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The 2010 RTS Midlands Centre Awards is coming this November and we are now accepting entries.

You are invited to submit programmes or other content which were, or will be broadcast and/or published between 1st July 2009 & 1st July 2010 for consideration for the Midlands Centre Awards for 2010. Closing date for entries is Monday, 12 July 2010.

Please download the application form here: RTS Awards Entry Form 2010.

There have never been more opportunities to view television content whether on 40 or 50 inch screens in your own home, computers and laptops and even the personal viewing on tiny screens of your mobile phone and now there are new opportunities for collective viewing on huge public screens.   Anita Bhalla working out of BBC Birmingham at The Mailbox is the editor of BBC Big Screens and in our last event of 2009, she shared with Midland Centre members the story of the Big Screens across the UK.
Dorothy Hobson and Anita Bhalla outside BBC Mailbox

Dorothy Hobson and Anita Bhalla outside BBC Mailbox

Currently, in conjunction with various partners, essentially, local authorities in Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Derby, Dover, Edinburgh, Greenwich, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Middles borough, Norwich, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Rotherham, Swansea, Swindon and Waltham Forest (who grant planning permission), and partner Lloyds TSB.   The BBC controls the technology of the screens and transmits the output including BBC news, weather, sport, local and national shorts, community film and video output.   Some cities have local input during events and activities and viewers can either congregate for a long viewing session like the transmission of The Barber of Seville from The Royal Opera House last summer, or glimpse student animation films as the hurry by.  Interactive gaming has proved one of the successes showing the complete lack of self-consciousness of those playing in public in front of the massive screens.   The project is working up to the 2012 Olympics when the screens will be involved in the transmission of the games and the provision of public screens was written into the original bid. Opportunities for collective viewing and participation are part of the changing face of media.   While social networks indicate the wish for sharing experiences, this experiment is one example of the strength of existing technology being used to enable viewers to enjoy and share participation in public moments.
By Dorothy Hobson

A young audience turned out to hear ‘How to be a PResenter’, from an RTS Futures panel hosted by the RTS Midlands Centre/

How to be a Presenter winner Colleen Harris amongst the audience asking the panel a question.

RTS Futures How to be a Presenter at BBC Mailbox

The speakers were: Big Brother winner Kate Lawler, DJ on Kerrang Radio; Alison Hammond, roving reporter on This Morning; Marverine Cole, Sky News; agent Kate Moon of Kate Moon Management; and Kester Demmar, assistant Editor, BBC East Midlands News. The session was chaired by Heart FM Breakfast Show presenter Ed James and produced by Mars Elkins.

From L-R, Kate Lawler, Marverine Cole (not in view), Ed James, Kate Moon, Alison Hammond and Kester Demmar

From L-R, Kate Lawler, Marverine Cole (not in view), Ed James, Kate Moon, Alison Hammond and Kester Demmar

Moon warned hopefuls that broadcasters nervous about taking risks were tending to cast the same established names on more and more programmes.

By Dorothy Hobson


In a difficult economic climate, producers and broadcasters are keen to explore new means of funding programmes. So, RTS Midlands Centre attracted a sell-out audience of more than 100 to its one-day conference on advertiser-funded programming (AFP), held jointly with Screen West Midlands and Business Link West Midlands.

The consensus of the first panel discussion seemed to be that AFP was about the successful liaison of a brand, a programme idea and the right programme maker and broadcaster; the resulting programme should enhance the reputation of the brand by its association with the programme and vice versa.

Not surprising then, that 90 per cent of AFP ideas do not make it to television, revealed Ben Kerr, content director at Drum PHD.

His fellow panellists were: Zoe Fuller, head of planning at Thikbox; Katherine Marlow, content partnership planner at ITV; Jo Rosenfelder, commercial affairs director at Maverick TV; and Drew Wilkins, account manager at digital agency Fish in a Bottle. THe sessions was chaired by digital strategist Rachel Modecai.

A second panel, chaired by David Bausola of Ag8, looked at Routes to Market. The panel comprised: Dan’l Hewitt, head of digital content at Bebo; Luke Hyams, writer/director, Dubplate Drama; and Graham Sergeant from Codemasters. The discussion covered games and online drama as well as more traditional formats.

Luke Hyams (Left) and David Bausola (Right) during the Routes to Market session.

Luke Hyams (Left) and David Bausola (Right) during the Routes to Market session.

The last session looked at case studies, at the end of which, delegates agreed that the Rustling Brands conference had been of outstanding benefit. The producer was Mars Elkins.

By Dorothy Hobson


RTS Futures Midlands held a nationwide search for the The Next Big Presenter and with more than 40 entries, the judges chose five overall winners – Kerri Franks, Colleen Harris, Victoria Larder, Charlotte Percival and Jimmy Tam.

Charlotte Percival

Charlotte Percival from Birmingham City University School of Media interviewing Doctors actress Selina Chilton

Jimmy Tam

Jimmy Tam chats with RTS Mids Committee member Terry Stanton at the VIP drinks reception at Birmingham City Council's Banqueting Suite

Student Awards

Colleen Harris (L) and Kerri Franks (R) on stage with RTS Mids Vice Chair Dorothy Hobson (M)

The winners were involved at this year’s RTS Midlands Centre Awards working on the red carpet, backstage reporting and awards presentation on stage.

Many thanks go to Birmingham City University School of Media’s Philipa Duke and Ami Lindsay, who did the filming on the night. Also, big thanks to the judges – Sky News’ Marverine Cole, Maverick TV’s Alex Hryniewicz, BBC’s Kester Demmar and Brit Writers’ Awards’ Caroline Newman-Belshaw.


BBC’s My Family patriarch Robert Lindsay is this year’s recipient of the Baird Medal. This award is given to someone who has shown an outstanding contribution to Midlands media. With a successful career in television, film and theatre spanning 40 years, Derbyshire-born Lindsay deserves this recognition.

Robert Lindsay

Baird Medal recipient Robert Lindsay at the 2009 RTS Mids Awards

Lindsay’s career started in the 1970s and his break came from his role as Wolfie Smith in BBC sitcom Citizen Smith. From then on, he had continuous success on screen and stage.

His wife, presenter and actress Rosemarie Ford was with him when he received his award at the 2009 Royal Television Society Midlands Centre Awards.

Rosemarie Ford and Robert Lindsay

Rosemarie Ford and Robert Lindsay


Telly babe Myleene Klass, who co-hosted last night’s RTS Mids Awards at the Town Hall with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, showed off her musical side and did two classical pieces at the event.

Myleene Klass on the piano

She played ‘America’ from West Side Story during the first half of the Dinner and Awards and then joined The Electric Cinema Film Orchestra and members of the Birmingham Conservatoire for the finale, playing ‘The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’ (arranged by Louis J Clark).

Myleene Klass with The Electric Cinema Film Orchestra and members of the Birmingham COnservatoire


The cream of the Midlands media gathered at the beautiful Town Hall in Birmingham last night to celebrate the 2009 Royal Television Society Midlands Centre Awards. The event, in partnership with regional screen agency Screen West Midlands, was hosted by news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy and co-hosted by telly personality Myleene Klass.

Myleene Klass and Krishnan Guru-Murthy on stage at the 2009 RTS Mids Awards

More than 300 people were present and applauded the stars of the region, who continue to make an impact in the Midlands’ thriving media community.

The recipient of this year’s prestigious Baird Medal is Robert Lindsay.

Robert Lindsay with his wife Rosemarie Ford, Simon Albury (Chief Executive RTS), Janet Wootton (RTS Mids Chair) with her husband Geoffrey Wootton

Robert Lindsay with his wife Rosemarie Ford, Simon Albury (Chief Executive RTS), Janet Wootton (RTS Mids Chair) with her husband Geoffrey Wootton

The winners of the 2009 RTS Mids Awards are listed below. For more information on the night, visit Media Stars Shine at RTS Midlands Awards 2009 by RewiredPR.

Best Promotional Programme – ‘Making A Difference to Children in Care’, Iceni Productions

Best Fictional Programme – ‘Caterpillar’, Infinite Wisdom and Angelfish Productions for Screen WM and the UK Film Council

Best On Screen Personality – Des Coleman, BBC East Midlands Today

Best Acting Performance – Selina Chilton, ‘Doctors’, BBC 1 Television Drama

Best Digital Innovation – ‘Speed Dating’, ST16 for Anderson PR and the UK Road Safety Organisations

Best Entertainment – ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, Maverick Television for Channel 4

Best News Programme – ‘Armistice’, ITV Central Tonight

Best New Talent – Katy Fawcett, ITV Central

ITV's Katy Fawcett with Heart FM DJ Ed James

Best Production Craft Skills – Rachel Carter, Producer, ‘Caterpillar’ for Infinite Wisdom and Angelfish Productions

Best Current Affairs Feature – ‘Suffolk Strangler’. Hanrahan Media for Sky Crime

Best Documentary – ‘The Satanic Verses Affair’, BBC Vision Production Birmingham for BBC2

Best Independent Programme – ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, Maverick Television for Channel 4

Best Regional Programme – ‘Armistice’, ITV Central Tonight

Winners of the Student Awards:

Best Animation – ‘Eden’, University of Lincoln

Best Entertainment – ‘Best Friends That Love Each Other’, University of Lincoln

Best Factual Programme – ‘Flashmobs’, University of Lincoln

Best Fictional Programme – ‘Olivia’, Staffordshire University

Midlands Centre Best Student Production – ‘Flashmobs’, University of Lincoln


Kate Lawler presents kerrang fm drive time with OJ Borg every weekday.

Since co-hosting Channel 4’s breakfast show Rise with Iain Lee, Kate has enjoyed success as a presenter and most recently, as a DJ. Having popped over to Fiji for a couple of weeks on last year’s Love Island, Kate’s back DJing all over the UK as well as securing regular gigs in Dubai, Tokyo, Ibiza and Marbella. Kate plays tech house, electronica and minimal techno and and currently has a monthly residency at the infamous Sankeys in Manchester.

As well as DJing, Kate’s been working for The Sun, writing blogs for The Sun online… Including a Big Brother blog, reviewing the club scene in Ibiza and reporting from the red carpet for film premieres. She also flew over to Chicago to do a feature for The Sun on The Breakup.

Kate Lawler

Kate Lawler Copyright www. chris- davison- photography. co. uk

Now the new face of Ann Summers lingerie, Kate’s toned physique first graced their shop windows in July 2006. After the success of this, she has continued to be the face, fronting their Christmas and Valentine’s campaign and is now in preparation to shoot brand new pictures for their Autumn/Winter collection.

Following on from Rise, Kate co-presented Five’s Party in the Park, The Brit Awards with Foxy for Capital FM and hosted top weekly radio show Hit Music Sunday with Andi Peters, also for Capital FM followed by guest presenting for Heart FM. Most recently, Kate had a stint as a presenter on Playdate the first live and interactive dating show for ITV2.

Kate has also presented Celebrity Extra for Living TV, What Women Want for UKTV, reported on Five’s Boxing Academy and during the summer of 2005, she wrote a popular weekly column for New! Magazine covering fashion, music and topical TV shows.

Kate has a huge passion for sport and a first class knowledge of football. Her love of fitness inspired her best seller Boxersize DVD and made her a strong contender in ITV’s Celebrity Wrestling.

Kate won a Channel 4 talent competition for her drama and comic timing skills, judged by Jo Brand and Piers Morgan which followed with two weeks of well received stand up comedy at the Edinburgh Festival 2005.

Kate was announced as the 34th most popular web search in the Channel 4 programme ‘The hottest web searches of 2005’.

Check out Kate’s official website and Sunday Mercury blog.

Kate will be a panellist at the RTS Futures How to be a Presenter event on Wednesday, September 30, from 6.30pm at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, Birmingham. To get your tickets, please click here.


Ed has loved radio almost as long as he has loved food! His first job was on BBC Radio York when he was 12 years old presenting the kids’ What’s On Diary. Throughout his degree in Politics at Newcastle University, RTS Awards winner Ed also worked at various radio stations presenting all sorts of shifts until he got his first ‘proper’ job at a station in Manchester.

Ed James

Ed James

Through begging and generally making a nuisance of himself, Ed managed to get the breakfast show and then realised that’s where you have the most fun. Since then, he has presented breakfast shows in various parts of the region, and now all across the Midlands on Heart, where he has been working for six years. He can also be regularly seen fronting up the showbiz/entertainment stuff on ITV Central. As well as ITV, he also hosts a lot of Heart’s online content including celebrity interviews and corporate vodcasts for clients such as Warwick Castle and Birmingham International Airport.

When not doing radio or TV, you can find him hosting various events in the West Midlands, sitting on the board of Birmingham Press Club, on the council for PACE (Publicity Association of Central England) or working on the PR company he has just set up!

Ed will be chairing the RTS Futures How to be a Presenter event on Wednesday, September 30, from 6.30pm at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, Birmingham. To get your tickets, please click here.