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Sam Barcroft

CEO, Barcroft Media

Sam Barcroft formed Barcroft Media in 2003 to provide editorial content to the international print media. Over the past decade the business has operated at the leading edge of the transition from analogue to digital media, now employing over sixty staff globally.

Barcroft Media - an established editorial content agency that specialises in content creation and distribution. The company licenses and distributes text, photography, TV documentaries and short form video clips to producers, publishers, broadcasters and digital platforms in over 50 countries.

Barcroft Productions creates original linear and digital TV programming for brands and a broad range of UK and international networks including Body Bizarre for TLC, Amazing Interiors for Netflix and The Customiser is Always Right for UKTV.

Barcroft TV - one of YouTube's most watched factual channel brands with over 5 million subscribers, 4 billion views to date. Barcroft TV is a key component of the group's multi-platform channel offering, serving as an incubation channel for Barcroft Productions.



David Brindley

Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment Commissioning, BBC

David joined the BBC as Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment in January 2017. His team works across BBC One and Two - titles within the department range from Countryfile, Watchdog Live and Antiques Roadshow to DIY SOS, Back In Time For Dinner and Mind Over Marathon. It also houses a huge amount of talent including Mary Berry, Nigella Lawson, Monty Don, Nadiya Hussein, The Hairy Bikers, Rick Stein and Tom Kerridge. The department is currently developing a push in to Fact Ent for both channels. Prior to joining the BBC, David was a documentaries commissioner at C4 working across The Trial: A Murder In The Family, The Tribe, The Jihadis Next Door and The Vote. In production, he was co-series director on the Emmy award-winning Educating Yorkshire, other directing credits include One Born Every Minute and The Kid's Speech as well as producing on Cage Fighting Women,The Fallen and Beautiful Young Minds.



Jo Clinton-Davis

Controller, Factual, ITV

Jo Clinton-Davis is controller of Factual at ITV. Her commissions include Long Lost Family, Our Queen at 90, Paul O’Grady for the Love of Dogs, The Mafia with Trevor McDonald, HMP Aylesbury, Billy Connolly's Route 66, Joanna Lumley's Japan, Killer Women with Piers Morgan.

Previously Jo was head of Commissioning for UKTV's ten channels having been head of Independent Commissioning at the BBC where she commissioned Masterchef, Grumpy old Men and the Hairy Bikers. She directed and series produced Making Babies with Robert Winston and The Store about Selfridges for BBC One as well as directing many single films for the award-winning strands 40 Minutes and Inside Story.



Guy Davies

Commissioning Editor, Factual, Channel 5

Guy Davies is commissioning editor, Factual at Channel 5, commissioning factual programming across the channel. Prior to this he was head of Documentaries at ITN Productions.

At Channel 5 he has commissioned a diverse slate of peak time factual programming, including Rich House Poor House, Slum Britain: 50 Years On, The National Trust, The Great British Benefits Handout, Squaddies at 16 Raw Recruits, The Freddie Mercury Story, Going Underground: The Tube, Gangland, and Sarah Payne: A Mother’s Story.

He was senior executive producer at Wall to Wall from 2007-2009 and was a freelance executive producer for three years working for a range of companies including Blast! Films, Darlow Smithson, Firecracker and Wall to Wall, working for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Discovery.

Among awards he has received have been the BAFTA for Best Factual Series and The Grierson Award, for The Trust (Channel 4, 2003), Hart Ryan Productions for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film (Gas Attack, Channel 4).



Dimitri Doganis

Founder, Raw TV

Raw’s founder Dimitri Doganis started his career as a news producer and cameraman working in 24-hour cable news. He went on to direct multi-award-winning documentaries, often in some of world’s toughest places such as the West Bank during the Intifada and Iraq during the second Gulf war.

As head of Raw, which he founded in 2001, he has been involved in the development and production of much of the London-based company’s output, both in the UK and the US. Dimitri continues to oversee the company’s creative strategy as well as being closely involved with many of the projects as Executive Producer on series such as Gold Rush, Discovery’s top rating series, and the drama miniseries Harley & The Davidsons, along with a host of others.

He also produced Raw’s first feature film, The Imposter. The film debuted to significant critical acclaim at Sundance in January 2012 and following theatrical release in the US, UK and Europe, has won multiple awards including a BAFTA for outstanding debut. Their second film, American Animals, premiered at Sundance film festival 2018, alongside the feature documentary Three Identical Strangers, winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Storytelling, which Dimitri also Executive Produced.



Stacey Dooley


Stacey Dooley is one of Britain's most loved documentary presenters. Fashion conscious Stacey's life took an unexpected turn when she travelled to India in 2007 for the BBC3 series Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts to live and work alongside the people in the Indian fashion industry making clothes for the UK High Street. Since then, she has embarked on a series of investigations to become one of BBC3's most celebrated presenters.

Stacey Dooley Investigates has seen Stacey look at a variety of topics from sex trafficking and underage sex slavery in Cambodia and the dark side of tourism in Thailand and Kenya, to rave reviews.

She released her debut book On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back, which was named on The Sunday Times Bestsellers List, this year and has a book tour planned for later this year.

Her impressive work in bringing a voice and platform to many has earned her an MBE for her services to broadcasting.



Danny Fenton

Chief Executive Officer, Zig Zag Productions

Danny Fenton founded Zig Zag in 1999 and has established the company as an innovative transatlantic television production company, respected for its eclectic approach to nearly 700 hours of programme making. The company is one of the largest remaining truly independent UK production companies.

Prior to Zig Zag Danny began his career at the BBC and spent a brief time working with a number of UK production companies.

Danny is executive producer on all Zig Zag productions. Recent shows he has created include I Wanna Marry Harry for Fox, Troy for Channel 4 and Xtreme Endurance: Race to the Pole for Channel 5. Other recent hit productions include Body Bizarre for Discovery, Ultimate Brain for CBBC and Blink for Channel 4.



Sara Geater

COO, All3Media & Chair, Pact Council

Sara Geater was appointed Chief Operating Officer of All3Media in 2015, joining the senior executive team created after the acquisition of the business by Discovery and Liberty Global. Sara works closely with the businesses in the Group to drive growth, both organically and through acquisition. She brings her expertise as an industry leader in television production, talent management, rights and deal-making to support and build the growth of the business in the UK and overseas.

Sara’s career to date has spanned TV, film and digital, in both business and creative roles and covers all genres. As CEO of Fremantle Media UK, she led a major restructure of the company, devising and implementing its “label” strategy. Prior to this, Sara held the post of Head of Commercial Affairs at Channel 4 and Director of Rights & Business Affairs at the BBC. Sara has also held roles including Head of Film & TV at Avalon, Head of Production at Miramax Films and Channel 4 Drama’s Co-Production Executive; her television career began at LWT as a production accountant.

Sara is Chair of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT). She is a barrister and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.



James Hayr

Head of Global Sales, Endemol Shine Group

James Hayr joined Endemol Shine Group in 2017 as Head of Global Sales for the Group’s Commercial Partnerships team. Hayr oversees the brand relations responsibilities within Commercial Partnerships working closely with complementary divisions and specialisms both globally and within territories. His remit includes identifying and linking global commercial brand partners and opportunities, growing the Group’s overall branded content and content marketing business and boosting monetisation opportunities across the Group’s non-linear content.

A multi-award-winning Content Strategist, Hayr joined Endemol Shine Group from AOL, where as Head of Branded Content, he was instrumental in driving forward their brand integration across several owned platforms including The Huffington Post and AOL’s Originals video business. He has previously worked for companies such as EMAP (Bauer), Conde Nast and Microsoft MSA.



Paul Heaney

CEO, TCB Media Rights

TCB Media Rights launched in October 2012, Heaney and his 15-strong team now work with some of the most highly regarded production companies in the business and leverage their network of co-production, broadcaster and pre-sales relationships in the US/Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia/New Zealand, Asia and the Nordics to help them realise their programme-making ambitions. The company was acquired by the Kew Media Group in October 2017 significantly increasing Kew’s ability to broaden its distribution activity in the non-scripted arena.

With more than 150 titles in its rapidly expanding portfolio, TCB Media Rights’ has more than 75 producer-partners from around the world, including CJZ, Motion Content Group, Icon Films, Like A Shot Entertainment, Woodcut Media and ITN Productions. Its broadcaster clients span all the major factual broadcasters and platforms, including RMC, Decouverte, SBS Australia, Canal Plus, Discovery Networks, Nat Geo, Channel 9 Australia, Viasat, ProSieben, Welt24, N-TV, UKTV, Channel 5, Mediaset, AMC/CBS, TV2 Denmark, SBS Netherlands.

Prior to launching TCB as a one-man operation, Heaney served as President and Managing Director of Cineflix Rights, which he started in 2002.



Lilla Hurst

Joint Managing Director, Drive

Lilla launched Drive, the specialist pre-sales and co-production agency in partnership with Ben Barrett in 2013. They then went on to launch the distribution arm of the company in 2016. With unparalleled expertise in raising production finance from international channels, the company has gone on to achieve great results in its first couple of years of distribution.

Hurst and the team work with some of the best production companies in the business, including Lightbox, October Films, Oxford Films, Yap Films and Blink Film & TV.

Prior to setting up DRIVE, Lilla founded Lillavision in 2008, working with indies to secure co production and deficit finance. She was previously Head of Co-production at Channel 5 and Head of Acquisitions and Co-productions at RDF International, now Zodiak.



Heather Jones

General Manager UK and Senior Vice President, Content and Creative, A+E Networks

Heather was promoted to this expanded role in August 2015, after joining the business as VP Programming in July 2013 and assuming the position of General Manager UK in February 2015.

Heather manages all creative units of A+E Networks UK, including programming, Marketing and Communications, Creative and Digital and continues to serve as General Manager, UK, with responsibility for all aspects of the business across the company’s UK operation and portfolio of channels.

Previously, Heather was a consultant to a number of British and International broadcasters including RTE, MTV and UKTV. She was also part of the team that put together the London8 bid for the London local TV franchise.

Previous positions include Managing Director of North One Television, Director of television at Viacom in the UK and Managing Director at Paramount Comedy, Channel Editor of Trouble and before Flextech, she worked at Buena Vista Television, starting as a researcher before moving on to work as a producer/director. She began her career at Euro Disney in 1992 where, as its brand ambassador, she represented the company around the world.

Speaking at: HEAD TO HEAD


Justine Kershaw

Co-founder and Creative Director, Blink

Justine is a BAFTA award winning producer with over 20 years of experience in television. Justine started her career in television news, moving in 1992 to Bristol to make programmes for the BBC Natural History Unit. Between 1995 and 2002 Justine directed and produced on the celebrity wildlife series ‘In the Wild’ for Tigress Productions, working with John Cleese, Ewan McGregor, Holly Hunter, Whoopi Goldberg and Richard Dreyfus. She also devised, directed and series produced Monkey Business for Tigress Productions ITV’s Granada and Executive Produced programmes for Channel 4, Natgeo, Discovery and PBS including Journey of Man and Secrets of The Dead: Riddle of the Plague Survivors.

In 2002 Justine moved to Channel 5 to become a commissioning editor and, as Channel 5’s Controller of Science, she commissioned over 80 hours of programming a year including Extraordinary People, The Gadget Show and The Big Question. In 2006 she was made Controller of Factual, covering the channel’s science, history and arts output.

Since starting Blink with Dan, Justine has overseen several series and specials including The Great Sperm Race, Mummifying Alan, The Brain with David Eagleman and Ape Man.Her work has won several awards including 2 EMMYs, a Peabody an RTS and a BAFTA.



Dan Korn

VP Programming, A+E Networks

Dan Korn joined A+E UK in November 2016, from STV Productions, where was Creative Director, overseeing projects ranging from BBC and Channel 4 documentaries, to the Channel 5 entertainment series, Tour de Celeb.

Prior to that, he spent 10 years as Senior Vice President and Head of Programming for Discovery Channel UK and EMEA, which he joined, in 2005, from leading independent production company, 3BM Television Ltd. At 3BM, Korn was Managing Director and Executive Producer, winning a BAFTA for the film, Nuremberg: Goering’s Last Stand for Channel 4, a Broadcast Award for the series Age of Terror for Discovery, as well as producing the Emmy Award-nominated Holocaust on Trial and RTS-nominated Boy With a Tumour for a Face.

As Vice President, Programming, and Head of History and Crime+Investigation, he heads up a team responsible for all the Pay TV brands for the A+E UKJV, sourcing, acquiring and commissioning over 3000 hours of content a year. Recent commissions include James Nesbitt: Disasters That Changed Britain, World War 2 Treasure Hunters, and Murdertown with Katherine Kelly.



Alf Lawrie

Head of Factual Entertainment, Channel 4

Alf’s wealth of experience spans a broad range of popular factual programming having previously helped launch new formats including The Apprentice, Hunted and The Face. Prior to joining Channel 4 in 2017, Alf served as Executive Producer on The Island. At Channel 4 he has been responsible for SAS: Who Dares Wins; Levison Woods’ travelogue, From Russia To Iran: Crossing the Wild Frontier; and The Secret Life Of 5 Year Olds: Suffrage Special; as well as the forthcoming series about South American cartels, Inside The Narcos.



Clare Laycock

Head of Brands, Discovery

Clare is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of Discovery UK’s female-skewing channels: Quest Red, Discovery’s newest free-to-air real life entertainment channel; TLC, a top five entertainment channel amongst pay TV women; free-to-air foodie channel Food Network; Investigation Discovery, the UK’s number one real crime channel; and Amazon Prime channel Discovery Kids. In the role she oversees programme commissioning and acquisition, scheduling and marketing & communications.

Clare has been a major driving force in expanding Discovery UK’s reach, giving the channels some of their highest ratings shows to date. Since joining Discovery, Clare has built out global franchises, commissioning Say Yes to The Dress UK, now in its 4th series, and developed local hits including Katie Price: My Crazy Life, Curvy Brides Boutique, Harry & Meghan Said Yes, If Katie Hopkins Ruled the World, Britain’s Deadliest Lovers and Faking It: Tears of a Crime.

Clare joined Discovery in September 2014 from UKTV where she was General Manager and Channel Head of Really, Home and Good Food. During her tenure at UKTV, Clare launched brand new channels Home and Really and subsequently led the re-launch of Really, transforming it from a pay TV lifestyle channel to a free-to-air entertainment brand. She was at UKTV for six years.

Prior to UKTV, Clare was Head of Campaigns for BBC Learning from 2006 to 2008 and before this she held various roles at Discovery for 14 years from 1992 to 2006, including VP & Channel Director, Discovery Home & Health and Discovery Kids.



Tom MacDonald

Head of Specialist Factual Formats, BBC

Recent commissioning highlights include the BAFTA nominated The Hunt, the BAFTA and RTS nominated Big Blue Live, Attenborough & the Giant Dinosaur for BBC ONE and Tribes, Predators & Me, Victorian Bakers, Choose The Right Puppy For You for BBC TWO, and the RTS winning Oak Tree for BBC FOUR.

He also oversees some of the BBC’s most successful specialist factual returning series including Springwatch, Trust Me, I’m A Doctor, An Hour To Save Your Life and Inside The Factory.



Laura Mansfield

Managing Director, Outline Productions



Hamish Mykura

Executive Vice President, Programming & Development, NGGN

Hamish Mykura is executive vice-president of programming and development for National Geographic. He leads the London commissioning hub for the channels, focussed on premium series and events that will air globally on National Geographic. Recent series commissions have included Dian Fossey - Secrets in the Mist, The Oceans, and the Emmy-award nominated documentary Challenger Disaster - the Lost Tapes.



Lisa Opie

Director of Factual, BBC Studios

Lisa Opie is the Director of Factual for BBC Studios, leading BBC Studios' factual teams, working with the creative leads, production management and business teams to enable BBC Studios to deliver and grow its world-class content, across Natural History, Science, History, Arts, Documentaries, Features and Daytime. Its factual programmes, such as Springwatch, Horizon, Child of Our Time, Stargazing Live, Imagine, Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors, Life and Death Row, Louis Theroux, The Met and Murdered for Being Different are renowned for their quality and loved by audiences in the UK and around the globe.

Lisa was previously Controller of Business for Factual & Daytime, and before joining the BBC in 2013, Lisa was Managing Director of Two Four Digital.Previously she was Managing Director of Content at Channel Five and Managing Director of Flextech Television, a former partner with the BBC in UKTV.



Adrian Padmore

Commissioning Editor, Channel 5



Ruth Pitt

Managing Director, Under the Moon

Ruth Pitt is director of the Creative Cities Convention and MD of Under The Moon, a company she set up to nurture talent in the creative industries across the UK. She is currently running the Commissioning Mentor Network for Channel 4 and is a former creative director of documentaries at BBC Religion and Ethics, head of documentaries at Granada Television, MD of Real Life Productions and head of factual at Tiger Aspect Productions.

Ruth trained as a journalist and reporter with IPC Magazines, in radio and at Yorkshire Television. She is a regular session chair at festivals and events and was advisory chair of the Edinburgh TV festival as well as the Nations and Regions Media Conference.

She lives in Yorkshire but also has a base in London and has worked on a wide range of projects aimed at growing production outside the M25.



Hilary Rosen

Deputy Director of Commissioning, UKTV

Hilary Rosen is deputy director of Commissioning at UKTV, commissioning and executive producing high profile and award-winning shows for the network, including Taskmaster, John Bishop: In Conversation With..., Unspun with Matt Forde, Monty Python Live and Crackanory.

Prior to joining UKTV Hilary was creative director at Silver River devising formats including The Town That Never Retired, BBC1 and overseeing Inside Gatwick, Sky 1.

Her career has also encompassed ten years as a senior executive producer at Lion Television where credits include The Real Cherie, BBC1, Bad Behaviour, Channel 4, Mum's on Strike, ITV1, Ann Robinson's Travels With an Unfit Mother, BBC 1 and Going Straight, Channel 4. Hilary began her career with a decade in BBC News and Current Affairs, including stints on Panorama and Newsnight. She's also acted as a consultant for BBC Academy, training factual development teams and helping to launch the broadcaster's idea portal, iCreate.



Andrew Sheldon

Creative Director and Founder, True North

Andrew is an award-winning journalist and film maker who works in Features, Documentaries and Current Affairs at True North. Having started his career in newspapers, he’s been telling stories that matter ever since.

Andrew is constantly breaking new ground, often in the world of the police and crime. His genre-bending Big Sting brand took the best of Candid Camera and Crimewatch, working with police forces to catch up with criminals on the run.

His eye for a story often takes him inside the stories that everyone is talking about – like The Mystery of The Man On The Moor for Channel 4 and the story of the UK’s first ever hand transplant in My New Hand for BBC One.

His current slate at True North includes The 80’s Pop Map of Britain and Ireland for BBC Four and the The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes for More4.



Clare Sillery

Head of Documentaries Commissioning, BBC



Celia Taylor

Managing Director, Mentorn

Celia Taylor is Managing Director of Mentorn Media and responsible for driving and expanding the producer's diverse programme and development slate, with a focus on factual, factual entertainment and entertainment content for both the UK and the international market.

Prior to joining Mentorn, Celia was Head of Non-Scripted Commissioning at Sky, where she ordered shows including League of Their Own, Wild Things, Ross Kemp's Extreme World, Mentorn's An Idiot Abroad, as well as BAFTA winning Flying Monsters 3D with Sir David Attenborough.

She was also Director of Programmes at Virgin Media, responsible for four of their digital channels. And as a commissioning editor for factual at the BBC she worked across BBC One, Two and Three on wide-ranging and BAFTA-winning output. Before moving into commissioning, Celia worked as a freelance producer for many independent production companies and broadcasters.



Richard Watsham

Director of Commissioning, UKTV

As Director of Commissioning, Richard Watsham oversees the editorial, production and commercial partnerships elements of all UKTV originations. He and his team of experienced programme-makers-turned-commissioners produce bold, brand-defining programmes across a wide variety of genres from factual through entertainment and from documentary to scripted comedy.

Richard and his team commissioned BAFTA-nominated Taskmaster, International Emmy-winning Hoff the Record, and multi-award winning Dynamo: Magician Impossible, as well as successful comedy entertainment shows for Dave, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish and Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit. He also brought top talent to W with John Bishop: In Conversation With… and Dr Christian Will See You Now

Richard has increased the network’s push into live broadcasts by ordering coverage of David Haye’s comeback fight against Australian Mark de Mori. The show delivered UKTV’s highest ever peak rating, with 3.2 million people tuning in.

Before joining UKTV, Richard spent more than ten years as a director and series producer, moving into broadcasting in January 2010 as Commissioning Editor of Virgin channel, Bravo.



Lucy Willis

Commissioning Editor, Factual, Channel 5



Brian Woods

Filmmaker and co-founder, True Vision

Brian has been described by The Guardian as “the country’s best, most committed documentary-maker.” He is Deputy Chair of Sheffield Documentary Festival.

Winner of 7 BAFTAs and numerous international awards, Brian started his company, True Vision with his late wife in 1995 with the internationally acclaimed film, The Dying Rooms.

Since then Brian, has made numerous international and domestic films through True Vision for the BBC, Channel Four, ITV, HBO, PBS and Discovery. He passionately believes that television CAN make a difference, and True Vision’s films have demonstrated this repeatedly.


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