The factual entertainment commissioners were setting out their programming needs in the first session at today’s Televisual Factual Festival at The Curzon Soho with comedy and comedians a major theme.
On the panel were Catherine Catton, Commissioning Editor, Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, BBC; Greg Barnett, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment, Channel 5; Hilary Rosen, Head of Factual & Factual Entertainment, UKTV and Sarah Lazenby, Head of Features and Formats, Channel 4. South Shore’s joint CEO Mel Leach chaired the session.
The BBC’s Catherine Catton showed a clip of an upcoming BBC2 travelogue fronted by Sarah Pascoe, with UKTV’s Hilary Rosen showing an upcoming food programme fronted by social media star Big Zuu who cooks comedians’ riders at their live shows. Channel 4’s Sarah Lazenby similarly showcased a new Johnny Vegas programme with Channel 5’s Greg Barnett showing a ‘families getting away from it all” show narrated by Stephen Mangan. “Comedians have becomes superstars. Their stock is really high,” said UKTV’s Rosen.
All the fact ent commissioners agreed that in tough political times, escapism and “TV that makes people feel better about the world is increasingly important” said the BBC’s Catton.
“I’m not sure anyone’s looking for mean shows any more,” added Rosen.