BBC Four has commissioned Peter York’s The Hipster Handbook, a one-off documentary from Mentorn Media in association with Moore Television, it was announced today (Friday 26th Aug).

    Presented by cultural commentator Peter York, this authored documentary looks at the rise of the hipster and how this phenomenon has changed the world around us. Through his exploration of the hipster movement, Peter reveals a society desperate for the authentic and big businesses that are appropriating ‘authenticity’ in order to sell it back to us.

    York will delve into the complexity of the authentic versus the inauthentic, and how hipsters battle with the mainstream to reclaim the values and trends they have created.

    Peter York said: “The hipster style is taking over the world. Where does it come from and where does it end? We explore who these people are with their moisturised beards, check shirts and craft beers.”

    Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes and Executive Producer, Mentorn Media said: “Peter York’s The Hipster Handbook takes an authentic look at how the complex battle we face as consumers of what is truly authentic in the society that we live in. Peter provides a wonderful insight investigating this bearded cultural tribe and helps uncover how the evolution of the hipster has actually affected all of our lives.”

    Peter York’s The Hipster Handbook has been commissioned by Mark Bell for BBC Four and will be executive produced by Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes, for Mentorn Media, Geoff Moore for Moore Television and Emma Cahusac for the BBC.

    For more information please contact Annabel Rudden at annabel@plankpr.com or 07763420892



    BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is returning for a new series beginning with a Labour Leadership Hustings Special, it was announced today (MON).

    The live programme from Oldham will see David Dimbleby chair the debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, on Thursday, September 8th at 9pm on BBC One.

    David Dimbleby said: “It’s good news that the two contenders for the Labour leadership have agreed to appear in front of a Question Time audience. As we saw in the EU referendum debates, and the general election debates, there’s nothing like a Question Time audience for discovering and testing different political views.”

    The programme is produced for BBC One by Mentorn Scotland with Nicolai Gentchev as Editor.

    It will be available on BBC iPlayer after transmission. Follow the debate on Twitter and Facebook via #bbcqt @bbcQuestionTime

    For further information please contact Louise Plank on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com


    Robot Wars is back! From July 24th at 8pm on BBC Two, Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon host the brand new series of Robot Wars with commentary from the legendary Jonathan Pearce who returns from the original series with his inimitable take on the robot battles.

    Filmed in a huge, purpose-built fighting arena in Glasgow, 40 teams of amateur robot fighting enthusiasts battle it out over six episodes to become Robot Wars Champion 2016.

    Each episode has eight robots with the following competing in the first episode: The General, Terrorhurtz, Razer, Nuts, Kill-E-Crank-E, Carbide, Bonk, Behemoth.

    The action starts with two group battles with four robots in each battle. The top two robots from each group battle go through to head to head battles where all four robots fight each other once. The top two then compete in the episode final – the winner going through to the Grand Final.

    If the robots don’t knock each other out then the judges are on hand to decide the winners. Dr Lucy Rogers, Professor Noel Sharkey and Professor Sethu Vijayakumar base their criteria on aggression, damage and control – so everyone has to attack from the start.

    The Arena contains the dangerous hazards of Fire, Spikes, The Flipper and The iconic Pit.

    As well as battling it out against each other, the robot teams must avoid the iconic and intimidating House Robots. Aiming to terminate anything that strays into their Corner Patrol Zone - Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt and Dead Metal show no mercy as they menacingly patrol the arena ready to destroy.

    Welcome to the return of Robot Wars.


    Follow @ukrobotwars on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest and check out the official website www.robotwars.tv for exclusive merchandise and official news.


    Robot wars is produced by Mentorn Scotland and SJP Media

    Distributed by Passion




    Channel 5 has commissioned Mentorn Scotland to produce the hugely popular series, Traffic Cops, for Channel 5.

    Mentorn Scotland  produce the series and will continue to follow the West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire forces as they police the roads, motorways and cities across Yorkshire.

    Long running series Traffic Cops has regularly pulled in huge audiences with its unique blend of drama, extraordinary action, humour and engaging story telling. The camera crews work seamlessly with the police in patrol cars using mini cameras to capture every angle of the action as it unfolds, witnessing every nuance of the encounters between the enforcers of the law and those who are trying to break the law.  As well as finding a new home, the all new Channel 5 Traffic Cops will have even more exciting and innovative ways of capturing the on-road action.  And the programme’s presenter Jamie Theakston will also stay with the series in its new home with an expanded on-screen role. 

    Mentorn Scotland’s Creative Director, Iain Scollay said: “We are enormously proud of Traffic Cops and the access we maintain. It was one of the first police observational TV series and we’re delighted that Channel 5 will be its new home.”

    Commissioned by Channel 5’s Guy Davies, the series is due for transmission later this year.

    Guy Davies said: “Traffic Cops has a huge following as one of the most successful police access shows on TV and it’s a real thrill to bring the brand to Channel 5.”

    The previous series of Traffic Cops have been broadcast on BBC One.



    A new documentary from Channel 4 tells the extraordinary story of Saddam Hussein’s farcical venture into the movie business, revealing for the first time on UK screens, a film that has been lost in a garage in Surrey for the last 35 years.

    This tale involves notorious hell-raiser Oliver Reed, a lavish film set, debauchery, black humour, and a terrified cast and crew trying desperately to get a film in the can as the Iraq-Iran war raged around them.

    The epic film, which had a multimillion pound budget on a par with Return of the Jedi, was bankrolled by Saddam as he was determined to tell the birth story of modern Iraq. However, when filming began, so too did the Iran-Iraq War.

    Described by his cast mates as ‘a weapon of mass destruction,’ Oliver Reed wreaked havoc off set, drinking the bars of Baghdad dry, horrifying the locals and risking the entire production as Saddam’s henchmen demanded he be thrown off set.

    Against all the odds, the movie was finished but disappeared without a trace, along with Saddam’s regime.

    With the discovery of the tapes, the cast and crew now assemble for the first time since their Middle Eastern adventure, to piece together with the help from never before seen rushes, behind-the-scenes footage and set photos, the unbelievable story behind one of the most bizarre movies ever made.

    The documentary has been made for Channel 4 by Mentorn Media. The director is Stephen Finnigan.


    Rob Coldstream, Commissioner:

    “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a story quite like this.  It’s amazing the film ever got made, with a drunken leading man and a real life war zone to say nothing of the pressure of keeping Saddam Hussein happy.  It’s like Lost in La Mancha meets Carry on Baghdad.”

    Iain Scollay, Creative Director, Mentorn Scotland and Executive Producer: 

    "While Saddam waged war on Iran, Ollie Reed was involved in his own campaign terrorising the bartenders of Baghdad. You could not make it up.  But this is not just a romp about making a lavish feature film in a country at war; it’s also an insight into Britain’s involvement in the Middle East and the rise and fall of Saddam.”

    Producer, Nick London:

    “I saw the material when Lateif, the producer of ‘Clash,' led me to the lock-up garage, where he keeps his archive.  Amid the cobwebs, there’s an Aladdin’s cave of film reels, cuttings and publicity photos, even an old Steenbeck, belonging to someone who has spent 50 years in the film business.  I couldn't believe it when I saw the piles of rusting film cans with Saddam's lost movie in them. The story of Oliver Reed and Saddam, both tyrants in their different ways, coming together to make this epic, is absolutely extraordinary.”


    Mentorn Media for Channel 4

    Produced and Directed by Stephen Finnigan

    Executive Producer, Iain Scollay

    Producer, Nick London


    Mentorn Scotland will produce two special editions of Question Time for BBC One in the run up to the EU Referendum, putting leading advocates of the case to remain and the case to leave the European Union directly in front of a live audience.

    In the first of the two programmes, the Justice Secretary Michael Gove will answer questions on the case to leave the EU to a Question Time audience in Nottingham. This programme will broadcast on Wednesday 15 June.

    Four days later, on Sunday 19 June, the Prime Minister David Cameron will take questions on the arguments to retain EU membership. This programme is live from Milton Keynes.

    Question Time will be moderated by David Dimbleby, and both programmes will be screened in the early evening to reach as wide an audience as possible.

    The BBC is also announcing today the make-up of the panel for its first peak time debate – ‘How Should I Vote? The EU Debate’ which takes place in Glasgow this Thursday evening, also produced by Mentorn Scotland.

    Presented by Victoria Derbyshire, this programme is aimed at younger voters, and the audience comprises 18 to 29 year-olds. The audience members will be able to ask panellists questions, and challenge them on the issues that are of particular interest to them ahead of the EU Referendum.

    Representing the Remain camp will be Alex Salmond, Scottish National Party MP for Gordon and former First Minister of Scotland, and Alan Johnson, Labour MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, and former Home Secretary.

    On the Leave side of the argument will be Liam Fox, Conservative MP for North Somerset and former Secretary of State for Defence, and Diane James, UKIP MEP for South East England and their spokesperson on Justice and Home Affairs.

    Follow all these debates on twitter using #BBCDebate

    Notes to Editors

    ‘How Should I Vote? The EU Debate’ is on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday 26 May.
    Question Time EU Referendum Special with Michael Gove is on BBC One at 6.45pm on Wednesday 15 June.
    Question Time EU Referendum Special with David Cameron is on BBC One at 6.45pm on Sunday 19 June.
    These programmes are being produced for the BBC by Mentorn Scotland.


    Mentorn Media has been nominated for their hit digital short; Things You’ve Always Wanted to Ask a Trans Person….But Probably Shouldn’t, in the Broadcast Digital Awards.

    The short film explores what it is like to be transgender in Britain today with members of the community selecting questions they are frequently faced with.  From post operation curiosity to questions about sexual activity and which bathroom they use, the contributors answered every question with searing honesty.  

    The video was a huge hit when BBC Three released it on YouTube and Facebook where it has received more than 4.5 million views.

    It has been nominated in the Best Non-Scripted Online Short category in the Broadcast Digital Awards which take place on 29th June.


    For further information please contact Louise Plank 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com



    Mentorn Media has been named as one of Realscreen’s top production companies working in non-fiction and unscripted content, in their Global 100 list, it has been announced.

    Realscreen’s Global 100 celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and celebrates innovation, business acumen and great content within the non-fiction and unscripted industry.

    Mentorn Media has been recognised for programmes such as Angry, White and Proud, and The Great British Benefits Hotel. Angry, White and Proud was the powerful and shocking documentary, directed by Jamie Roberts which delved into the world of the far-right in the UK, and aired on Channel 4 in January 2015; and The Great British Benefits Hotel, a documentary showing the realities of life on welfare aired on Channel 5 in August 2015.

    For further information please contact Effie Dufu on 020 8995 3945 or effie@plankpr.com

    RScreen _G100_2016



    Channel 4 has commissioned a fast-turnaround documentary from Mentorn Media, part of the Tinopolis Group, that will look at the family canines competing to win the Scruffts title as part of the annual Crufts competition.

    Crufts is the world's largest dog show celebrating pedigree pooches, but in this one hour programme, titled 'Scruffts: Britain's Favourite Dog', the focus is on the crossbreeds most of us own as pets, who will take part in Scruffts, the nation's favourite crossbreed competition.

    Whittled down from 2000 entrants, the documentary will follow the stories of the six handlers and their six dogs as they're put through their paces in individual categories, such as Child's Best Friend, Most Handsome Dog, Golden Oldie and Best Rescue, until an overall champion is announced.

    'Scruffts: Britain's Favourite Dog', was commissioned by Anna Miralis, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, and will be executive produced by Mark Roberts, Creative Director Mentorn Media, and produced by Rob McCabe for Mentorn Media.

    Anna Miralis said: "This will be an entertaining and witty programme that will have something for everyone, from the preparations to the final as the owners prepare to showcase their dogs. 'Scruffts: Britain's Favourite Dog' will give viewers a chance to see exactly what it takes to make a Scruffts champion."

    Rob McCabe said: "The Scruffts competition is a chance to shine the spotlight firmly on the crossbreed dogs that are also our lovable pets. We're delighted that Channel 4 have commissioned this programme, which will give viewers at home a warm insight not only to the contest, but to those handlers and dogs taking part."

    'Scruffts: Britain's Favourite Dog' will air on Wednesday 16th March at 8pm on Channel 4.

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    BBC Four has commissioned a one-off documentary from Mentorn Media, part of the Tinopolis Group, looking at the rise of the hipster, and how this culture has changed our lives today, it was announced today (THURS).

    Presented by cultural commentator Peter York, the hour long documentary, The Rise of the Hipster: The Makers & The Fakers (WT), will focus on York’s thesis that the rise of the hipster reveals a society desperate for the authentic – and subsequently a commercial engine desperate to appropriate ‘authenticity’ so they can sell it back to us.

    The term hipster has gradually become more widespread, as the movement towards a higher quality alternative to mass market consumerism has developed. Focussing on hipsters as ‘The Makers,’ York looks at the positive effects they have created, as they aspire to create a life alternative to the mainstream – which has become mainstream in itself. The principle of wanting our belongings, food and experiences to have a backstory derives from the hipster, who seeks out authenticity in this way. From beer brewed in a microbrewery, to artisan chocolate made in store, these products have an individuality that unites the affluent and the socially aware.

    The documentary follows the journey of this movement that is now under threat, as the mass market reclaims these ideals and sells this aesthetic life without concern for the ethos behind it. With artificially aged jumpers with ‘Made in Hoxton’ emblazoned on the front and an Oscar’s red carpet filled with bearded Hollywood actors, the hipster ideal has shifted beyond its initial principles.

    York will delve into the complexity of the authentic versus the inauthentic, and how hipsters battle with the mainstream to reclaim the values and trends they have created.

    The Rise of the Hipster: The Makers & The Fakers (WT) has been commissioned by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor BBC Arts and will be executive produced by Emma Cahusac, Executive Producer BBC Arts & Music; Mark Roberts, Creative Director Mentorn Media; Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes Mentorn Media, and Geoff Moore, Moore Television. The programme is a co-production with Moore Television.     

    Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, said: “I want BBC Four to be the place to come for singular, authored pieces that are rich in ideas and what better guide to the hipster is there than the brilliant Peter York bringing his wit and insight to the channel.”            

    Tayte Simpson, said: “This is a timely documentary on a topic so current and relevant with what’s happening today. We’ve been able to hone in on a social movement that has become more and more widespread, as while the social scene, trends, and styles are constantly adapting around us, the hipster has been sticking around. It’s a fascinating idea, how individual style can suddenly be reclaimed and then resold to a mass market. While many of us hope to be as authentic as possible, people can be just as happy to buy something that replicates this – taking them even further away from authenticity. Peter York was the perfect person to guide us through The Rise of the Hipster: The Makers & The Fakers (WT), as this goes way beyond the clothes we choose, but into how cultural shifts can have such a great effect.” 


     Note to Editors

    About Mentorn Media

    Mentorn Media produced Alan Johnson: The Post Office and Me; John Simpson Stories from the Frontline and Culture Club: Karma to Calamity for BBC Four. In addition it also produces Question Time and The Big Questions for BBC One and recently announced that it will be making a new series of Robot Wars for BBC Two.

    Other Mentorn Media credits include The Jihadis Next Door and Angry, White and Proud both for Channel 4 and the Laugh Out Loud series for Channel 5.

    Mentorn Media can be followed on twitter: @MentornMedia