of the NHS, and this series is designed to showcase the incredible level of treatment that can be done in units like this. We’re delighted to be extending our ‘Inside the…’ brand, and promise to deliver our trademark mix of drama, warmth and wit.
Inside the Operating Theatre joins a growing list of UKTV Original shows coming to W, including Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, Cherry Healey documentary Sex, Knives & Liposuction, Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, Dr Christian: 12 Hours to Cure Your Street and two brand new scripted series, Women on the Verge and Flack.
Inside the Operating Theatre will air on W in 2019
Sky 109/245, Virgin 124/191, BT & TalkTalk 407 / On demand on Sky and Virgin
W is UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, offering audiences a dazzling mix of UKTV original series; Dr Christian Will See You Now, John Bishop: In Conversation With…, The Davina Hour, The Secrets In My Family and Inside the Ambulancealongside handpicked gems from the BBC and Channel 4 including series from Louis Theroux, David Beckham and Stacey Dooley.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.
The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Studios and Discovery, Inc. – is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
Exciting anticipatory reviews ahead our new series, Inside The Vets
Total TV Guide – Pick of the Day “This new series tugs on the heartstrings. Expect to be moved as you see a diverse collection of forlorn animals receive expert care.”
Inside Soap “Our ride-along trips with the West Midlands Ambulance Service have been a huge hit for W, and we’re anticipating similar success for this less-mobile but significantly fluffier brand expansion.”
Cineflix Rights acquires two new series from Brown Bob Productions
Cineflix Rights, the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor, has acquired two new factual series from British producer Brown Bob Productions.
Cineflix Rights, the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor, has acquired two new factual series from British producer Brown Bob Productions.
Inside the Vets (15×60’, UKTV) follows the daily challenges veterinary surgeon and exotic animal specialist Clive Munns and his dedicated team face as they treat domestic pets, exotic species, and even rescued wildlife. From removing a dog’s cancerous tumour to dealing with an injured hedgehog or operating on an enormous lizard, the series gives viewers a fresh perspective on the lengths the team takes to care for a wide range of animals. Inside the Vets also meets the loving pet owners, witnessing the trust and hope they place in Clive and his team.
Great Rail Restorations (5×60’, Channel 4) takes four of the most iconic carriages ever to run on the railways and brings them back to their former glory – in a first for railway restoration. Teams of world-class experts each restore a different carriage from a different era spanning 100 years of railway travel, including one of only two surviving Royal coaches used by Queen Victoria in 1887 and a once-glamorous 1960 Pullman dining car. Presented by journalist and historian Peter Snow, viewers follow the ups and downs of each restoration while engineer Henry Cole explores what it was like to be a passenger in each era of rail travel.
The deal to acquire both series was negotiated by Catherine McCormick, Acquisitions Executive, Cineflix Rights.
Richard Life, VP, Acquisitions at Cineflix Rights said: “The team at Brown Bob has an incredible ability to produce high quality, access-led documentary series which feature compelling characters and fresh insights into the institutions we use on a daily basis. I’m pleased they are joining Cineflix Rights’ roster of producer partners and look forward to the success of these titles on the international market.”
Dan McGolpin highlights forthcoming NHS and emergency services projects BBC daytime is to take inspiration from Panorama after unveiling two investigative formats. Controller of BBC programming and daytime Dan McGolpin. . .
Dan McGolpin highlights forthcoming NHS and emergency services projects
BBC daytime is to take inspiration from Panorama after unveiling two investigative formats.
Controller of BBC programming and daytime Dan McGolpin highlighted the forthcoming projects, which revolve around the NHS and emergency services, as having the potential to have been “a really good single Panorama”.
Brown Bob’s 5 x 45-minute Operation NHS Fraud will follow the counter-fraud investigators who help to protect the UK’s health service from the theft of drugs and equipment, a crime that costs the NHS £1.25bn a year.
Meanwhile, Reef ’s 10 x 45-minute Payback Time For Frontline Crime will tell the story of the police officers, paramedics and firefighters who are injured in the line of duty.
McGolpin said that the stripped 9.15am programmes will inherit a post-BBC Breakfast audience eager for investigative shows.
“BBC Breakfast is a huge institution and being able to follow it with more in-depth investigations into specific subjects is a great opportunity that we should make the most of,” he added.
Launching soon! Broadcast Intelligence will list the commissioning needs of over 200 UK commissioners. Register your interest at www.broadcastintel.com
He flagged the success of Chalkboard TV’s cold-case series Murder, Mystery And My Family, which was inspired by BBC4 one-off Catching History’s Criminals: The Forensics Story.
Exec producer Mike Benson realised a similar format would work as a daytime series if numerous cases were examined.
Elsewhere, McGolpin underlined the importance of co-production deals, having ordered The Mallorca Files, the BBC’s most expensive daytime drama to date.
The 10-parter is being funded by US SVoD service BritBox, with broadcasters France2 and Germany’s ZDFNeo.
“Drama can be really expensive so agreeing co-funding arrangements is crucial,” he said.
Other commissions include Flicker’s The Day That Changed My Life, which uncovers dramatic moments that have had seismic consequences, and BBC Studios’ Home Front Heroes, allowing five famous figures to relive the wartime experiences of a close family member. Both are 5 x 45-minute series.
McGolpin has also ordered 20 x 45-minute afternoon antique format Make Me A Dealer from BBC Studios.
Inside the Ambulance shortlisted for a Broadcast Digital Award
Nominations announced for awards ceremony, which takes place 4 July at London’s The Brewery
The changing face of British broadcasting has been highlighted as several new players are nominated in fresh categories at this year’s Broadcast Digital Awards.
A host of new short-form categories have been introduced – Comedy, Documentary, Drama and Factual – with the likes of Snapchat, Vice and The Guardian all picking up nods.
The shortlists hand Vice UK and online publisher TrueTube.co.uk two nominations apiece in the new categories. True-Tube is also up for Best Original Web Channel, in a competitive field that includes Barcroft TV, BBC3, Beano Studios, History Hit and Mashed.
Among other non-traditional entries, The Guardian’s cricket doc Second Innings is up for Best Short Form Doc and Snapchat is nominated for its Avalon and Vertical
Networks-produced dating format Ghost Hunt, along with HuffPost UK’s The Chefs’ Chefs.
The ceremony, which takes place on 4 July at London’s The Brewery, will also feature separate categories for Long Form Comedy and Drama for the first time.
BBC3 dominates the Comedy list, with four nominations, including BBC Studios’ Bafta-winning This Country, while Sky Atlantic has three drama series up for the prize: World Productions’ Save Me, Kudos’ Tin Star and Vertigo/Neal Street’s Britannia.
Another Bafta winner, ITV Studios/Motion Content’s Love Island, is up for both Best Entertainment Programme and Best Digital Support for a Programme, where it will compete with BBC Studios’ Blue Planet II digital campaign, Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge Snapchat campaign, the Brit Awards, BBC4’s Contagion and Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother.
Last year’s winner in the coveted Channel of the Year category, BBC3, is nominated again, alongside BBC4, Comedy Central, E4, Sky Atlantic and Beano Studios, which is also up for Best Web Channel and Best Digital Children’s content.
W’s ‘Inside The Ambulance’ Renewed For Two More Seasons
W has handed out a two-season renewal to Inside The Ambulance. UKTV’s flagship entertainment has ordered ten episodes for both seasons four and five, which will air later this year.
The renewal comes after the first three seasons of the show proved to be a rating’s hit; ranking as W’s highest rating commission in 2017 and reaching 8.55 million adults (including repeats on Really). As part of a previous bumper renewal, W has also commissioned special series Inside The Ambulance At Christmas, which will air in December.
Inside The Ambulance is a mobile fixed rig series that follows the work of West Midlands Ambulance Service and gives an intimate perspective on what it’s like to respond to emergency calls. The series, produced by Brown Bob Productions, uses GoPro cameras that are mounted both inside the ambulance and on crew members themselves. It was recommissioned by UKTV’s Deputy Director of Commissioning Hilary Rosen and General Manager for Entertainment and Comedy Steve North. Natalie Rose will executive produce for UKTV with Bridget Sneyd for Brown Bob Productions, alongside Daisy Scalchi as series producer.
Earlier this year, UKTV’s turned the Inside The… brand into a franchise after they green-lit Inside The Vets, also for W. Another fixed rig series, Inside The Vets offers a unique perspective of the incredible work undertaken by veterinary surgeon Clive Munn and his team of specialists, treating furry felines and the UK’s most exotic species. This marks the second piece of commissioning news to come out of W this week. As TVWise reported yesterday, the channel has also ordered a three episode cosmetic surgery documentary series, titled Sex, Knives & Liposuction, fronted by Cherry Healey.
16 companies selected for this year’s Indielab growth incubator scheme
Inside the Ambulance producer Brown Bob Productions, Victoria Ashbourne’s Hello Dolly and Dog Rescuers indie Middlechild Productions are among the 16 companies selected for this year’s Indielab growth incubator scheme.
The 2018 cohort has following an application process with a renewed commitment to support BAME and female-owned businesses.
The scheme will again offer fledgling production businesses a tailored consultation process with input from some 50 industry experts. If appropriate, participants are also introduced to investors.
Previous beneficiaries include Antidote Productions, Awesome Media & Entertainment and Midnight Oil Pictures.
In response to a survey, the 2017 participants estimated that the initiative would grow their businesses by an average of £327,000, while 77% said they expected to enter a first-look distribution deal or secure a new, international sale, having met with a distributor connected to the scheme.
Indielab is funded by Film London and was established by Victoria Powell in 2015. The 2018 scheme will run until the end of May.
Former participant Claire Mundell, creative director of Synchronicity Films, said it was a “crucial” development programme.
“The opportunity to reflect, plan and learn from those companies who have trodden the same ground many years before you is invaluable, as is the opportunity to learn from your own peers,” she said.
“On top of this, the programme offers a valuable opportunity to create a business network which will be supportive and informative as all of our businesses develop.”
UKTV extends ‘Inside The…’ strand with a brand new documentary for W
W, UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, has commissioned a brand new documentary series, following the daily challenges faced by the dedicated team at one of Britain’s busiest veterinary clinics.
Inside The Vets (15×60’) will use fixed-rig cameras to give a unique perspective of the incredible work undertaken by veterinary surgeon Clive Munn and his team of specialists, who go to extreme lengths to care for the pets that matter most. From treating furry felines and the UK’s most exotic species, to the love and hope shown by doting owners and the camaraderie between staff, Inside The Vets promises to be heart-warming television.
The new series is produced by Brown Bob Productions, the team behind Inside The Ambulance which is W’s highest rating UKTV Original commission of 2017 and has been watched by over 4.7m viewers on the channel since its launch in 2016. Inside The Ambulance is set to return for a third series this month and a Christmas series later this year.
Inside The Vets was ordered by UKTV’s deputy director of commissioning, Hilary Rosen and channel director of W, Adam Collings. Hilary will executive produce for UKTV with Jacqueline Hewer for Brown Bob Productions alongside head of production, Nicki Gottlieb.
Hilary Rosen said, “I’m delighted that we are extending the ‘Inside The…’ brand and thrilled to be working with Brown Bob Productions once again. Inside the Vets will give viewers privileged and intimate access to the vast range of animals treated, and surgery performed, on a daily basis. All with the Inside The…brand’s unique twist.”
Adam Collings added, “Inside The Ambulance has been a resounding success on W, so we are thrilled to be able to highlight the fantastic work undertaken by some of Britain’s hardest working vets. This series is a brilliant addition to our ever-growing UKTV Originals slate.”
Jacqueline Hewer, Brown Bob’s creative director and co-founder said, “We are really excited to be extending our brand for W. Inside the Vets promises to bring all the drama, emotion and trade-mark humour of Inside The Ambulance, with the addition of a deep dive in to the incredible relationships we have with our pets.”
Inside The Vets joins the slate of recently announced UKTV Originals set to air in 2018 on W, including John Bishop: In Conversation With… and The Wave, fronted by Rylan Clark-Neal and Olympic open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne.
Sky 109/245, Virgin 124/191, BT 311 & TalkTalk 407 / On demand on Sky and Virgin
W is UKTV’s premium entertainment channel, offering audiences a dazzling mix of UKTV original series; Dr Christian Will See You Now, John Bishop: In Conversation With…, The Davina Hour, The Secrets In My Family, Inside the Ambulance alongside handpicked gems from the BBC and Channel 4 including series from Louis Theroux, David Beckham, Stacey Dooley as well as the same day repeat of EastEnders.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands – UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.
The network delivers inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating over 20 years at the forefront of digital television, UKTV – an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) – is proud to be the first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
Channel 4 commissions Peter’s Great Rail Restoration
The story of the great British railways retold through the painstaking restoration of iconic railway carriages.
Life-long train enthusiast Peter Snow will celebrate the great history of Britain and its railways, through the restoration of four of the most iconic railway carriages ever built. Each carriage comes from a different era of train travel, and each will be restored to its former glory with complete historical accuracy.
Peter is joined by Henry Cole, who will explore the passenger experience of the era with historical items from the past to fully appreciate the provenance of each railway carriage.
Each of the episodes will see a carriage restored by a team of world-class railway restoration specialists. Starting in each case with a derelict and neglected shell, the programmes will follow the journey to bring these historical treasues back to life, in an intricate make-over of four forgotten pieces of our national heritage. The carriages cover 100 years of railway history starting in 1860, and include a Royal Saloon used by Queen Victoria.
At the end of each episode, the full glory of the carriage make-over will be revealed. The carriage will then be put back on the rails, pulled by a locomotive from the era. In the final episode, all four carriages will be brought together creating an entirely bespoke ‘train through time’ pulled by a steam locomotive – driven by Peter Snow himself, fulfilling a boyhood dream to drive a steam engine.
The series was commissioned by Lizi Wootton for Channel 4. It will be executive produced by Jacqueline Hewer for Brown Bob Productions.
Lizi Wootton said: “These four carriages carried our predecessors through some extraordinary periods in recent history. Bringing them back to life from ruin is a wonderful way to both celebrate and explore our past”.
Jacqueline Hewer, Creative Director of Brown Bob Productions comments: “It usually takes years to restore a railway carriage. For this series, they’ve got just six months. This is an incredibly ambitious project, but one which will ultimately leave a lasting legacy for our heritage railways as our splendidly-restored carriages are returned to the rails for 21st century passengers.”
We’re back for a two more series of our smash hit show! We go on shift again with familiar faces and new friends in the West Midlands Ambulance Sevice for this innovative, funny and heart-warming look at the world of 999 calls.
We wanted to get an intimate view of the ambulance crews. The solution: shooting on GoPro cameras and wrangling data in the back of a Volkswagon, says Jacqueline Hewer.
We wanted to get an intimate view of the ambulance crews. The solution: shooting on GoPro cameras and wrangling data in the back of a Volkswagon, says Jacqueline Hewer
Production company Brown Bob Productions
Commissioner Hilary Rosen
Length 10 x 60 minutes
TX 8pm, W, weeknights for two weeks from 28 November
Executive producer Jacqueline Hewer
Series producer Audrey Neil
Producers Soufian Shamsi; Sarah Binns
Head of production Nicki Gottlieb
Post house Rapid Pictures
Programme summary An ambulance rigged with cameras gives a unique perspective on what it’s like to respond
This is what I wrote in our pitch document: “We will use interstitials of the medics’ conversations between call-outs to highlight their human side, so that the series has them as people at its heart, rather than just as paramedics doing their job.”
We’ve all written stuff like this. It’s not that we’re lying; we’d love to be able to deliver shows that do that. It’s just that it’s incredibly difficult to get it to work on screen, especially when you’re on a limited budget and working to a tight schedule.
But here, we could deliver on our promise. Our paramedics are absolutely the stars of the show: there’s Steve, who can’t understand the point of onesies; Michelle and her weakness for McDonald’s hash browns; Jamie and Carly, whose wonderful chatter covered everything from what Carly’s nan thinks of gay marriage (“If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me”) to sweetcorn as an ill-advised pizza topping.
The secret to our success? They shot the whole series themselves with not a crew in sight. Each paramedic wore two body-mounted cameras, and we rigged their ambulance with six GoPros. Then we recorded every minute of their 12-hour shift, for 60 consecutive days, capturing 7,000 hours of footage.
That was the easy bit; the bigger challenge lay in working out how to manage the absurd amount of media they were pumping out. This was a rig, but with no gallery and no live mixing.
They were on the move the whole time. This is where our own brilliant team came in. On every shift, we had a cameraman running all aspects of the rig. After each patient had been delivered to hospital, they’d hand the cards to our data wrangler, who set up an entire mobile wrangling unit on the back seat of a Volkswagon Sharan.
They were ably supported by a runner and a boot full of snacks. Paramedics are very hungry people.
Having secured the footage, we then had to get consent. A location producer attended every call-out, and it was their responsibility to make on-the-spot editorial judgements about the strength of each story, and to start consent conversation.
We simply had too much footage to take everything we shot into the edit. We only wanted the stories that were genuinely going to make the final programmes, and decided not to ingest anything we didn’t have consent for. When you’ve got six edit suites ploughing through stories with fantastic speed and efficiency, that’s a hard rule to keep. Most people were happy to be filmed, but not quite so many of them wanted what we’d filmed to be on telly.
We planned the post-production process with extraordinary care.
The complexity of the operation was unprecedented. Our post house stepped up and created a totally new workflow to meet the unique challenges of a mobile rig.
The good news is the stories themselves made it all worth it. As TV producers, we’re always looking for new ways of doing things and the GoPros gave us exactly what we’d hoped for.
Jacqueline Hewer: My tricks of the trade
* Don’t give in to the temptation of hiring someone just because they’re available and affordable.
* Find a post house that cares about your show as much as you do.
* Stay calm in the chaos.
* Don’t let your ego get in the way. If a story needs to be transcribed to help a hard-pushed edit, just do it.
* Have great hair.
A few cases stand out, such as when Neil was in absolute agony with bursting ulcers. A fixed camera captured his pain in an utterly visceral way that I haven’t seen when I’ve put a PD in the back of an ambulance with a hand-held camera.
As for Fatima, a young Lithuanian woman terrified she was going into early labour at 32 weeks, the paramedics’ cameras caught the fear in her eyes with no sense of intrusion.
Above all there was Joe, an 18 year-old who’d had a debilitating panic attack at work in a factory. The call-out is utterly compelling to watch as it puts you right in the heart of Joe’s breakdown. The paramedics are amazing.
Gently, steadily, they calm him down, slow his breathing, talk to him and listen to him. It would have felt too intrusive to have a traditional camera in Joe’s face while he was in such a moment of crisis. But what we can now broadcast – with Joe’s full backing – is an incredible story of what mental health problems really look like.
We’re proud of this series and it’s been a real joy to make. The whole team at UKTV were friendly, positive and supportive throughout – as was everyone at the West Midlands Ambulance Service.
The biggest lesson we’ve learned is this: if you ever need to call an ambulance, try to do it in Walsall.
A new angle on the emergency services
Nicki Gottlieb, Head of Production
We knew that if we were going to pitch paramedics, we needed a new take. Looking at GoPro footage posted on various platforms, we decided to use them to shoot the entire series.
That is easier said than done when you realise you need timecode and audio sync for each of the 10 GoPros. Plus they were running for 12 hours a day, for 60 days straight, and throwing out on average 1TB of media.
Once we’d decided that we were going to create an entirely mobile rig, we needed to work out an air-tight workflow. Luckily, we came up with this crazy idea at just the right time as technology was on our side.
One piece of equipment that proved invaluable was the tentacle that sat on the GoPros, as it enabled us to embed synchronised timecode to all 10 cameras and the audio recorders. This, along with a detailed logging system, was invaluable for post-production, as we could effortlessly synchronise all angles ready for the editors.
Due to the sheer amount of footage, Rapid Pictures used the automated system Group It For Me to create the group clips. It saved huge amounts of time in the edit, and allowed stories to be turned around quickly.
One of the many lessons we learned making the series was that a GoPro shoulder mount is one of the most temperamental pieces of equipment out there. Also, trying to data wrangle masses of media in the back of an MPV causes a lot of stress. But overall, we created a workflow that enabled us to achieve exactly what we set out to do.
This project gave us the opportunity to experiment with new technology, to be creative with our workflow, and to deliver a truly original insight into the ambulance service.