• The Scottish News Consortium today welcomed the government's go-ahead to bid for a multiplatform and channel 3 Scottish news contract.

    The consortium comprises three of Scotland's biggest news groups - DC Thomson, the Herald & Times Group and Johnston Press - and one of Britain's largest independent television producers, Tinopolis.

    The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said today the group qualified to go forward to the next stage of the tender process for its Independently Funded News Consortium Scottish pilot. The winner is due to be announced in March.

    A consortium spokesman said: "We are delighted to go forward with what we regard as an unbeatable combination of Scottish reporting expertise and resources with a very powerful television company and innovative multiplatform plans."

    The consortium will propose fresh and creative solutions for Scottish and local news on television, the internet and other digital platforms to meet consumer needs. The group has an unrivalled newsgathering capability in Scotland with some 1,000 editorial staff in news bureaux across the nation.

    The alliance publishes an enormous range of newspapers including dailies such as The Courier, The Scotsman, The Herald, The Press and Journal, weekly titles such as the Stornoway Gazette, the Southern Reporter and the Aberdeen Citizen as well as The Sunday Post, Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday.

    The consortium has an extensive online presence in Scotland with leading sites such as scotsman.com and heraldscotland.com.

    Tinopolis's Mentorn Media subsidiary has extensive experience in television and new media news, producing programmes such as Panorama and Traffic Cops for BBC One, and Dispatches and Cutting Edge for Channel 4. Mentorn Scotland this year becomes a major BBC independent supplier as production base for Question Time and BBC One's Sunday morning discussion show, The Big Questions, as well as several other network programmes. Tinopolis is also S4C's largest programme supplier and produces interactive media for a range of UK and international clients.

    The Consortium is supported and advised by Mark Wood, formerly chairman and chief executive of ITN.

    The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is seeking bids for government-funded pilot IFNCs to provide local news on digital platforms and on channel 3, which the commercial television companies say they can no longer afford to provide as advertising revenue declines. The government expects to declare the bid winner by mid-March.

  • ABC Network in the USA has aquired Mentorn's documentary, Katie: My Beautiful Face, it was announced today (FRI).

    ABC dedicated an episode of its popular news magazine programme, "20/20" to Katie's story on January 8th at 10pm and it was watched by 7.8 million viewers.

    As well as using footage from the initial Mentorn documentary, ABC's "20/20" presenter Elizabeth Vargas travelled to the UK to update viewers on Katie's progress. Elizabeth interviewed Katie and her family; spoke to her surgeon Mr Jawad and to her friends.

    Managing Director, Mentorn International, David Leach said: "We're delighted to continue our successful relationship with ABC. Their "20/20" strand has an established journalistic reputation and we are pleased to be working with them on this project to bring Katie's story to an international audience."

    Notes to Editors

    Katie: My Beautiful Face achieved the highest ratings of 2009 for Channel 4's Cutting Edge strand with 3.5 million viewers watching. The response was so remarkable that Channel 4 commissioned Mentorn Media to produce the Alternative Christmas Message with Katie and prompted Katie to set up the Katie Piper Foundation to help other burns victims.

    Katie: My Beautiful Face followed Katie Piper, the victim of a vicious acid attack, who waived her anonymity and shared her story for the first time.

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

  • Mentorn Media has confirmed Jerry Foulkes as the new Head of Mentorn Scotland, it was announced today (THURS).

    Jerry joins Mentorn Scotland from BBC Scotland Factual Productions where he's most recently been responsible for the hit BBC ONE series, Jimmy's Food Factory which peaked at a series high of 5.9million viewers in its 7.30pm slot.

    His first major commission is the second series of Cowboy Trap which Jerry will executive produce. The re-commission for BBC ONE Daytime has been increased to 40, 45-minute programmes is overseen by Jo Street in Glasgow (Check title) and sees Clive Holland visit more people across the country whose lives have been disrupted due to the chaos caused by 'cowboy' workmen.

    John Willis said: "It's an exciting time of growth for Mentorn Scotland. Jerry has an unrivalled track record of both developing ideas and programme making. We're delighted to have someone of Jerry's experience, knowledge of the Scottish industry and creative input heading up the Mentorn Scotland team and we look forward to developing further formats with him."

    Jerry Foulkes said: "I'm really looking forward to leading Mentorn's expansion in Scotland. We have large orders from BBC ONE for Cowboy Trap and The Big Questions and building from this strong start we aim to develop further popular factual formats."

    Jerry first worked with John Willis as Series Editor of three series of Channel 4's Right to Reply. In 1999 he joined the BBC as Senior Commissioning Executive, BBC Factual to commission independents for Daytime - including Kilroy and City Hospital Then from 2001 he commissioned for BBC One peak, including the first series of Bailiffs; re-formatted returning series Ground Force and Changing Rooms while executive producing a wide range of formats and single documentaries including Have I Got News for You, Kilroy and the Elvis Mob.

    At the beginning of 2003 Jerry left the BBC and joined TalkBack Productions as Editor Factual, where he developed and delivered How Clean is Your House for Channel 4. He was responsible for series across all terrestrial broadcasters including new travel formats; How to Holiday, and Property Dreams for ITV and FIVE respectively, and award winning BBC THREE documentary feature; Bye, Bye Happiness, as well as Would Like to Meet and Life Laundry for BBC TWO. He also executive produced the US version of How Clean Is Your House.

    Jerry has also worked at Two Four where he developed and produced new series, Britain's Dream Homes for BBC Two, and at Objective Productions where he executive produced Fear of...Flying for Channel 4.


    Jerry will take up his new position with Mentorn Scotland from the beginning of January.

    For further information please contact Louise Plank at Plank PR on behalf of Mentorn Media on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Following the success of the first series, Cowboy Trap is returning to BBC ONE with an extra 20 episodes. Mentorn Scotland is looking for people across the UK whose lives and properties are currently in a state of chaos or disruption thanks to 'cowboy' workmen.

    Homes expert Clive Holland and his team will once again be fixing the bad jobs that builders have left behind. Clive will assess the damage from work - or lack of it - and call the builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers or joiners to account for their shoddy workmanship. In each case the problems will be fixed by the programme's team of skilled workmen.

    Clive said: "When the first series went out I was overwhelmed by the amount of feedback that we had from people expressing frustrations and sharing similar stories to the ones that we featured.

    "I'm delighted that we're coming back for another series - and with more episodes commissioned we'll be able to help more people. This is your chance to get the job finished properly - and call to account the builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers or joiners who are to blame."

    Filming is taking place between January 2010 and June 2010 and we want to hear from people as soon as possible on 020 7258 6724 or email builders@mentorn.tv

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

  • Following the success of the first series, Cowboy Trap is returning to BBC ONE with an extra 20 episodes, it was announced today.

    Mentorn Scotland has been re-commissioned to make the series of 45-minute programmes presented by Homes expert Clive Holland.

    In the 40-part series, Clive and his team will once again be fixing the bad jobs that builders have left behind. Clive will assess the damage from work - or lack of it - and call the builders, plumbers, electricians, roofers or joiners to account for their shoddy workmanship. In each case the problems will be fixed by the programme's team of skilled workmen.

    Chief Executive of Mentorn, John Willis, said: "When the first series went out Mentorn was overwhelmed by the amount of feedback from people expressing frustrations and sharing similar stories to the ones that we featured. Clive is a fantastic presenter and fixer - he knows all the tricks of the trade - and we're delighted that the commission has doubled."

    The series will be executive produced by Jo Street for the BBC and Jerry Foulkes at Mentorn Scotland.

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