• ANDREW ROBERTSON PROMOTED TO HEAD OF ENTERTAINMENT

    Mentorn Media has promoted Andrew Robertson to Head of Entertainment, it was announced today.

    Robertson, who has been at Mentorn Scotland for the past year as Executive Producer for Robot Wars, has been appointed Head of Entertainment, a newly created role.

    Based in Glasgow, Robertson will oversee all entertainment commissions for the company including the development of new formats. He continues to be Executive Producer of Robot Wars which is currently filming its second series for BBC Two and the two Christmas specials, Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars.

    CEO of Mentorn Media, Jonathan Hewes, said: “Andrew is a fantastic executive producer of Robot Wars and key to its successful return. Entertainment is a rapidly growing area for us, and Andrew’s experience on formats across all broadcasters makes him a real asset to the company.

    Before joining Mentorn Scotland as Executive Producer of Robot Wars, Robertson was Creative Director at STV. He worked at Tigress and Zeppetron and spent five years at Endemol as Executive Producer on hugely successful entertainment formats including Big Brother and was responsible for ground-breaking multiplatform content in their Digital Media department including creating The Million Pound Drop play along game and transforming Big Brother’s online strategy. Robertson started his career as producer of Big Breakfast and after that worked on numerous entertainment programmes including: Soccer Aid, Killer Shark Live, The Farm, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to name just a few. 

    Andrew Robertson said: “Bringing Robot Wars back to a BBC primetime audience has been a fantastic challenge and I’m delighted to be able to continue to work on this alongside developing other entertainment formats for Mentorn Media.”

    The second series of Robot Wars is due out in spring 2017 while Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars will transmit on 28th and 29th December at 8pm. Both series are distributed by Passion Distribution.

     

  • CELEBS COMMENCE BATTLE IN BBC TWO’S ROBOT WARS

    The Brownlee Brothers, Robbie Savage, Scott Mills and Suzi Perry are amongst the celebrities entering the Robot Wars arena with Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon for two Celebrity Christmas specials, Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars.

    In each hour-long episode on December 28th and 29th at 8pm, four celebrity teams get the chance to design their dream robot and compete against each other in the legendary arena, getting up close and personal with the formidable House Robots.

    The celeb teams are made up of avid Robot Wars fans and, together with their team mates, will have the help of an experienced roboteer from the series to mentor them through the competition.

    First up are: Welsh football pundit and former player Robbie Savage, who is joined by mentor, Jason Marston, from Team Thor; singer Jordan Stephens, and mentor John Reid from team Terrorhurtz; archaeologist, historian, author and presenter Neil Oliver with mentor Will Thomas from Team Shockwave; and Paralympian Kadeena Cox, will compete with her mentor Ellis Ware from Team Pulsar.

    Once in the arena the celebrities and their team members will battle it out, tackling the lethal arena hazards and those terrifying House Robots. Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt and Dead Metal will not be giving any VIP treatment as they pace the Corner Patrol Zones desperate to destroy any celebrity robot that crosses their paths, and if the robots don’t knock each other out then the judges are on hand to decide the winners.

    In the next episode Olympic and World Championship winning medalists Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee, are mentored by Gabriel Stroud from Team Sabretooth;  Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE, are guided by mentor Shane Swan from Team Dantonkia; TV presenter Suzi Perry takes advice from mentor Suren Balendran from Team Supernova and completing this line-up are Radio 1 presenters Scott Mills and Chris Stark, who together with mentor and series one runner-up Dave Moulds from Team Carbide, hope to win the Robot Wars Trophy.

    Robbie Savage said: “I am a big fan of Robot Wars so I am really excited to get into the arena and experience the fights first hand. Flipper robots did really well in the series so I hope our robot doesn’t let us down and flips the competition out of the arena once and for all.”

    Neil Oliver said: “Robot Wars is a wonderful family show and something my kids really enjoyed watching this year. When I asked my two sons if they wanted to come on the show with me they leapt at the chance to meet Sir Killalot. Fingers crossed their imagination has inspired the creation of a mechanical monster with the apocalyptic power to crush our competition into a festive pulp.”

    Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee said:Robot Wars was one of our favourite shows when we were growing up, so to be on the show is fulfilling a childhood dream of ours. It will be a nice change working as a team rather than competing against each other and we hope we can add a Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars title to our collection of medals.”

    Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, MBE said: “I’m so looking forward to competing in Robot Wars as I’ve watched the show from the start.  It really is a dream fulfilled – and I’m especially delighted to have my family alongside me.  Above all, it will give me a chance to put my engineering skills to the test!”

    Suzi Perry said: “I've waited a long time for this. Tech, tactics and titanium all rolled into one battleground – Robot Wars special, it should be such fun. I've designed the robot, now it's all down to gadget warfare and I can't wait to get into the arena to take on my opponents.”

    Scott Mills and Chris Stark said: “We are so excited about getting involved in Robot Wars this Christmas - what’s more festive than getting to play with a new remote controlled toy?! Sir Killalot should watch out, we’re coming for you…!”

    The returning series of has been commissioned by BBC Two Channel Editor, Patrick Holland, Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Kate Phillips, and Alan Tyler, BBC Commissioning Editor. Produced by Mentorn Scotland in association with SJP Media, it will be executive produced by Andrew Robertson, Head of Entertainment for Mentorn Media and Alan Tyler for the BBC.

    For further information please contact Annabel Rudden at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 annabel@plankpr.com

  • Mentorn Media's The Jihadis Next Door Nominated for Broadcast Award 

    Mentorn Media's critically-acclaimed documentary The Jihadis Next Door has been nominated for a Broadcast Award in the Best News and Current Affairs Programme category, it was announced today.

    The one-hour documentary for Channel 4, which was directed by Jamie Roberts, focused on one of the world’s most wanted men, Abu Rumaysah, a suspected British jihadi who is believed to have appeared in an Isis execution video. 

    The film, which was two years in the making, challenged the behaviour and motivations of extremists with unprecedented access to Abu Rumaysah himself; and allowed viewers to understand the stark reality of the new wave of British extremists and the threat they pose to the UK’s security. 

    The Broadcast Awards 2017 will take place on 1 February at London’s Grosvenor Hotel.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936.

  • QUESTION TIME ANNOUNCES NEW EDITOR

    Mentorn Scotland has appointed Liam Hanley as the Editor of Question Time, BBC One’s premier political debate programme, it was announced today.

    Liam joins Question Time from Radio 5 live, where he's worked for the past 12 years in a number of senior editorial roles. He takes up the position ‪from 1st December and will be based in Mentorn Scotland’s Glasgow office. 

    Liam said: “Question Time is the people’s programme – the programme where the audience gets to set the agenda and hold those in power to account. The chance to lead it through a time of such uncertainty and change, where the questions about what happens next just keep on coming, will be an enormous privilege. I can’t wait to get started.”

    He replaces Nicolai Gentchev who after five-and-a-half years as editor of Question Time has become Director of Current Affairs for Mentorn Media and is also Executive Producer of Question Time. 

    Nicolai said: “Question Time is a unique programme. In a time of great change, it has been a privilege to be at the helm and to experience the events of the last few years alongside audiences from around the country. I am looking forward to working with Liam, who has what it takes to be an outstanding Editor and keep making the programme essential viewing in the years to come.”

    Gary Smith, BBC Scotland’s Head Of News And Current Affairs, said: “Question Time is the BBC’s flagship debate programme and lets the British public directly hold senior politicians to account and discuss issues with commentators. During a time of momentous political change our audience will continue to be poised with their questions, and Liam will lead the Question Time team brilliantly to ensure that one of our most successful programmes goes from strength to strength.”

    In his time at 5 live, Liam has covered some of the biggest stories of the past decade, including the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine, President Obama's inauguration and Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Before 5 live, Liam spent six years at Radio 4, where he output edited World at One, PM, Broadcasting House and The World This Weekend. He's also spent time at BBC World Service and Newsround. 

    Mentorn Scotland is part of Mentorn Media, which has produced Question Time since 1998.  

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

     

     

  • BBC TWO INVITES THE HOUSE ROBOTS BACK FOR MORE ROBOT WARS

    BBC Two is going back for more action from the famous House Robots as Robot Wars is set to return for a second series after its reboot this summer. Mentorn Scotland, part of the Tinopolis Group, has been re-commissioned to produce another series of the hugely successful entertainment show.

    Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon shall once again take up the reins in hosting another six-part series.

    The show returns to the purpose-built fighting arena in Glasgow, which allows viewers to get even closer to the action, with state-of-the-art cameras capable of capturing every crushing, sawing and scorching moment in incredible detail. The House Robots are back to stamp their authority on the competing robots and make their time in the arena more difficult than ever before, while reigning champions Team Apollo will return to defend their title.

    The returning series of has been commissioned by BBC Two Channel Editor, Patrick Holland, Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Kate Phillips, and Alan Tyler, BBC Commissioning Editor. Produced by Mentorn Scotland in association with SJP Media, it will be executive produced by Andrew Robertson of Mentorn Scotland and Alan Tyler for the BBC.

    Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, said: “Robot Wars is a brilliant BBC Two show, full of passion, specialism and spectacle.  I am delighted that Dara and Angela will be once again challenging Britain’s finest robot builders to take on the dreaded House Robots.”

    Kate Phillips, BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning said: “The return of Robot Wars with Dara and Angela at the helm has proven that BBC Two viewers, like our robot creators, haven’t lost their passion for creative wizardry and mechanical warfare. With even more formidable House Robots and very determined teams we can’t wait for the battles to begin!”

    Andrew Robertson, Executive Producer for Mentorn Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that the first series proved such a success and we can’t wait to see more amazing teams with the next generation of incredible robots in the arena.”

    To apply please email robotwars@mentorn.tv

    For further information please contact Annabel Rudden at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 annabel@plankpr.com

     

  • EVER WONDERED IF THERE IS SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE YOU? CHANNEL 4 SEARCHES FOR THE WORLD’S MOST IDENTICAL STRANGERS.  

    Channel 4 has commissioned The World’s Most Identical Strangers (w/t), a one-off documentary from Mentorn Media in association with VIP, it was announced, today (Tuesday 11th October, 2016)

    It is thought that for every face, there are seven doppelgänger matches around the world. Social media is fuelling a huge global phenomenon of people searching for their doppelgängers.

    The phenomenon has also caught the attention of leading twin-experts at the Department of Twin Research at St Thomas' Hospital, London. They have been studying similarities between identical twins for years but now they're interested in seeing what they can learn from these non-related pairings.

    In the hour long documentary, The World’s Most Identical Strangers (w/t), cameras follow the scientists and seven pairs of twin strangers as they meet, get to know each other and undergo tests to reveal which pair is the most identical doppelgängers.

    Lucy Leveugle, Commissioning Editor for Factual Entertainment at Channel 4 said: “With social networks meaning the world is effectively a smaller place, this programme documents and heightens the phenomenon that are twin strangers. With extraordinary visuals, it’s a great play along too – spot the difference.”

    Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes and Executive Producer, Mentorn Media said: “In a time of the selfie culture, people’s curiosity with finding their doppelgänger has become a fascinating obsession. With the experts at St. Thomas’ Hospital we hope that The World’s Most Identical Strangers will prove that we are more alike than we know and shed light on how we perceive each other.”

    The World’s Most Identical Strangers (w/t) has been commissioned by Lucy Leveugle for Channel 4 and will be executive produced by Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes, for Mentorn Media

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

  • MENTORN SCOTLAND SECURES ACCESS TO SCOTLAND’S COLD CASE UNIT AND POLICE SCOTLAND FOR NEW CHANNEL 4 SERIES

    Mentorn Scotland, part of the Tinopolis Group, has been granted unprecedented documentary access to Scotland’s specialist Cold Case Unit (CCU) and Police Scotland investigative teams, for a new three-part Channel 4 series.

    The Cold Case Unit was created in 2011 at the instruction of Scotland’s Chief prosecutor, the then Lord Advocate, Frank Mulholland, to assist prosecutors from Scotland’s Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and Police Scotland to review unsolved historic murders.

    Using the Scottish Homicide Database, that dates back to 1960, Prosecutors and Detectives apply modern forensic and other investigative techniques to historic murders, in an attempt to resolve some of Scotland’s most high-profile cases.

    Since its conception, the unit working closely with Police Scotland, has achieved substantial successes: from the conviction of serial killer and sex offender Angus Sinclair for the infamous Worlds End Murders, to putting John Docherty behind bars for the 1986 killing of Elaine Doyle.

    With access to the CCU, Police Scotland and forensic scientists, the 3x60 observational series, filmed over two years, will follow the investigation and prosecution process of historic murder investigations in Scotland, and the hunt for justice.

    Commissioned by Amy Flanagan, Deputy Head of Documentaries at Channel 4, the series is produced and directed by Andrew Abbott, and the executive producer is Iain Scollay.

    Amy Flanagan, Deputy Head of Factual at Channel 4, said:  'With such unprecedented access this series is set to reveal the incredible skills of the Cold Case Unit.  As their investigations into historic unsolved crimes unfold, we will gain a fascinating insight into how policing has changed over the years but also why justice matters to those families involved, even thirty years later.'

    Iain Scollay, Creative Director, Mentorn Scotland and Executive Producer said, “We are delighted to have secured this very privileged access to both Police Scotland and the Crown Office. The meticulous work that they do, re-opening and investigating historic cases, is extraordinary and will make for a compelling series.”

    The series is due to air in 2017.

  • QUESTION TIME’S GENTCHEV PROMOTED AT MENTORN MEDIA

    Mentorn Media has promoted Nicolai Gentchev to Director of Current Affairs, it was announced today (WEDS).

    Gentchev, who has been at Mentorn Scotland for five-and-a-half years as editor of Question Time, becomes Executive Producer of the political debate show as part of his new role which includes developing and executive producing a range of current affairs programmes. 

    During his time as editor of Question Time, Nicolai has also edited BBC Scotland’s ‘Referendum Debates’ series in 2014 and has been executive producer on various one-off programmes, including the ‘Big, Big Debate’ at the Hydro, which was nominated for a BAFTA and won the RTS Scotland Award for Best Referendum Programme.

    Jonathan Hewes, Chief Executive, Mentorn Media, said: "We are delighted to announce Nicolai's promotion to the position of Director of Current Affairs after his extremely successful editorship of Question Time; he has a wealth of political, news and current affairs experience and as he moves to Executive Producer role, we are looking for a new Editor of Question Time." 

    Gentchev replaces Hayley Valentine who has left Mentorn Media after three years to pursue other opportunities. 

    He continued: “Hayley has been an incredible Director of Current Affairs, overseeing some of the standout current affairs programming of the last few years, and securing a series of fast turnaround specials with the BBC at a time of unprecedented political uncertainty. We wish her the very best in her future.” 

    Before joining Mentorn Media as Editor of Question Time, Gentchev was Editor of ‘Good Morning Scotland’, BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship news programme, in the build up to the 2010 General Election.  Previous to that, he has been an output editor on Radio 4’s Today programme, and before that worked for several years as a business reporter and producer for the BBC and Bloomberg News.

    Nicolai said: “The Question Time team is a force to be reckoned with. I've been enormously proud to work with them for nearly six years and particularly over some of the most defining moments of recent years. I'm delighted that I will still be working with Question Time in my new role and continuing the incredible work that Hayley has produced.” 

    Hayley Valentine said: “It’s been an extraordinary climate to produce some very special editions of Question Time. As well as the outstanding three years of Question Time, I’m proud to have overseen so many other important political programmes – from Free Speech, to the Dimbleby Interviews, from the Hydro to The Big Questions. It’s been a fantastic experience and it feels the right time to hand over the reins.”

    Mentorn Scotland has produced Question Time since 2012, and is currently looking for a new Editor to be based in Glasgow. To apply, please email Jill Greenwood at Mentorn Scotland: JGreenwood@mentorn.tv. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 16th September.

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

  • APOLLO CROWNED ROBOT WARS CHAMPION 2016

    Dara Ó Briain today announced Apollo has been crowned the champions of Robot Wars 2016.

    More commonly known as ‘the boy band of Robot Wars’ on the show; the Apollo team, Dave, Marc and Ben who are friends from North Wales, were presented the prestigious trophy by Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon.

    The competition has been gruelling, with Apollo competing in nine battles before going up against Carbide in the Grand Final. In the end, the final decision was down to the judges: Professor Noel Sharkey, Dr Lucy Rogers and Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, who came to the unanimous decision that team Apollo were the worthy winners of Robot Wars 2016.

    Dave said: “We can't believe our luck winning Robot Wars. For three guys from a non-engineering background to win a show like this is crazy. Nine years ago when we all met as Bluecoats we would never think this would happen. We had a few issues with Apollo during the competition in the early stages. But it still held its own. We made a few enemies with house robots along the way. But when it mattered the robot worked perfectly. We hope everyone loved the show, as a group of entertainers we want to make sure people had as much fun watching the show, as we did competing in it. Hopefully there will be another series where we hope to defend the title!”

    Forty robot teams tested their luck in the purpose built arena in Glasgow across the series, not only facing each other but also the dangerous hazards of Fire, Spikes, The Flipper and The iconic Pit. As well as this, the robot teams had to avoid the iconic House Robots. Aiming to terminate anything that strays into their zone of the arena - Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt and Dead Metal were out to get any robot brave enough to venture into their sector.

    Many robots were tossed out of the arena, cooked on the flames and smashed to pieces, but Apollo survived it all, whilst still being described by presenter Dara Ó Briain as ‘the great entertainers of this series’.

    The thrilling final saw the six finalists Carbide, Shockwave, TR2, Apollo, Pulsar and Thor compete in two group battles, each with three robots in, determining one loser from each fight who were then eliminated. The four surviving robots then faced off in the head to heads, competing in a series of one-on-one fights in order to score enough points to make it into the Grand Final.

    Apollo went into the final full of determination as they faced Carbide who had beaten them in a previous head-to-head earlier in the Final.

    Ben Bacon from Apollo said: “It’s more than just the Grand Final, this is our revenge match.”

    Notorious for being the flipper that humiliated the house robots, Apollo made full use of the house robots and arena hazards in aiding their win. Despite struggling to close the front flipper towards the end of the fight, Apollo thought on their feet and used Carbide’s shunts to shut the flipper again before striking again.

    Apollo was described as ‘worthy winners’ – they took on three out of four House Robots as well as nearly all of the competition they faced and despite the damage from their opponents they were able to pull through to become champion.

    The DVD, Blu-ray and digital downloads from Robot Wars will be released on Monday 29th August. For all Robot Wars fans the chance to own the series you love and watch again, whenever you choose, the amazing robots and the destruction caused on route to finding the latest Robot Wars champion.

    For further information, pictures or interviews with Apollo please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com 

     

     

  • MENTORN MEDIA TO CHART THE RISE OF THE HIPSTER FOR BBC FOUR

    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