• Head of More4 Hamish Mykura has commissioned a 1 x 60 documentary from Mentorn Media, Good Dog, Bad Dog, to air alongside the channel's coverage of Crufts. The Producer/Director is Annie Kossoff and the Executive Producer for Mentorn is Steve Anderson.

    Good Dog, Bad Dog will sort through the current debate about the health and welfare of pedigree dogs, to provide would-be buyers and breeders with guidance on best practice. The programme will look at the recommendations of the independent inquiry into pedigree dog breeding, carried out by Prof Sir Patrick Bateson.

    The documentary was specially commissioned to look at the issues and concerns surrounding dog welfare and best practice in dog breeding.

    Featuring contributions from practitioners and leading vets, the documentary aims to equip viewers with essential knowledge before buying or breeding pedigree dogs. Contributors will include: Julie Bedford Blue Cross, Head of Behaviour , Professor Sir Patrick Bateson Cambridge University Zoologist, Beverley Cuddy Editor, Dogs Today Magazine, Caroline Kisko Kennel Club Secretary, Nicky Paull Immediate Past President BVA, GP Veterinary Surgeon.

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

  • BBC Four has commissioned Mentorn Media to produce a special programme exploring the life and work of Music Hall legend Sid Field, it was announced today (THURS).

    David Suchet, whose love affair with the Music Hall has shaped his personal and professional life, presents the documentary on Sid Field - a pioneer of both camp and sketch comedy. Suchet's Music Hall Hero (Working title) sees David trace the history of Sid's life and career interviewing people who lived and worked with him.

    It was David's Grandmother who performed as a sand dancer in the old time Music Hall who first inspired David to take to the stage and follow in her vaudeville footsteps. David Suchet said: "Sid Field is my hero and one of my proudest moments was performing as Sid in William's Humbles musical 'What a Performance' at the Queens Theatre in 1994. To be asked to present this programme is an absolute honour."

    Throughout the programme, we will also learn of David's personal connections to the Music Hall and in particular Sid Field. David has a photograph of Sid taken by his grandfather who was a press photographer. David even owns a small white rabbit memento that James Stewart gave Sid Field as a good luck charm. It was given to him by a fan when David starred in 'What a Performance' - the stage adaption of Sid Field's life.

    David will also explore how the change in entertainment media lead to the demise of the Music Hall and how Sid found the transition to film from a live audience difficult but how his influence has lived on in many comic geniuses of our time.

    Mentorn Media's John Wills, said: "We're delighted to be working with such a popular actor as David Suchet who has such a deep understanding of Music Hall. Sid Field was a comic genius and whilst the documentary promises to be amusing in many ways we hope it will also really get under the surface to reveal a sense of the man behind the laughter."

    Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, Arts for BBC Four, said: "I know of nobody better than David Suchet to tell the remarkable story of this great lost star of the music hall who at his height was an entertainment legend and lay down the prototype for many of today's most famous acts."

    The documentary which will transmit later this year, was developed by Head of Development, Dan Goldsack and Sonia Beldom, and was commissioned by Richard Klein and Mark Bell. Tom Cholmondeley is Director.

    For further information please call Louise Plank at Mentorn Media on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Dermot O'Leary will host "First Time Voters ' Question Time" on BBC Three on 3rd March, 2010. Dermot will host a panel discussion with the main political parties in front of an audience of first time voters. Broadcast live from Canary Warf, London, the confirmed panel will be revealed nearer the time.

    First Time Voters' Question Time is part of a package of BBC Three programmes bringing political coverage to the 16 to 34-year-old audience. BBC Business editor Robert Peston recently fronted trails explaining how to register to vote, which can still be seen on www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree. Robert will also front trails explaining how to vote closer to the time of the General Election. Further political programmes on BBC Three will be aired in the run up to the election and will be announced shortly.

    Danny Cohen, Controller of BBC Three said: "BBC Three has a unique role to play as the only youth-targeted British television channel with a regular and passionate commitment to Current Affairs. We have exciting plans to cover the build-up to the General Election, and are keen to engage young people who may not typically watch political coverage. We're delighted to have Dermot O'Leary as our host for this programme. He is passionate about politics and hugely popular with young people."

    The one-off programme will be produced by Mentorn Media, makers of BBC One's Question Time, as a separate commission.

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

  • Former ITN chairman and chief executive Mark Wood is appointed chairman of the Scottish News Consortium which is bidding for the government's channel 3 and multiplatform Scottish news contract, the alliance announced today.

    The consortium groups DC Thomson, the Herald & Times Group, Johnston Press and television producer Tinopolis's Mentorn Scotland subsidiary.

    The companies have a network of some 1,000 editorial staff in offices across Scotland.

    A consortium spokesman said: "Mark brings experience at the most senior levels in British television news and a sophisticated understanding of the multiplatform world. We welcome him to this Scottish partnership which plans to bring an unsurpassable range and depth of news and debate to the people of Scotland."
    Wood said: "The consortium will transform the way television and broadband news is covered in Scotland and create a new model for partnership between newspapers and broadcasters.

    "Nowhere else in the UK can a news service tap into such an incredible network of journalists as the three media groups offer in Scotland. Add to that the television expertise of Mentorn and our ground-breaking plans for a truly multi-platform and interactive tv/web news service and this is a dramatically new way of engaging Scottish viewers with national regional and community news," he added.

    The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is seeking bids to provide the Scottish news to STV along with innovative use of digital platforms. Commercial television companies say that with falling advertising revenue they can no longer afford to cover this kind of news. Bidding closes March 2 with the winner due to be announced on March 25.

    Notes to editors:

    Mark Wood was formerly Chairman and Chief executive of ITN, which produces ITV News and Channel 4 News. At ITN he developed a range of successful digital new media businesses. Before ITN he was Editor-in-Chief of Reuters, in charge of the organisation's global news, photo and video services. At Reuters he also had responsibility for developing the media business and was a member of the Reuters PLC Board.
    Wood is now involved in a number of new media businesses as an investor or director. He is also on the Board of Future PLC, the global magazine publishing group.

    Wood started his career as a foreign correspondent and was based in Moscow, Berlin, Bonn and Vienna.

    DC Thomson & Co Ltd was founded in 1905 and produces more than 100 million newspapers and magazines annually. The company publishes a number of newspaper titles, including The Press & Journal, Evening Express, The Courier & Advertiser, Evening Telegraph and The Sunday Post. DC Thomson also publishes a number of magazines, children's publications and owns two book publishing companies. It is deeply involved in internet technology through its wholly-owned subsidiary Brightsolid (formerly Scotland Online), a leading UK independent provider of IT business services to large public and private sector organisations.

    The Herald & Times Group publishes The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times and news web sites heraldscotland.com and eveningtimes.co.uk. It also publishes niche magazines and owns the s1 internet advertising company and a major printing plant. The Glasgow-based group was founded in 1783 and has some 600 staff.

    Johnston Press is the second largest regional press company in the UK, employing over 6,000 staff and with a turnover in 2008 of £532m. The company has strong connections to Scotland having originated in Falkirk in 1767 and with its headquarters located in Edinburgh. Johnston Press is one of the biggest news organisations in Scotland with an extensive portfolio of newspapers and associated websites, including The Scotsman and scotsman.com.

    Employing more than 400 people in London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Oxford and Llanelli, the Tinopolis Group produces broadcast television programming for all major domestic channels. Subsidiaries include Mentorn Media; leading sports producer Sunset + Vine; BAFTA-winning drama producers Daybreak Pictures; specialist factual producers Pioneer Productions; and the leading TV training company Video Arts, originally founded by John Cleese. Tinopolis Interactive specialises in new media products for education, training, corporate development and entertainment. Mentorn Scotland has been producing TV programmes for almost a decade, with titles such as Clans (BBC Scotland), The Last Word (BBC Scotland) and Traffic Cops (BBC One). Mentorn has produced Question Time for the BBC for 11 years from more than 200 locations across the UK, including Scottish venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fort William, Perth, Dunfermline, Aberdeen, Dundee and the Shetland Isles.

    Press contact: Andrew Richardson
    Johnston Press
    0131-220 9604