Monthly Archives

August 2018

Comedy Exec Gives Master Class

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In this workshop, Saurabh Kakkar, experienced TV comedy producer with a host of successful programmes to his name, shares some of his best hints, tips and strategies for creating, developing, selling and producing narrative comedy, and making it fit for broadcast in today’s multi-platform climate.

Starting out as a producer of live comedy tours, Saurabh went on to become Executive Producer at Big Talk, responsible for shows such as the BAFTA-nominated Timewasters and the forthcoming BBC2 show Defending The Guilty. Prior to that he was Head of Development and an Exec producer at BBC Comedy Productions, responsible for shows such as Professor Branestawm (adapted by Charlie Higson, starring Harry Hill), The Life of Rock with Brian Pern (starring Simon Day and Paul Whitehouse) and Puppy Love (by Jo Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine).

Before that Saurabh spent 13 years at ITV Studios as a drama producer and exec then Creative Director of Comedy, responsible for shows such as White Van Man for BBC3 (remade as Family Tools for ABC in the US), FM for ITV2 (starring Chris O’Dowd) and Dirk Gently for BBC4 (Starring Stephen Mangan and Darren Boyd) and The Fattest Man in Britain and Security Men for ITV1 (both by Caroline Aherne and Jeff Pope).

This workshop takes place in the Heritage Learning Suite, Library of Birmingham, September 22, 11:00 – 15:00 BST.

There will be an informal networking opportunity at the end of the workshop, where some light refreshments will be served. You must be aged 18 years or older to attend this workshop.

Tickets available here:

For more information, contact


BBC Scriptwriting 101 In Birmingham

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Ever wondered how to get noticed by the BBC? How to send your script and what happens when you do? How do they assess your work? What grabs them and what puts them off? If you’re after some tips, this is a session not to miss.

BBC Writersroom is providing an industry-focused workshop at Curzon Building, Birmingham City University on Saturday 22 September, 14:30 – 18:30 BST.

BBC Writersroom is a cross-genre department for scripted content, who work with Drama, Comedy, CBBC, CBeebies, Radio, Online – and others. They work with and develop new and experienced writers and are always on the lookout for fresh, new, talented writers with an original voice and great stories to tell. Workshop leader Usman Mullan is Assistant Producer for BBC Writersroom North, and will provide you with some invaluable tips and answer any burning questions you may have about scriptwriting.

Usman works at BBC Writersroom as an Assistant Producer based in MediaCity, Salford. Usman looks after northern comedy and drama writer’s development across TV, Radio and Digital platforms, producing schemes opportunities and events for writers and working with partners across Drama, Comedy, CBBC, CBeebies, Radio, Online and others, on new and ongoing projects. Usman also produces writer training programmes including Northern Voices, a writer development group to introduce theatre writers to writing for broadcast. He also works across online production and social media and has produced a series of short drama/comedy films for BBC Radio 1Xtra, Asian Network and BBC Music’s social media

There will be an informal networking opportunity at the end of the workshop, where some light refreshments will be served. You must be aged 18 years or older to attend this workshop.

Tickets available here:

For more information, contact

Birmingham Post Makes A Case for Channel 4 HQ In Birmingham

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The Birmingham Post has upped its bid for Channel 4 to relocate to the city from London.

In a special 24-page supplement, the Post highlights the reasons why the broadcaster should consider the city above all others for its new base as it prepares to move out of London.

It is also in the running with five other cities to welcome one of two new “creative hubs”, the locations of which should be announced this autumn.

The supplement brings together some of the key figures living and working in Birmingham to shout about everything that is happening here, from major new property developments to culture and city living.

A delegation from Channel 4 is due to visit Birmingham in the coming weeks when it will meet with the mayor and other civic and business leaders, giving the city another chance to outline the case for the station to base its new HQ here.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “We are at a critical stage in the campaign to bring Channel 4’s new HQ to Birmingham and we’re at the point where the issues like sites and attracting staff to our region are becoming key.

“The Birmingham Post has done a fantastic job of showcasing what makes Birmingham a fantastic place to live and work and given really valuable backing to the bid at a really important time.

“With the Commonwealth Games, City of Culture, a further £1 billion of government investment in homes, transport, skills and supporting businesses over the last 12 months, this is a region going places – it would make perfect sense for Channel 4 to join us.

“A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes, working with Channel 4’s top people and the timetable they have set out, and kept to so far, suggests we should hear a final decision at the end of September or start of October.”

The supplement can also be read online here.

Kids and Familes Wanted for ITV Series

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The team behind the prime time ITV series ‘How to Spend it Well at Christmas with Phillip Schofield’ is on the hunt for new faces for this year’s series! The show, which had an average audience of 3.5 million, has been recommissioned for a second series and the following invitation has been extended to the public:

The programme is a seasonal consumer show, in which Phillip Schofield invites celebrity guests, experts, and members of the public to help him conduct a series of inventive tests and experiments using a selection of presents and products available for Christmas 2018.

We are in the early stages of production, and are currently looking for some fun kids and families to take part in the series! If you are interested in taking part in some of the trials all we would need is a quick video of which we can show to our producers.

The video should include the following:
*             Introduction – Name, age & where you’re from (town)
*             Toy or Gadget Review –  Why is it their favourite toy/Gadget? Maybe a little demo (if applicable)?
*             Christmas 2018 – What new toys they are excited about / their dream toy? Why they are excited about it?

If you are a family applying please film the following:
*             A short introduction of the family members – Names, ages & where you’re from (town)
*             Each person tell us what you would like for Christmas.

Please don’t worry about the quality of the video, it can just be recorded on your phone and emailed across to myself. It also doesn’t need to be long, roughly 1 minute. If you have any issues with the file size you can use a free service called WeTransfer (

Please email your video to

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Spend it Well Team

Production Guild – Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting

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Production Guild Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting

Sat 6th October & Sun 7th October – Movie Magic Scheduling
Sat 13th Oct & Sun 14th Oct – Movie Magic Budgeting

Do you want to train in Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting? Led by Line Producer / UPM Brian Donovan (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Allied and Dracula), this course offers an in-depth, hands-on review of the Movie Magic software and the environment in which they are employed both in Film and TV.

Run across two weekends in October, attendees are encouraged to attend both in order to fully appreciate how Movie Magic Scheduling and Budgeting are integrated. No previous experience with either is required but basic computer literacy and a familiarity with Film / TV production basics is assumed.

Training will use a training script with practical exercises to put the learning of the software info practice.

For more details, click here.