• Mentorn International has sold Katie Piper's most recent series, Katie: My Beautiful Friends, to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), it was announced today (TUES).

    The four-part series of one hour programmes were originally made by Mentorn Media for Channel 4, and follow Katie as she continues to rebuild her life. The series includes her work with the Katie Piper Foundation and sees her meet eight friends who have also suffered from burns or facial disfigurement.

    David Leach said: "Katie is an incredible woman who's story, strength and inspiration has touched many people around the world. We're delighted that this series has been recognised by OWN and will continue to introduce Katie as well as her incredible friends to audiences across America."

    Katie My Beautiful Face and the follow-up series Katie: My Beautiful Friends has sold to over 15 broadcasters including RTL2 Germany, ABC USA, TV4 Sweden, Nine Australia,TV2 Norway, Nelonen, Finland, Globosat Brazil and Katie My Beautiful Friends: XYZ Australia, TV4 Sweden, TV3 New Zealand, RTL Netherlands, Teva (M6) France.

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

  • It was the story that stunned the world when, 18 years after she was kidnapped, Jaycee was found alive having been held captive by a notorious sex offender.

    Following the conviction of kidnapper Phillip Garrido, who received a 431-year prison sentence, Jaycee: My 18 Years in Captivity, explores how it was possible for Garrido to imprison Jaycee and remain undetected for 18 years.

    The programme on 18th August at 10pm on Channel 4 includes shocking video footage which Garrido attempted to destroy but was recovered by NASA scientists. Shot by Nancy, it shows Garrido in the local park pretending to be filmed singing whilst Nancy was secretly focusing on the children in the playground behind him.

    Garrido can clearly be heard saying: "Make it look like you are pointing at me. I'll be in frame. Although you are away from me they can't tell exactly where' it's pointing."

    The programme questions how it was possible for Garrido, a convicted rapist, on parole after being convicted of kidnap and rape in 1978, to evade law enforcement despite being visited on 70 occasions. The programme also shows that police now believe that Garrido attempted to carry out kidnaps on at least four occasions before he snatched Jaycee.

    There is video evidence released by the District Attorney's Office of a visit by a parole officer to Garrido's home, failing to find Jaycee who is just a few feet away from him in the back garden. Once again filmed by Nancy the tape follows the parole officer as Garrido gives a tour of the house; the parole officer unaware of the tents and sheds in the back garden just a few feet away, housing Jaycee and her two little daughters.

    There are exclusive interviews with the attorney for Phillip Garrido; the attorney for Nancy Garrido; the former Sherrif of Contra Costa County, Warren Rupf; and Jaycee's stepfather Carl Probyn who, for 18 years, was wrongly suspected of being responsible for Jaycee's disappearance.

    Nancy's lawyer, Stephen Tapson, tries to explain how Nancy could have done precisely what Garrido said and likens his control of Nancy to that of Jaycee Lee: "She was under his thumb and she loved him and that was the way it was going to be."

    In a frank interview, Garrido's lawyer, Susan Gellman, expresses the deep sadness she experienced in the story: "This is an incredible story," she says. "You would expect to find violence in a case like this, what you wouldn't necessarily expect to find, are the family pictures that she made, um the collages, which included Nancy and Phillip. I think there was one called 'Dad' which had Phillip sort of at the centre and then pictures of the children around it. Those are the things that I cried over."

    Former Sherrif Rupf criticises the initial decision to release Garrido from prison after only 10 years. He says: "I believe he should have served 50 years and I don't believe that he should have been released. That was the first glaring opportunity to prevent what has happened.

    "We know that there is not only a glowing report that he had been cured, if you will, but also a congratulatory letter from the Federal Parole folks: 'Congratulations you have, turned yourself around'. This is in the midst of him, we now know, committing more sinister acts than they were every even aware of."

    Rupf adds that the parole service continued to fail Jaycee Lee Dugard: "The very reason they exist is to watch this man, to supervise his parole," says. "There was no other reason for their existence. There was not only failure but repeated failure, missed opportunities, time after time."

    Executive Producer, Steve Anderson, said: "Despite the horrific nature of the story and the scandal of missed opportunities by law enforcement, there is a message of hope.

    "Jaycee's own testimony, in her book and in her TV interview, shows that she is a person who is determined to overcome the past and look forward. As she says, Garrido may have stolen much of her life, 'but he did not get all of me'."

    Nick London is Producer/Director, Toby Strutt is Assistant Producer and the Editor is Chris Scurfield.

    The programme transmits on Channel 4 on 18th August at 10pm.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936. The full transcript is available.

  • Folio, part of Mentorn Media has secured a series of five hour programmes with extensive access to the emergency services in London's Soho, for Channel 5.

    Soho Blues, commissioned by Head of Factual and News Andrew O'Connell at Channel 5, follows the Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service teams in the capital's most iconic area.

    Over half a million people visit Soho every day, and it's the job of the emergency services to keep the mix of shoppers, tourists and party people all safe and well, 365 days of the year.

    Soho is an area of contrasts, designer clothes shops sit next door to sleazy strip joints, and while its home to some of the most expensive properties in the country; Soho also has the highest number of people sleeping rough in the whole of the UK.

    Soho Blues sees the police and ambulance teams as they tackle a wide range of issues that the people who live, work and enjoy Soho throw their way. They deal with shoplifters, drug users, robbers and drunks.

    Executive Producer, Matt Holden said: "We're really proud to have secured access to one of the busiest and diverse areas of London. The emergency workers here give us their frank and honest opinions from the front line in what can often be difficult and challenging work."

    Andrew O'Connell said: "Soho Blues gives a fascinating insight into London's busiest policing districts. Soho is buzzing and the series really captures just what the emergency services are up against."

    The programme is edited and produced by Dan Exelby and Sarah Robinson and the series is due for transmission later this summer.

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

  • BBC One's Question Time last night attracted 3.6 million viewers according to unofficial overnight figures.

    David Dimbleby returned to host the riot special which saw panellists David Davis, Conservative MP and former Shadow Home Secretary; John Prescott, former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party; John Sentamu, Archbishop of York; Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the Kids Company; Fraser Nelson, Editor, The Spectator; Brian Paddick, Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Metropolitan Police and former Lib Dem Mayoral candidate for London, take questions from the audience.

    Executive Producer, Steve Anderson, said: "This programme was made in two days. Producing such a high cast panel and an audience of 150 people, many with first-hand experience of the looting, is testament to the dedication and talent of the Mentorn production team. It's gratifying to see that the programme was appreciated by the audience at home.

    "The hard work continues with a special edition of Young Voters Question Time, live on BBC Three at 8.30pm tonight, presented by Richard Bacon."

    Richard Bacon hosts the programme tonight with panellists Shaun Bailey of the youth charity My Generation and a government's ambassador for "the big society", Stella Creasey MP Labour MP for Walthamstow, Adam Deacon, director of Kidulthood, and Annuvahood Sheldon Thomas from Gangsline.

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

  • BBC One has confirmed that the panellists for tonight's Question Time are: David Davis, Conservative MP and former Shadow Home Secretary; John Prescott, former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party; John Sentamu, Archbishop of York; Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of the Kids Company; Fraser Nelson, Editor, The Spectator; Brian Paddick, Former Deputy Assistant Commissioner Metropolitan Police and former Lib Dem Mayoral candidate for London.

    David Dimbleby returns to host Question Time focusing on the issues of the riots where the studio audience will put questions to the panel about the widespread rioting and looting, the role of the police and whether the underlying causes are simple criminality or widening social gaps.

    Question Time transmits on BBC One from London this Thursday 11th August, at 10.35pm and is produced by Mentorn Media.

    Mentorn Media is also producing Riots: Young Voter's Question Time live on BBC Three on Friday, August 12th at 8.30pm.  Richard Bacon hosts the programme with panellists Shaun Bailey of the youth charity My Generation and a government's ambassador for "the big society", Stella Creasey MP Labour MP for Walthamstow, Adam Deacon, director of Kidulthood, and Annuvahood Sheldon Thomas from Gangsline.

    Zai Bennett, BBC Three Controller, said: "The recent rioting across England is absolutely top of the news agenda for all audiences. We are ensuring young people get a specific chance to debate the issues around this with a special edition of Young Voters Question time live from London this Friday on BBC Three."

    Mentorn Media Executive Producer, Steve Anderson, said: "Millions of people are being affected by this week's events and want to put their concerns to the politicians who govern the country. The fact that we have been asked to produce two editions - one for the mainstream BBC One audience, the other for younger viewers who watch BBC THREE - is testament to the vital role that Question Time performs on British television."

    Sue Inglish is Commissioning Editor for Question Time and Fiona Campbell Commissioning Editor for BBC Three's Young Voter's Question Time special.

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

  • Mentorn Media Produce Two Question Time Specials for BBC

    BBC has commissioned Mentorn Media to produce Question Time and Young Voter's Question Time focusing on the issues of the UK riots, it was announced today, (TUES).

    David Dimbleby returns to host Question Time from London this Thursday 11th August, at 10.35pm on BBC One, and Richard Bacon hosts UK Riots: Young Voter's Question Time live on BBC Three on Friday, August 12th at 8.30pm.

    In both programmes, studio audiences put questions to the panel about the widespread rioting and looting, the role of the police and whether the underlying causes are simple criminality or widening social gaps.

    Executive Producer, Steve Anderson, said: "Millions of people are being affected by this week's events and want to put their concerns to the politicains who govern the country. The fact that we have been asked to produce two editions - one for the mainstream BBC One audience, the other for younger viewers who watch BBC THREE - is testament to the vital role that Question Time performs on British television."

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

  • Mentorn Media's owners, Tinopolis, has acquired US production company BASE Productions. The deal is another significant addition to Tinopolis' portfolio of global television production companies following its recent US acquisition, A. Smith & Co. BASE Productions, founded by its joint CEO's John Brenkus and Mickey Stern, is a vertically integrated production company with its own studio and production facilities at its headquarters in Burbank, California and offices in Washington DC. BASE is a supplier of television to many networks.

    Amongst its best known programmes are Sport Science, a long-running series for ESPN, Known Universe and Fight Science for National Geographic, Police POV for Tru Tv with its innovative use of police actuality footage and Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.

    As well as Mentorn Media, Tinopolis - backed by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners - owns sports production company Sunset+Vine, Pioneer and US network producer A. Smith & Co.

    The company produces around 1,600 hours of drama, factual, entertainment and sports programming each year for more than 200 broadcasters worldwide. The acquisition is part of its diversification and growth strategy and strengthens its already substantial US factual entertainment business.

    BASE Productions will be able to tap into the company's worldwide resources and enjoy enhanced access to the UK for its non-scripted productions. It will continue to maintain its independence as a production company. Mickey Stern joins the main board of Tinopolis and will continue to lead BASE alongside his co-CEO, John Brenkus.

    Tinopolis Executive Chairman Ron Jones said: "We have admired the Company built up by John and Mickey for some time. They have established a business based on great creativity and impressive business common sense. BASE is a producer trusted and respected throughout the industry and alongside A. Smith & Co we now have a US business with depth and breadth of coverage."

    "BASE has experience and formats with the potential to be successful world-wide. This will be a major opportunity for our distribution company, MINT, and reinforces our plans to build a portfolio of brands and formats that work internationally."

    "We have a strong reputation for producing quality programmes across a range of genres. In sport we supply the BBC's coverage of the horse racing classics such as the Derby and all sports coverage for BBC Scotland and Channel 5. From our drama expertise in Daybreak and Fiction Factory to our expertise in live programming, particularly for S4C, and Mentorn and Pioneer's record on factual programmes, we are a strong creative team. With two major producers in the US now as part of the group Tinopolis has become a truly international player and even better able to serve our customers around the world."

    "We've been approached by numerous companies over the years, and none of the offers made sense until now." said John Brenkus, Co-CEO of BASE. "We are thrilled to be joining a group that is as dynamic as Tinopolis, and to be playing a key role in helping to shape the Group's future. Between their UK core, and our new alliance with A. Smith & Co here in the U.S., our combined global reach, quality programming and outstanding management make the Tinopolis Group a true force in the industry."

  • Mentorn Media is working on a updated documentary about the astonishing discovery of Jaycee Lee Dugard, it has been announced.

    It was the story that stunned the world, when 18 years after she was kidnapped, Jaycee was found alive having been held captive by a notorious sex offender.

    The film is an updated version of the 2009 Cutting Edge film Mentorn Media produced on the Jaycee Dugard case.

    Following the conviction of kidnapper Phillip Garrido, who received a 400 year prison sentence, this programme explores how it was possible for Garrido to imprison Jaycee and remain undetected for 18 years.

    Commissioned by Channel 4's Mark Raphael, the 1 x 60 is due to transmit in mid-August.

    Jaycee's own shocking testimony features in this edition as well as exclusive interviews with Garrido's lawyer, the lawyer for Garrido's wife, Nancy; the local Sherrif and Jaycee's stepfather Carl Probyn who, for 18 years, was wrongly suspected of being responsible for Jaycee's disappearance.

    In addition there's shocking new video evidence released by the District Attorney's Office of a visit by a parole officer to Garrido's home, failing to find Jaycee who is just a few feet away from him in the back garden. The programme questions how it was possible for Garrido, a convicted rapist, on parole after being convicted of kidnap and rape in 1978, to evade law enforcement despite being visited on 60 occasions.

    Executive Producer, Steve Anderson, said: "Despite the horrific nature of the story and the scandal of missed opportunities by law enforcement, there is a message of hope.

    "Jaycee's own testimony, in her book and in her TV interview, shows that she is a person who is determined to overcome the past and look forward. As she says, Garrido may have stolen much of her life, 'but he did not get all of me'."

    Nick London is Producer/Director, Toby Strutt is Assistant Producer and the Editor is Chris Scurfield.

    Mentorn International will be distributing the documentary.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936