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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Diversity is the real One to Watch | Campbell Glennie

Last week, Tony Hall revealed his vision to address the woeful figures facing BAME representation both on and off screen. The BBC target for 2020 for off-screen talent is 15% (up from 8.3%). While the BBC’s unique position has meant that it has had no choice but to act, we also hope that this will lead to other broadcasters and indies thinking about what they can do over the coming year to effect real change too. Whether the BBC’s training and development approach will achieve the results that Lenny Henry feels can only be brought about by ring-fencing, time will tell. I’ll join Simone Pennant in “raising a cautionary glass of Cava” and hope that progress can be achieved swiftly without calling into question the massive contributions BAME creatives already make to the television industry.

It is both an insult and a missed opportunity when the television production process does not reflect its
audience. As part of our charitable remit, our schemes strive to represent all groups and we have traditionally had healthy BAME participation, above both the industry and national average. However, after the disappointing statistics on BAME representation in the industry revealed by Creative Skillset last year, we knew we could do more. We have further shifted our emphasis to go out and find more talent from underrepresented groups, regions and backgrounds, through new outreach partners, and more rigorous assessment. We feel this is even more important at the Ones to Watch level: the level where diversity starts to fall away from the industry’s composition. We are therefore delighted to report that The Network 2014 final selection is 32% BAME (up from 21% in 2013) and more crucially this year’s Ones to Watch are 30% BAME (up from 13% in 2013). As you move up the hierarchical structures of TV and the media, diversity is often a casualty, which is why we are particularly proud to preserve diverse television careers as they reach maturity.

As well as increasing BAME diversity, this year’s Ones to Watch are 70% female (something we hope will be heartening news for Jay Hunt, who will be part of this year’s Ones to Watch sessions programme) and cover a wide range of roles from within the industry, from writers to producers to VOD schedulers. It’s impossible to create an accurate microcosm of the industry in just 30 people, but we hope that this year’s successful candidates will have their eyes open to new perspectives, ideas and approaches, and learn as much from each other as the senior level talent they’ll enjoy intimate audiences with.

If Ones to Watch was a Buzzfeed article – it would be called something like “30 Reasons Why The Future of Television Is Looking Bright”. So, finally, here they are: this year’s Ones to Watch. If you know them, be sure to send them a virtual pat on the back, high five, hug, hair ruffle or whatever level of congratulation you feel comfortable with. We are not liable for any injuries sustained during “the bumps”.

Natalie Alvarado, Adam Barth, Rosa Brough, Samuel Burr, Claire Cahill, Sarah Collinson, Jessica Connell, Deanne Cunningham, Anca Dimofte, Suzy Grant, Nimesh Joshi, Jen Kerrison, Grivas Kopti, Tara Magan, Matthew Marsh, Mog McIntyre, Alana McVerry, Datshiane Navanayagam, Siobhan Ni Chiobhain, Meriel Paisley, Emerald Paston, Sophie Petzal, Sophia Rashid, Helen Richmond, Sam Shetabi, Andy Sockanathan, Cat Spooner, Rocco Sulkin, Philippa Treverton-Jones and Annabel Wigoder

Thank you to our Talent Schemes OTW sub-committee who painstakingly marked the hundreds of applications we received and those who participated in our new interview and selection panels: Alex Ayling, YouTube Channel Manager, BBC Worldwide; Dominic Bird, Head of Formats, Channel 4; Lisa Campbell, GEITF Festival Director; Tamara Howe, Controller, Business, Entertainment & Comedy, BBC Television; Angela Jain, Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, ITV; Jo McClellan, Drama Development Executive, Sky; Viv Molokwu, Chris Shaw, Editorial Director, ITN Productions, Neale Simpson, Head of Entertainment Development, RDF; Ben Tattersall Smith, Social Media Manager, BBC; Sarah Thornton, VP, Production & Development, Lifestyle & Entertainment, Discovery Networks; Katy Thorogood, Commissioning Editor, Factual, ITV; Newton Velji; and Karl Warner, Managing Director, Electric Ray.

If you would like to find out more about the diverse graduates of our schemes, or would be interested in becoming a mentor to the next generation of talent, please do not hesitate to get in touch at or follow us @OnesToWatch_TV @TheNetwork_TV or @campbellglennie

Campbell Glennie
Director, Talent Schemes

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