• MENTORN SCOTLAND PRODUCE EU REFERENDUM QUESTION TIME SPECIALS AND YOUTH DEBATE PANELLISTS

    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 Nominated for Broadcast Digital Award

    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

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  • 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.” 

    -ENDS-

     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

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    Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon have been announced as the new presenters of Robot Wars when the series is rebooted for BBC Two with Jonathan Pearce returning as commentator.

    Dara and Angela will get up close with the robots, the teams and get feedback from the Robot Wars judges while legendary commentator Jonathan Pearce will return with his inimitable take on the Robot Wars fights.

    All the Robot Wars action will come from the new purpose-built fighting arena in Glasgow, which will allow 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.

    Dara O Briain said: “I am thrilled to be presenting Robot Wars. For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer. It's war, and how I love it so.”

    Angela Scanlon added: “I'm so excited to be joining such a legendary show that, after all this time, still manages to make people squeal with joy. I cannot wait to see the robots in all their metallic glory playfully destroying each other!”

    Jonathan Pearce said: “Robot Wars is an immensely enjoyable programme to commentate on. I am delighted to be involved and back among the cut and thrust of the robot battles. ACTIVATE!”

    Channel Editor of BBC Two, Adam Barker, said: “I’m thrilled that Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon will be fronting BBC Two’s reboot of Robot Wars.  Alongside the welcome return of Jonathan Pearce bringing his unique commentary to proceedings, they are the perfect team to bring to life all the excitement and drama from the arena and explain the innovation and technological advances being showcased in the new and improved robots.”

    Acting Controller of Entertainment, Alan Tyler, said: “We are delighted to have such an enviable line up of talent at the helm of the new series. Dara is the perfect host for Robot Wars. Funny, intelligent, warm and genuinely enthused by both the engineering science and the passionate people behind the machines. I'm slightly worried he may actually apply to be a contestant. Angela’s razor sharp wit and clever curiosity, alongside Jonathan’s expertise and insight complete a perfect partnership. We can’t wait to bring the new series to the BBC Two’s audience.”

    The new Robot Wars logo for the series, designed by Jump, has also been unveiled.

    Mentorn Scotland’s Executive Producer, Andrew Robertson, said: “The logo totally encapsulates everything that is new about the series, updated technology, modernised armour, contemporary design and a seismic updated tonal shift from the original series.”

    The new six-part series will be produced by Mentorn Scotland, part of the Tinopolis Group, in association with SJP Media, and will feature a new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before. It also includes a raft of technological advances since the show first aired over a decade ago, and viewers can expect to see more innovative fighting machines as teams of amateur roboteers battle it out to win the coveted Robot Wars title.

    Robot Wars fans can apply to see the battles first hand in the studio audience by contactingwww.lostintv.com; emailing info@lostintv.com or calling 0208 5308100.

    Follow Robot Wars on Social Media:

    Facebook:           www.facebook.com/ukrobotwars

    Twitter:                @ukrobotwars

    YouTube:             RobotWars

    For further information please contact:

    Kiran Poonia, BBC Publicist

    Kiran.Poonia@bbc.co.uk

    For Mentorn Media queries please contact:

    Louise Plank at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936, lou@plankpr.com

    Notes to editors:

    The new series of has been commissioned by, Acting Controller of Entertainment Alan Tyler and Jo Street BBC Commissioning Editor. Produced by Mentorn Media Scotland in association with SJP Media, it will be executive produced by Creative Director Entertainment at Tinopolis, Chris Brogden, Andrew Robertson of Mentorn Scotland and Jo Street for the BBC.

    International sales of the series/format are being handled by Passion Distribution.

    About Mentorn Scotland

    Mentorn Media set up Mentorn Scotland, its Glasgow office, in 2002. Since then it has had a continuous and substantial production and development base in Scotland devising and delivering some award-winning and compelling content, adding up to hundreds of hours of original content.

    Mentorn Scotland has made a range of major series for BBC Scotland including RTS Award-winning and British Academy Scotland Award nominated, Scotland Decides: The Big, Big Debate and the popular BBC Scotland series Clans and How Scotland Works.

    Scottish-based productions include key returning BBC One titles: Question Time, Traffic Cops, The Big Questions, along with other Mentorn Scotland productions like Cutting Edge documentaries for Channel 4, single films for ITV including Britain’s Poshest Nannies, daytime series and popular formats: Cowboy Trap for BBC One; Hotel of Mum and Dad for BBC Three, and primetime series Watermen: A Dirty Business for BBC Two.

    Mentorn Media can be followed on twitter: @MentornMedia

    About the Tinopolis Group

    The Tinopolis Group is dedicated to the creation and global distribution of world-class content. It is one of the largest remaining independent television producers with significant business bases in London, Wales, Glasgow and LA, producing high quality content for all key networks in both the US and the UK and for a fast-growing stable of brands and agencies. Tinopolis produces and distributes over 2,500 hours of award-winning broadcast and online content from major producers, including A. Smith and Co, Firecracker Films, Magical Elves, Mentorn Media, Passion Distribution, Pioneer Productions, Sunset + Vine and Tinopolis Wales/Cymru.

    www.tinopolis.com

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    Mentorn Scotland, part of the Tinopolis Group, has been commissioned by BBC Two to produce a new series of theman and machine battle series Robot Wars, it was announced today (WEDS). 

    The iconic entertainment show will return as a 6 x 60’ series and will feature a new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before. 

    The new series includes a raft of technological advances since the show first aired over a decade ago, and viewers can expect to see more innovative fighting machines as teams of amateur roboteers battle it out to win the coveted Robot Wars title.

    The show will be recorded in a new purpose built fighting arena in Glasgow, allowing 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 new series of Robot Wars has been commissioned by Channel Controller Kim Shillinglaw, Acting Controller of Entertainment Alan Tyler and Jo Street BBC Commissioning Editor. Produced by Mentorn Media Scotland in association with SJP Media, it will be executive produced by Creative Director Entertainment at Tinopolis, Chris Brogden, Andrew Robertson of Mentorn Scotland and Jo Street for the BBC. Passion Distribution has completed series and format rights for the show.

    Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, said: 

    “Robot Wars is an absolute TV classic and I'm thrilled to be updating it for the next generation of viewers. With new technological advances making for an even more exciting and immersive experience this is a fantastic example of the kind of content-rich factual entertainment that BBC Two excels at.”

    Chris Brogden, Creative Director Entertainment at Tinopolis, said:

    “Bringing back Robot Wars to our screens is hugely exciting.  Its return will see new and improved robots, with extraordinary innovation and power in these updated machines – it promises to be quite the competition.”

     Alan Tyler, BBC Acting Controller of Entertainment Commissioning said:

    “The redeveloped Robot Wars proved compelling, offering a mix of real people, real passion and raw power. It is remarkable to see how much more powerful these robots have become since the series last aired, with battles now staged in an arena that is literally bullet proof. And yet, the show is still fundamentally driven by the eccentricity of the brilliant brains behind the machines. We are excited to bring this clever new incarnation not only to an audience who loved the original but also to those who may be discovering it for the first time."

     

    To apply please email robotwars@mentorn.tv

     

    For further information please contact Louise Plank at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936lou@plankpr.com or Andrew Francis at the BBC on 07834 845545 andrew.francis@bbc.com

     

     

    Notes to editors:

    About Mentorn Scotland

    Mentorn Media set up Mentorn Scotland, its Glasgow office, in 2002. Since then it has had a continuous and substantial production and development base in Scotland devising and delivering some award-winning and compelling content, adding up to hundreds of hours of original content.

    Mentorn Scotland has made a range of major series for BBC Scotland including RTS Award-winning and British Academy Scotland Award nominated, Scotland Decides: The Big, Big Debate and the popular BBC Scotland series Clans and How Scotland Works.

    Scottish-based productions include key returning BBC One titles: Question Time, Traffic Cops, The Big Questions, along with other Mentorn Scotland productions like Cutting Edge documentaries for Channel 4, single films for ITV including Britain’s Poshest Nannies, daytime series and popular formats: Cowboy Trap for BBC One; Hotel of Mum and Dad for BBC Three, and primetime series Watermen: A Dirty Business for BBC Two.

    Mentorn Media can be followed on twitter: @MentornMedia

     

    About the Tinopolis Group

    The Tinopolis Group is dedicated to the creation and global distribution of world-class content. It is one of the largest remaining independent television producers with significant business bases in London, Wales, Glasgow and LA, producing high quality content for all key networks in both the US and the UK and for a fast-growing stable of brands and agencies. Tinopolis produces and distributes over 2,500 hours of award-winning broadcast and online content from major producers, including A. Smith and Co, Firecracker Films, Magical Elves, Mentorn Media, Passion Distribution, Pioneer Productions, Sunset + Vine and Tinopolis Wales/Cymru.

    www.tinopolis.com

  • Mentorn Media, part of the Tinopolis Group, has been commissioned by Sky to produce a new entertainment Christmas special for Sky 1 that will showcase the singing talents of ordinary people across the country.

    ‘The Big Movie Sing-A-Long’, 1X60, will give the public a chance to perform their own renditions of famous musical movie hits and also invite the public to sing-a-long at home.

    The musical numbers will be accompanied by dancing, performed against the backdrop of everyday life - from singing in the home and street to the local park and office.

    A cross section of the public will take part in performances, ranging from families and friends to co-workers and an entire school community.

    Featuring some of the biggest movie songs of all time, we’ll see the different groups of people discuss their song choice and what it means to them, before performing their own choreographed version of the song.

    Commissioned by Bill Hobbins, Commissioning Editor – Factual, Sky Entertainment, the series will be executive produced by David Emerson, Head of Features and Formats Mentorn Media, and Gareth Davies, Executive Producer Mentorn Media.

    Bill Hobbins said: “Karaoke meets Christmas in this great festive format for Sky 1.  A family singalong for all ages that’ll be warm, enchanting and above all, very funny!”

    David Emerson said: “This is a feel-good family format which embraces the public’s love of belting out hits from blockbuster movies, and we’re delighted that Sky have commissioned this show. It’s a wonderful insight into the great part music plays in the life of everyday British people and a real Christmas treat.”

    ‘The Big Movie Sing-A-Long’ will air at the end of this year on Sky 1.

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  • BBC Four has commissioned a special documentary,from Mentorn Media part of the Tinopolis Group, that will see Alan Johnson MP, chronicling the transformation of the Post Office.

    Whilst Alan Johnson has been an MP for twenty years, in 1968 at the age of eighteen he first began working for the Royal Mail, initially as a postman and then later becoming general secretary of the Union of Communication Workers.

    In this hour-long documentary, titled 'Alan Johnson: The Post Office and Me', almost 40 years after he delivered his last letter, Alan is going back in time to look at how the  Royal Mail has changed Britain, from its creation in the 1500’s to the present day. Alan explores how the Post Office has transformed over the years, and even with digital advances such as the introduction of email, the public are still choosing to send a good old fashioned letter via the post.

    In addition, as part of the programme we see Alan go back to his old postal route in Barnes, visiting the sorting office in Mortlake, plus we hear contributions from historians and curators giving viewers exclusive access to archive material.

    'Alan Johnson: The Post Office and Me'was commissioned by Clare Paterson, BBC Commissioning Editor, Documentaries and Factual Commissioning. It has been executive produced by Iain Scollay, Head of Documentaries, Mentorn Media and Directed and produced by Andrew Abbott, Series Producer, Mentorn Media Scotland.

    Iain Scollay said: “The Post Office is an institution that Alan Johnson is incredibly passionate about, and we’re delighted that the BBC has commissioned this programme for BBC Four. This programme includes great archive content and facts, coupled with personal stories from Alan, which makes this a fascinating story charting the change of what many regarded as the best postal service in the world, and also the ethos of being a postman.”

     For more information please contact Effie Dufu, Effie@plankpr.com or 0208 995 3945

  • BBC Four has commissioned a special programme from Mentorn Media, part of the Tinopolis Group, where the BBC’s World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, will discuss his work as a foreign correspondent, with special guests Jon Snow, Max Hastings and Christiane Amanpour, it was announced today (WED).

    John Simpson is noted for breaking news stories from across the globe, and has received various awards, including a CBE. The hour-long discussion, titled ‘John Simpson: Stories From The Frontline’, will take viewers behind the scenes of this important and increasingly dangerous job. Simpson and his guests will discuss the difficulties, moral ambiguities and challenges of reporting under fire. They will be aided by a series of clips from the archives showing journalists doing their work in conflicts, both past and present - including the wars in the Falklands, Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq and Syria.

    ‘John Simpson: Stories From The Frontline’ will kick start a special evening of programming on BBC Four that will include a number of documentaries, chosen by John Simpson, that exemplify some of the best foreign reporting of the past fifty years. The documentaries include:

    • Charles Wheeler On America Documentary, presented by the late Charles Wheeler on the key changes in US social and political life in the late 20th Century.
    • Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? (1h15min) - Moving documentary about Tim Hetherington, the award-winning British war photographer and filmmaker killed in 2011 during the Libyan civil war. Director Sebastian Junger weaves together footage of Hetherington at work and emotional interviews with his family and colleagues to capture his collaborator and friend's compassion, and intense curiosity about the human spirit.
    • The Falklands Legacy – Reporting thirty years after the Falkland's War, journalist and military historian Max Hastings, who won awards for his reports from the Falkland’s War, explores the conflict's impact and its legacy.

    The programme, which has been commissioned by Clare Sillery, BBC Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, will be executive produced by Iain Scollay, and Brendan Miller is the producer, for Mentorn Media.          

    Iain Scollay, Head of Documentaries at Mentorn Media, said: “There is no one better placed to give viewers an insight into the challenging role of reporting from the frontline than John Simpson and our guests Jon Snow, Max Hastings and Christiane Amanpour. This will be a rare opportunity for the BBC Four audience to hear personal stories from our contributors about doing one of the toughest jobs in journalism.”