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No, not that one

JO
Jonwo
I love all the UK diversity that Steve has outlined, so it’s shocking how the Midlands has been abandoned- and still hasn’t rebounded- since the closures of Pebble Mill, Gas Street and Lenton Lane. That’s a massive swathe of the country where nothing big gets made.

I think the Midlands is used for dramas like Doctors, Father Brown etc but does seem that studio stuff is left to Salford and the South of England
CL
Clouseau Anglia (East) Look East
Unfortunately, and in the majority of productions, the diverse locations fail to reflect regional or national culture. There was a time when the BBC and ITV company studios were a hub for local talent, both in front and behind the screen and across a range of productions. Fast forward and there are several examples of BBC glossy floor shows recorded in Glasgow where the production team and most of the studio crew is flown up from London every week. Andy Stewart must be turning in his grave!
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
Unfortunately, and in the majority of productions, the diverse locations fail to reflect regional or national culture. There was a time when the BBC and ITV company studios were a hub for local talent, both in front and behind the screen and across a range of productions. Fast forward and there are several examples of BBC glossy floor shows recorded in Glasgow where the production team and most of the studio crew is flown up from London every week. Andy Stewart must be turning in his grave!

Yes, moving out of London has probably been good for cost saving (long term) and good for people in the industry living outside of London. I’m not sure your average working class listener in Wigan feels better served by Nicky Campbell sitting in Salford than they did when he was in television centre. In fact in many ways once you take something out of London it perhaps becomes less of a concern to represent the whole UK as it feels like there is less to prove.

An example of moving a programme but that programme becoming less regionally diverse is Casualty. It obviously made sense to move it Cardiff but it’s all very generic now with occasional Welsh accent thrown in. But it’s still meant to be a city in the South West of England where Bristol is in reality. So surely a few West Country accents wouldn’t go amiss and would certainly be a real way you could more accurately represent that part of the country than having the production office of the Antiques Roadshow there.

I’d argue even EastEnders should have looked at moving their set further outside of the capital when they built a new one, simply as a means of getting better value to the licence payer, whilst continuing to maintain London accents and actors.
MW
Mike W London London
Jonwo posted:
I love all the UK diversity that Steve has outlined, so it’s shocking how the Midlands has been abandoned- and still hasn’t rebounded- since the closures of Pebble Mill, Gas Street and Lenton Lane. That’s a massive swathe of the country where nothing big gets made.

I think the Midlands is used for dramas like Doctors, Father Brown etc but does seem that studio stuff is left to Salford and the South of England

BBC Birmingham's drama 'village' (which is a sizeable chunk of the UoB campus/Archibald House) did have a 'studio', but it wasn't anything like they had at Pebble Mill, albeit unofficially of course - Lots of freestanding 4 wall sets were erected in studio A and Studio 1 as officially the studio had been closed.

The 'studio' at Drama Village was an industrial unit in Stirchley, one of 3 - 2 were used as prop/costume stores and a 3rd converted to take freestanding sets.

I think the Midlands as a whole is reasonably neglected by the BBC since around 2001. There were talks of a 3sixty style joint venture between Bazal and BBC Resources from what I've been told but it never took off from just talks.

I wonder if Steve Knight's 'Mercian Studios' will ever get off the ground and will that bring in investment and programme makers? Peel had the right idea with Salford Quays, effectively lock the broadcasters in for 10 years.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
Am I right in thinking that as well as Doctors many of the daytime dramas also originate from Birmingham?

And expanding behind the BBC but found it odd watching Britain's Most Expensive Homes last week, mainly set in London and Surrey, was made with funding from Northern Ireland Screen.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
VA
valley
Am I right in thinking that as well as Doctors many of the daytime dramas also originate from Birmingham?

Yes.
JO
Jon Central (West) Midlands Today
Am I right in thinking that as well as Doctors many of the daytime dramas also originate from Birmingham?

Yes.

All BBC Birmingham productions, but I think Doctors is the only current one filmed in the city.
JO
Jonwo

I wonder if Steve Knight's 'Mercian Studios' will ever get off the ground and will that bring in investment and programme makers? Peel had the right idea with Salford Quays, effectively lock the broadcasters in for 10 years.

With HS2 coming down the line and the demand for more studio space, I think it's likely it will get approval.
PE
Peter London London
I can't help feeling that whilst there is talk of moving productions out of London there is virtually nothing other than local news that is actually regional outside Scotland, Wales & N.I. I was just reading ITV 1975 and looking at the range the programmes, and not just regional news, produced by the local contractors. What is needed for ITV & the BBC to give £20m or so p.a. to each region which at £100k per hour for a medium end production (studio with local guests or location filming) would give an hour of local production per weekday. Some would make national television but all could be viewed throughout the country using i-player or ITV hub (the latter no doubt with suitable adverts). The trouble is £200m a year has to be found - that could mean additional taxes. How about a move to local companies as was the case in ITV before the 90s? Yes I know, pie in the sky but interesting to think about.

The trouble is that shows are moved out of London to meet quotas but all it probably means in staff having to travel & lodge a lot, particularly an issue for freelancers on short term contracts. There are in fact advantages to agglomeration and it makes sense for certain shows to be based in London - its easier for people to get to (and indeed production staff to reach the regions). I also wonder if there isn't a conflict between OFCOM's desire for ethnic diversity & moving out of London as, with certain exceptions, the regions are not that ethnically diverse (have a look at the statistics). Its paradoxical that Celebrity Mastermind is produced in Northern Ireland and the ethnic mix of contestents is very reflective of .... my Borough in London. Regional centres need strong links with their localities and that is not what it was, certainly for ITV, decades ago.
MK
Mr Kite Granada North West Today
I agree with the sentiment but less sure about the solution.

Personally, I'd rather have improved local services than more network telly made in the area. It matters little where Mastermind comes from.

It'd be nice for regions in England to have a little more autonomy. BBC North West is the second largest TV region in the UK, population-wise, and a fair bit bigger than Scotland. Yes, I get that there's specific needs in the other constituant countries but the gulf in quality and provision is notable.

I'd possibly do away with BBC English regions and give each region a budget for its regional services, including the local radio stations in that area. Regional management could, within reasonable parameters, then decide what to prioritize spending on in their area.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
It's probably more regional commissioning than regional filming which is needed. Moving shows like Mastermind and House of Games just ticks boxes rather than truly devolves the BBC.
Be nicer and more tolerant to each other. Them's the rules.
SP
Steve in Pudsey Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)

I'd possibly do away with BBC English regions and give each region a budget for its regional services, including the local radio stations in that area. Regional management could, within reasonable parameters, then decide what to prioritize spending on in their area.


I think the English Regions structure is helpful in reducing duplication of effort and being able to do back office things at scale, theoretically making money available for programme making.

It's a big shame that the regional strands the BBC used to have have gone, the longer form documentaries often got a network repeat in a way that a package for Inside Out doesn't. Where such things are made now they tend to be farmed out to Indies.

In the 80s there were regional opts on BBC 2 which were quite eclectic - more than they could be on BBC 1. Keith Floyd's first series was a regional production they got picked up by the network. There was a thing called Commuter Quiz, a crossword based quiz show featuring teams from different London commuter belt areas. Gardeners Direct Line from Leeds got a daytime network commission. Various local arts and music shows, chat shows etc.

There just isn't the capacity to make that kind of stuff in the regions these days.
Write that down in your copybook now.

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