We were lucky enough to be joined by TV tour de force and all round visionary Sir Peter Bazalgette for a very special Q&A at the Roundhouse in London last Tuesday.
|Sir Baz in conversation with Sonali Shah|
Well, what a night! This was the first of a series of exciting events that we are holding for our Ones to Watch alumni. We have to say we were pretty chuffed with the booking and Sir Baz certainly didn't disappoint.
Sonali Shah chaired the proceedings with aplomb, as the man that brought us Changing Rooms (and by default Laurence Llewelyn Bowen!), Food and Drink and of course Big Brother shared anecdotes and insight into his TV career.
He masterclass of sorts began with a potted history of the emergence of the independent TV sector in Britain, which in his view has contributed to UK being a leading cultural force in TV. Did you know that Britain accounts for more than half of the entertainment exports globally? That's an incredible £1.7 billion!
Sonali wasn't shy in probing Sir Baz about his mistakes and as well as successes.He candidly admitted that selling his indie to Endemol just three years after setting it up may not of been the shrewdest financial decision. Endemol subsequently went on to own the formats for some his most famous creations including Ready, Steady Cook, which ran for 21 series.
However, no love was lost as Sir Baz became chief creative officer of Endemol. As the man in charge when Big Brother graced our screens, he had plenty of stories to share on one of the most controversial shows in recent times. He even admitted that he had personal doubts about the success of show. However, after spotting an article in The Times about Big Brother making waves in Holland he began to re-address and the rest is history.
|Sir Baz holding court...|
True to their name our Ones to Watch alumni posed some challenging questions; from the role of the technology in today's TV landscape, to the crisis at the BBC and the lessons that the television industry can learn from the arts. Sir Baz certainly wasn't shy in coming forward with his opinion. He was particularly passionate about the role of the BBC in cultivating new talent and it's social and cultural impact on the UK, as well as a vociferous champion of the independent sector's ethos of collaboration and risk taking.
|A chance to catch up with alumni past and present|
Sadly after what seemed like only five minutes we had to wrap up and make way for the wine. Sir Baz certainly left us all with some food for thought and judging by the buzz during the networking drinks it was a roaring success.
A special thank you to our sponsors of the evening, BECTU. You can read their blog about the event here.
Remember if you apply for One to Watch then you could be attending fantastic masterclasses like this at the TV festival and at our alumni events throughout the year.
Apply HERE, the deadline for application is 12 May 2013.