• Following its previous successful and provocative two runs, BBC Three and BBC Learning have commissioned a third series of Free Speech, it has been announced today.

    Produced by Mentorn Media, the makers of Question Time, the live current affairs debate programme will return in March, changing from a monthly broadcast to fortnightly transmissions. The run will start with four episodes before returning after the summer recess with six more twice-monthly shows.

    Rick Edwards will resume the role of host, overseeing the debate where the studio audience and BBC Three viewers choose the topics put to the panel. The 2014 run sees a change in the role of social media for the show, with the online audience being put in control: using Facebook and other social media outlets, viewers will be able to submit questions and topics before voting on the programme agenda.

    Integrating the online and TV experience in a way which mirrors how its audience is watching and consuming media, the series will continue to gauge what its audience are talking about. From online porn to terrorism, immigration to benefits, the riots to underage sex, Free Speech will tackle the subjects and issues that affect young people today.

    The series, which ended its run last year broadcasting live from Westminster Hall with specially recorded VTs from the Party Leaders answering viewer questions, will also gain a brand new set. Following the success of its Magaluf broadcast in July 2013 the new set will allow for more outside broadcasts as well as see the programme air from hitherto unvisited locations, including a Mosque and the Broadwater Farm housing estate in Tottenham, North London.

    Presenter Tina Daheley will return to gather the Twitter, Facebook and website messages live on air, and the social media content will be handled in house by Mentorn Media. The unique ‘Power Bar’ - where people at home vote using a Twitter hashtag - will be back to now focus on the issues being discussed as opposed to what the panellists are saying.

    BBC Three Controller, Zai Bennett, said: “BBC Three’s Free Speech is the only show on television where young adults can debate the issues of the day and put their views immediately to those in power. I’m delighted that the enormously talented Rick Edwards and Tina Daheley are returning to give our audience their say on the issues that matter to them in this new regular format.”

    Brendan Miller, the Series Producer said: “Our aim is to be open and genuinely hand over the power to our audience. We believe that for our audience - who are so often ignored by the politicians - this is a really powerful way of letting them know it’s genuinely their programme.”

    Hayley Valentine, Mentorn's Director of Current Affairs added, “I am delighted to be overseeing this new series of Free Speech and really looking forward to tackling the big issues which Britain's young people want to debate, plus giving them the opportunity to shape the agenda and question decision makers direct about the policies which affect their lives.”

    Free Speech, which launched in March 2012, will continue to push key topics and respond to breaking news. The last series saw hit shows including the fast turnaround Syria debate and included Tommy Robinson, former Leaders of the EDL, making a controversial appearance where he was confronted by Saria Khan, as well as seeing rapper Akala tackle racism head on.

    Free Speech is a co-commission from BBC Three, BBC Learning and BBC News and Current Affairs.

    The Series Producer is Brendan Miller. The Executive Producers are Hayley Valentine, Emma Morgan and Mark Roberts for Mentorn Media; Abigail Appleton for BBC Learning and Darren Kemp for BBC News and Current Affairs.

    Transmission dates (tbc) and locations for the first four editions are:

    Wednesday 12th March - Birmingham Central Mosque

    Tuesday 25th March - Broadwater Farm Estate, Tottenham

    Thursday 10th April - Winchester

    Thursday 24th April - Nottingham

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

  • BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Swindon on Thursday, February 20th.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the Wiltshire town which sees with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond MP; Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall MP; former leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy MP; author Jeanette Winterson, and philosopher Roger Scruton, face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

  • After the success of the first series, BBC Three has re-commissioned Mentorn Media’s popular factual entertainment format programme, Hotel of Mum and Dad, it has been announced.

    Building on the original format, the 6x60 series will see 12 more couples, who have had to ‘bunk up’ with their parents or in-laws, tackle the challenge of road testing a place of their own. With more focus on family dynamics before the couple moves out, the series will rig cameras in the parental home so viewers will witness the mayhem and excitement before the young lovebirds get to have a taste of freedom – and all the stress that comes with it.

    In light of high house prices, unemployment, rent, debts and childcare costs, it’s a growing trend for multiple generations to live under one roof.  This very 21st Century phenomenon isn’t always due to budgetary difficulties but can also be down to mollycoddling parents; Hotel of Mum and Dad will continue to show the real drama of what it takes to stand on your own two feet.

    Mentorn Media’s Director of Programmes, Hannah Wyatt, said: “We’re delighted to be making another series of Hotel of Mum and Dad. We hope to continue to shine a light on how hard it can be to leave home but also how rewarding it is when couples take those first steps to independence by living on their own.”

    Executive Editor, Entertainment Commissioning Alan Tyler said: “The first series of Hotel of Mum and Dad brought the BBC Three audience some terrific stories told with both humour and heart. We are really looking forward to seeing how a new group of young couples take on the challenge of moving out and moving on.”

    The series has been ordered by and Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, and Alan Tyler, BBC Commissioning Editor. 

    It will be made by Mentorn Scotland and Executive Producers for Mentorn Media will continue to be Kat Lennox and Hannah Wyatt.

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

  • BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is being hosted from Scunthorpe on Thursday, February 13th.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the North Lincolnshire town which sees Home Office Minister Damian Green MP; Shadow Employment Minister Chris Bryant MP; UKIP’s Janice Atkinson; scientist and broadcaster Lord Winston, and Daily Telegraph blogger 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

    For further 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 Gillingham in Kent on Thursday, February 6th.

    David Dimbleby chairs the programme from the Kent town which sees Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock MP; former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell MP; Respect MP George Galloway; historian David Starkey, and economist Professor Alison Wolf of King’s College London, face questions from the audience.

    To apply for a seat in the audience you can register your question at www.bbc.co.uk/questiontime

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