• BBC THREE will broadcast a special edition of Young Voters' Question Time two days ahead of the referendum on alternative voting. Produced by Mentorn Media, Young Voters' Question Time: AV Referendum Special will air live on BBC THREE between 8-9pm on Tuesday, May 3.

    Richard Bacon chairs the debate with six panellists, all leading advocates from the Yes and No campaigns. There will be an audience of more than 150.....18-25 year olds, many going to the polls for the first time.

    BBC THREE capitalised on the strength of Question Time by commissioning two spin-off programmes for first-time voters in the election campaign of 2010.

    Their success was followed by a commitment to broadcast four editions of Young Voters' Question Time each year on BBC Three. This fourth edition has been scheduled to allow the younger audience to have their questions answered ahead of polling day. The BBC Commissioning Editor is Fiona Campbell and Editor is Ed Havard.

    Mentorn Media Creative Director, Steve Anderson, said: "It was a bold move by the BBC to launch a special series of Question Time for young voters, but given everything that's happened, it's the right idea at the right time." More young people voted in the election and since then we've had the rise in tuition fees, the planned cuts by the new Coalition Govt and now the war in Libya; all issues that generate strong feelings among young people.

    "The AV referendum is about whether or not there should be fundamental change to our future system of electing politicians, another major issue for young voters. It's terrific that BBC THREE want to mark the story with a live special."

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

  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Liverpool tonight, 14th April.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme which sees Energy and Climate Change Secretary and Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh Chris Huhne; former leader of the Conservative Party and ex-MP for Folkeston and Hythe Lord Michael Howard; Labour MP for Neath Peter Hain; Leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond MP and journalist, novelist and broadcaster Cristina Odone, face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299

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

  • Mentorn's For Neda Film has been honoured at the 70th Annual Peabody Awards and was among the winners announced on 31st March at the University of Georgia.

    For Neda, a Mentorn Media produced documentary, examined the life and death of Neda Agha-Soltan, whose senseless shooting made her the international face of Iranian opposition.

    Multi-award winning director, Antony Thomas, travelled from California to the Turkish/Iranian border to find people who knew Neda personally or were close to the events of June and July 2009.

    But the only way to get to the personal heart of the story was to work inside Iran -- at a time when foreign film-makers were forbidden entry, and Iranians themselves risked arrest and long term imprisonment if caught filming without official approval.

    Thanks to the exceptional bravery of Neda's family and Saeed Kamali Dehghan, a young undercover Iranian journalist, Neda comes to life through first time interviews with her father, mother, sister and younger brother.

    The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media and recognise excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts.

    Antony Thomas said: "In reality, this is an award for bravery, which rightfully belongs to Neda's family, who risked everything in order to tell world what young Iranians like Neda were fighting for."

    The film premiered on HBO in the United States on June 14th 2010 and was repeated on June 20th the first anniversary of Neda's death.

    In the same month, a Farsi version was beamed into Iran four times by Voice of America. In spite of attempts to jam the signal and deliberate power cuts during the broadcast, For Neda reached huge audiences, and the film-makers received over 20,000 emails of support from inside the country.

    Mentorn's Executive Producer Neil Grant said, "I am absolutely delighted that For Neda has won such a prestigious award.  This film is a poignant historic tribute to Neda Agha-Soltan and what she came to represent both in Iran and around the World, which was so sensitively recorded by Antony Thomas in this powerful and important documentary".

    For Neda is due for transmission on More 4 in June to mark the second anniversary of Neda's death.

    For further information please contact Sally Kent at Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or sally@plankpr.com

  • Commmenting on the UK economy and the projections of economic growth, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP said on BBC One's Question Time:"Of course, it's going to be choppy. We are going through a painful process.

    "The recent GDP figures show we are basically flat lining as a country but if you look at the independent forecasts at what our growth will be, they are above the European average and that's because we have made difficult decisions. And I think that people who say the way to deal with these problems is to make the debt problem worse, are completely mad."

    BBC One's Question Time transmits at 10.35pm or can be seen on BBC iPlayer.

  • BBC One's political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Oxford on Thursday 7th April.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme which sees Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and MP for South West Surrey Jeremey Hunt; Labour MP for Don Valley Caroline Flint; Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire Jo Swinson; Medical Doctor, Scientist, Television Presenter and Labour Peer Professor Lord Robert Winston and actor, writer and director Simon Callow, face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime or call the audience line on 01299 829 299

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

  • Mentorn International has confirmed further sales of the hit series, An Idiot Abroad, ahead of this year's MIPTV as well as offering pre-sales of the new series that is in production for Sky1.

    The series has now sold in 14 territories, including Discovery Belgium, Discovery Netherlands, Planéte France, Globosat Brazil, Onet.pl Poland. These are in addition to the previous sales of Network Ten in Australia, TV3 in New Zealand, Discovery USA's Science Channel, Discovery Canada,  SVT in Sweden, TV3 in Denmark, YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway and ITC Skjarinn in Iceland.

    The Mentorn-produced, eight-part series which stars Karl Pilkington, with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in a documentary travelogue will now be followed by a second series for Sky1 which will be available this autumn.

    Managing Director of Mentorn International, David Leach, said: "This series has been hugely popular in the UK and the USA and has already done fantastic business around the globe. The success of the ancillary products - a bestselling DVD and Book are further testament to its enormous appeal to audiences.

    "We're delighted that Mentorn International is continuing our relationship with Ricky, Stephen and Karl, and distributing their next series."

    At MIP Mentorn International will be selling An Idiot Abroad series 1 and 2 in addition to launching their Drama arm with The Promise and Naked Apes, and launching high profile docu series Katie: My Beautiful Friends as well as numerous Factual programmes from both Pioneer and Mentorn.

    Visit Mentorn International at MIPTV 2011 - stand 11.29

    Notes to editors:

    Mentorn International is a long-established international distributor of programme content and formats for TV companies including Mentorn Media, BBC World, Pioneer Productions, Daybreak Pictures, Quicksilver, Fiction Factory, Folio, Ludus and Mentorn USA. Mentorn International distributes formats and programmes in the reality, entertainment, factual entertainment, documentary, drama, science, history and popular factual genres.

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

  • Pioneer Productions, fast-turnaround documentary, Japan's Killer Quake, is heading up the list of Pioneer-produced documentaries that Mentorn International are offering at MIPTV, it was announced on Thursday.

    The one-hour documentary made by Pioneer Productions was a fast-turnaround for Channel 4 and the first ever three-week turnaround to transmit on NOVA (last night 9pm on PBS).  The programme covered the geological and scientific background behind the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami which has devastated the Japanese coastal areas.

    Japan's Killer Quake is part of the Pioneer-produced slate that Mentorn International is offering for sale at MIPTV. Others include High: How Drugs Work - a three-part series which attracted a huge audience on BBC Three and National Geographic Channel USA, and which follows real life stories of recreational drug-taking with leading scientists and doctors explaining the scientific effects on our bodies; also Earth: Making of a Planet 1 x 96 minutes, Volcano that Stopped the World 1 x 50mins, Buried Alive: Chile Mine Rescue 1 x 50 mins and Birth of Britain the 3 part Channel 4 series with Tony Robinson, all of which feature spectacular footage and CGI.

    Pioneer Productions Executive Producer, Stuart Carter, said: "Making a fast turnaround for Channel 4 and NOVA in such a short time was an epic undertaking.  Not only do you have all the technical problems of getting it made in time, but also getting the tone right - sadly nearly 30,000 have died."

    Managing Director of Mentorn International, David Leach, said: "Pioneer Productions has a considerable reputation for high-quality and entertaining science documentaries and this collection of new programmes is a varied and fascinating slate."

    Visit Mentorn International at MIPTV 2011 - stand 11.29

    Notes to editors:

    Mentorn International is a long-established international distributor of programme content and formats for TV companies including Mentorn Media, BBC World, Pioneer Productions, Daybreak Pictures, Quicksilver, Fiction Factory, Folio, Ludus and Mentorn USA. Mentorn International distributes formats and programmes in the reality, entertainment, factual entertainment, documentary, drama, science, history and popular factual genres.

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