Mentorn Media has promoted Nicolai Gentchev to Director of Current Affairs, it was announced today (WEDS).

    Gentchev, who has been at Mentorn Scotland for five-and-a-half years as editor of Question Time, becomes Executive Producer of the political debate show as part of his new role which includes developing and executive producing a range of current affairs programmes. 

    During his time as editor of Question Time, Nicolai has also edited BBC Scotland’s ‘Referendum Debates’ series in 2014 and has been executive producer on various one-off programmes, including the ‘Big, Big Debate’ at the Hydro, which was nominated for a BAFTA and won the RTS Scotland Award for Best Referendum Programme.

    Jonathan Hewes, Chief Executive, Mentorn Media, said: "We are delighted to announce Nicolai's promotion to the position of Director of Current Affairs after his extremely successful editorship of Question Time; he has a wealth of political, news and current affairs experience and as he moves to Executive Producer role, we are looking for a new Editor of Question Time." 

    Gentchev replaces Hayley Valentine who has left Mentorn Media after three years to pursue other opportunities. 

    He continued: “Hayley has been an incredible Director of Current Affairs, overseeing some of the standout current affairs programming of the last few years, and securing a series of fast turnaround specials with the BBC at a time of unprecedented political uncertainty. We wish her the very best in her future.” 

    Before joining Mentorn Media as Editor of Question Time, Gentchev was Editor of ‘Good Morning Scotland’, BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship news programme, in the build up to the 2010 General Election.  Previous to that, he has been an output editor on Radio 4’s Today programme, and before that worked for several years as a business reporter and producer for the BBC and Bloomberg News.

    Nicolai said: “The Question Time team is a force to be reckoned with. I've been enormously proud to work with them for nearly six years and particularly over some of the most defining moments of recent years. I'm delighted that I will still be working with Question Time in my new role and continuing the incredible work that Hayley has produced.” 

    Hayley Valentine said: “It’s been an extraordinary climate to produce some very special editions of Question Time. As well as the outstanding three years of Question Time, I’m proud to have overseen so many other important political programmes – from Free Speech, to the Dimbleby Interviews, from the Hydro to The Big Questions. It’s been a fantastic experience and it feels the right time to hand over the reins.”

    Mentorn Scotland has produced Question Time since 2012, and is currently looking for a new Editor to be based in Glasgow. To apply, please email Jill Greenwood at Mentorn Scotland: JGreenwood@mentorn.tv. Closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 16th September.

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


    Dara Ó Briain today announced Apollo has been crowned the champions of Robot Wars 2016.

    More commonly known as ‘the boy band of Robot Wars’ on the show; the Apollo team, Dave, Marc and Ben who are friends from North Wales, were presented the prestigious trophy by Dara Ó Briain and Angela Scanlon.

    The competition has been gruelling, with Apollo competing in nine battles before going up against Carbide in the Grand Final. In the end, the final decision was down to the judges: Professor Noel Sharkey, Dr Lucy Rogers and Professor Sethu Vijayakumar, who came to the unanimous decision that team Apollo were the worthy winners of Robot Wars 2016.

    Dave said: “We can't believe our luck winning Robot Wars. For three guys from a non-engineering background to win a show like this is crazy. Nine years ago when we all met as Bluecoats we would never think this would happen. We had a few issues with Apollo during the competition in the early stages. But it still held its own. We made a few enemies with house robots along the way. But when it mattered the robot worked perfectly. We hope everyone loved the show, as a group of entertainers we want to make sure people had as much fun watching the show, as we did competing in it. Hopefully there will be another series where we hope to defend the title!”

    Forty robot teams tested their luck in the purpose built arena in Glasgow across the series, not only facing each other but also the dangerous hazards of Fire, Spikes, The Flipper and The iconic Pit. As well as this, the robot teams had to avoid the iconic House Robots. Aiming to terminate anything that strays into their zone of the arena - Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt and Dead Metal were out to get any robot brave enough to venture into their sector.

    Many robots were tossed out of the arena, cooked on the flames and smashed to pieces, but Apollo survived it all, whilst still being described by presenter Dara Ó Briain as ‘the great entertainers of this series’.

    The thrilling final saw the six finalists Carbide, Shockwave, TR2, Apollo, Pulsar and Thor compete in two group battles, each with three robots in, determining one loser from each fight who were then eliminated. The four surviving robots then faced off in the head to heads, competing in a series of one-on-one fights in order to score enough points to make it into the Grand Final.

    Apollo went into the final full of determination as they faced Carbide who had beaten them in a previous head-to-head earlier in the Final.

    Ben Bacon from Apollo said: “It’s more than just the Grand Final, this is our revenge match.”

    Notorious for being the flipper that humiliated the house robots, Apollo made full use of the house robots and arena hazards in aiding their win. Despite struggling to close the front flipper towards the end of the fight, Apollo thought on their feet and used Carbide’s shunts to shut the flipper again before striking again.

    Apollo was described as ‘worthy winners’ – they took on three out of four House Robots as well as nearly all of the competition they faced and despite the damage from their opponents they were able to pull through to become champion.

    The DVD, Blu-ray and digital downloads from Robot Wars will be released on Monday 29th August. For all Robot Wars fans the chance to own the series you love and watch again, whenever you choose, the amazing robots and the destruction caused on route to finding the latest Robot Wars champion.

    For further information, pictures or interviews with Apollo please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com 




    BBC Four has commissioned Peter York’s The Hipster Handbook, a one-off documentary from Mentorn Media in association with Moore Television, it was announced today (Friday 26th Aug).

    Presented by cultural commentator Peter York, this authored documentary looks at the rise of the hipster and how this phenomenon has changed the world around us. Through his exploration of the hipster movement, Peter reveals a society desperate for the authentic and big businesses that are appropriating ‘authenticity’ in order to sell it back to us.

    York will delve into the complexity of the authentic versus the inauthentic, and how hipsters battle with the mainstream to reclaim the values and trends they have created.

    Peter York said: “The hipster style is taking over the world. Where does it come from and where does it end? We explore who these people are with their moisturised beards, check shirts and craft beers.”

    Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes and Executive Producer, Mentorn Media said: “Peter York’s The Hipster Handbook takes an authentic look at how the complex battle we face as consumers of what is truly authentic in the society that we live in. Peter provides a wonderful insight investigating this bearded cultural tribe and helps uncover how the evolution of the hipster has actually affected all of our lives.”

    Peter York’s The Hipster Handbook has been commissioned by Mark Bell for BBC Four and will be executive produced by Tayte Simpson, Director of Programmes, for Mentorn Media, Geoff Moore for Moore Television and Emma Cahusac for the BBC.

    For more information please contact Annabel Rudden at annabel@plankpr.com or 07763420892



    BBC One’s political debate programme, Question Time, is returning for a new series beginning with a Labour Leadership Hustings Special, it was announced today (MON).

    The live programme from Oldham will see David Dimbleby chair the debate between Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, on Thursday, September 8th at 9pm on BBC One.

    David Dimbleby said: “It’s good news that the two contenders for the Labour leadership have agreed to appear in front of a Question Time audience. As we saw in the EU referendum debates, and the general election debates, there’s nothing like a Question Time audience for discovering and testing different political views.”

    The programme is produced for BBC One by Mentorn Scotland with Nicolai Gentchev as Editor.

    It will be available on BBC iPlayer after transmission. Follow the debate on Twitter and Facebook via #bbcqt @bbcQuestionTime

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