BBC Three has commissioned Mentorn Media to make
a factual entertainment series, Hotel of Mum and Dad
(working title), about the growing trend of young coupleshaving to
move back in with their parents or in-laws, it has been
1 in 10 young people have moved back home with their
partner - that's a staggering 300,000 couples. But
with sky-high house prices, fewer jobs, rent through
the roof, crippling debts and extortionate childcare costs,
it's a growing trend for multiple generations to live under one
roof. The 6x60' series gets a first-hand look at the various
compromising situations faced by the couples who have had to
'bunk up' with the parents or in-laws. Each episode then challenges
couples to test drive a place of their own that fits their
budget. The series contrasts the potential nightmare of
the family dynamics between two
generations when shacked up under one
roof with the effect on everyone involved when the couple
Will the young lovebirds cope in the real world? Do mum and dad
miss them? Or do they all get on better when there's some
Whether they live with parents to bring down child care costs or
because they like their mother's home cooking too much to leave,
the series will explore a range of family dynamics and
relationships through this very 21st Century phenomenon.
Mentorn Media's Director of Programmes, Hannah Wyatt, said:
"We're delighted to be making this programme and working with the
team at BBC Three. This is designed to be a funny and heart-warming
series, exploring a very 21st century phenomenon in a humorous
and insightful way."
Zai Bennett said: "In Hotel of Mum and Dad we're going
to see what life is really like living as a couple under the same
roof as your mum and dad and if we can't coax you to take those
first steps to independence with your own home".
The series has been ordered by Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC
Three; Alan Tyler, Executive Editor, Entertainment Commissioning
and Fiona Campbell, Commissioning Editor for Independents at BBC
News and Current Affairs, and will be made by Mentorn Scotland.
With Passion Distribution firmly implanted in the
Tinopolis Group, the company will be heading to MIPTV with two new
series from Pioneer Productions, just one of the Group's production
Passion Distribution's new programming line-up for MIPTV
includes STRANGEST WEATHER ON EARTH and WEATHER THAT CHANGED THE
WORLD. Passion expects to licence both series in over 40
territories and follow in the global footprint of STORM
STORM CITY (4 x 60') was originally produced by Pioneer
Productions for Sky 2D, Sky 3D, Sky Atlantic and National
Geographic US. Recent sales include SBS (Australia), Media
Contents Store (Korea), Nelonen Media (Finland), TV3 (New Zealand),
DR (Denmark), M6 (France) and Pan-Eastern Europe
The hugely ambitious series takes weather storms to a
spectacular new level. Using state of the art technology and
science, we witness the blow-by-blow damage of orchestrated natural
disasters, from killer quakes to amazing floods, as they wreak
havoc on a specially constructed 'city'.
STRANGEST WEATHER ON EARTH (12 x 30') looks at weather events
so bizarre they're beyond our wildest imagination, from fire-nadoes
to fish and worms falling from the sky. In this series we'll
explore the wild and wonderful world of the weirdest weather on
Earth. WEATHER THAT CHANGED THE WORLD (9 x 30') reveals how our
history has been shaped by weather, from the sinking of the Titanic
to the crash of the Hindenburg. We see how severe drought,
torrential rain, extreme cold and unpredictable winds have created
dramatic turning points in history.
Both documentary series were produced by Pioneer Productions
for The Weather Channel. As previously reported, Passion is also
launching 4 new series direct for The Weather Channel as part of an
exclusive agreement between the companies.
Following an independent assessment by ISO
certification specialist QMS International, Video Arts was judged
to have quality management processes and procedures in place that
enable it to provide best practice generic and custom video
training, as well as e-learning and m-learning resources, that
consistently meet the exacting requirements of its customers.
All areas of the company's business were assessed in the
accreditation, including its product line, its working
practices, its learning and development activity and its
"Our reputation has been built on the quality of our resources
and our level of service," said Martin Addison, CEO of Video Arts.
"The fact that we've now held the internationally-acclaimed ISO
9001 for 12 years provides reassurance to our customers that we set
ourselves very high standards. We constantly evaluate our
operations to ensure that those standards are maintained and
further improved. The values of quality, service and
continuous improvement are embedded into our business, along with
great learning content, and we regard these as key to customer
ISO 9001 is a standard recognised in over 150 countries
worldwide. However, Greville Payne of QMS International, who was
involved in the assessment of Video Arts, highlighted that only
five percent of UK businesses have been awarded ISO 9001
certification. He paid tribute to "the investment in people and
training that enables Video Arts to provide an efficient service to
Founded in 1972, Video Arts is the world's leading provider of
video-based learning. It serves customers in 50 countries and
produces learning content in 40 languages.
Passion Distribution is set to launch 120 new hours of
programming from OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network at MIPTV in
April. The slate is part of an exclusive distribution
agreement between the two companies. The new shows and
returning series represent the growing success of the network in
the U.S. and include 12 new series and 8 headlining specials
featuring extraordinary stories.
Series highlights include, among many others, a new
reality series from producers World of Wonder LIFE WITH LA TOYA (10
x 30'). Showbiz icon, La Toya Jackson, takes us into the
world of her globally high profile family as she sets out to make
dramatic life changes and confronts all they have been through,
tackling love and her career all on her own unpredictable terms.
LIFE WITH LA TOYA premieres on OWN in the US on 13th
DELIVER ME (10 x 60') fulfils viewer's insatiable appetite
for birth stories and the women on the frontline of delivery
holding the hands of soon to be mums as they give birth.
From birth stories to dog rescuers - the new reality
series DOGFELLAS (10 X 30')(WORKING TITLE)follows a former street
enforcer for the mafia whose life-changing encounter with a stray
pup inspired him to open a top dog grooming parlour in Brooklyn,
IYANLA: FIX MY LIFE (13 x 60') features inspirational
speaker and accomplished author, Iyanla Vanzant, as she goes behind
closed doors and deep inside the most private
parts of people's lives for emotional, riveting conversations.
Secrets will be revealed, truths will be uncovered and emotions
will come out as Vanzant teaches us how to pull back the
curtain on what is broken in our lives.
Lisa Ling, renowned journalist, returns with another
season of her critically acclaimed documentary series (18 x 60'),
ideal either to schedule as singles or a series. Ling
takes viewers along for an in-depth look at some of the most
controversial and thought-provoking issues in the world today,
covering subjects from swingers and modern polygamy to young girls
entering convents and faith healers.
New program offerings also include a look into the world
of PROSTITUTION: LEAVING THE LIFE (1 x 120'), inmates SERVING LIFE
(1 x 120') for an average sentence of 90 years in prison and
individuals who ended up in dramatic, intense and life altering
situations in THE NIGHT I ALMOST DIED (1 x 60').
Sally Miles CEO of Passion Distribution quote: "Our
relationship with OWN has gone from strength to strength and this
is the strongest line up yet to bring to market. We know our
buyers are going to be excited to hear about the new series and
specials available for their schedules."
Astronomy and space research are lifting
off this week, with the launch of
Cosmic Comics. Published online by Llanelli-based media company
Tinopolis, the project is the brainchild of Dr Emma Weitkamp, the
creator of Science Comics, from
University of West England, Bristol.
The comic draws on the astronomical expertise of Prof Paul Roche
of the University of Glamorgan and is brought to life by
illustrator Dave Smith and website editor Charles Wilson of
Cosmic Comics follows the adventures of three ordinary teenagers
who are given access to the fantastic facilities of the Faulkes
Telescope South , a world-class research telescope in
Published weekly on Planet Science, the five
episode comic will be supported by short articles explaining the
science behind the children's exploits as well as
interactive polls and quizzes to test readers' astronomy
knowledge. All five episodes will remain on the website allowing
browsers to catch up on any missed episodes.
The central characters in the Cosmic Comics are Jake, Mara and
Ravi who are studying for their GCSEs at the White Horse Academy in
Rockley. They are taught by astronomy enthusiast Mr Krater who has
managed to get access to the Faulkes Telescope South. The 'Cosmic
Comics crew' turn their eyes towards the heavens and put our solar
system under scrutiny. As they get to grips with using a real
research telescope, their adventures begin.
Before starting the project Dr Weitkamp explored the reading
habits of young teenagers and found that 40% of 13 to 15 year olds
read a comic weekly or daily with a similar percent reading about
science on the internet on a daily or weekly basis. Of 10 and 12
year olds, about 35% were reportedly reading a comic daily or
weekly with about 24% reading about science on the internet.
"Young people love reading and research shows that placing
science into a wider context not only helps engage readers but also
facilitates learning", said Dr Emma Weitkamp. "Feedback from the
Science Comics project showed that children loved the stories and
teachers commented how helpful it was to place chemistry in an
everyday context." Cosmic Comics aims to do the same with
Prof. Paul Roche, chair of Astronomy Education at the University
of Glamorgan and the science consultant to the project said, "The
comic storylines will help us to communicate some very exciting
space science and astronomy, like the threat posed by asteroid and
comet impacts, or eruptions from the Sun that might damage our
satellite networks. It's all about real science, but in a
format that should appeal to our target audience. There is lots of
really interesting science going on out there, and we want to show
that the UK is at the leading edge of much of this international
"Tinopolis Interactive have been hosting a
world-class science education website for the last three
years", said Charles Wilson, editor of Planet Science. "It's
very exciting for us to be part of a project which will inspire a
new generation of astronomy enthusiasts".
Cosmic Comics is funded by the Science and Technology
Facilities Council (STFC).
Long-running series, ICONOCLASTS, continues its track of
successful sales with its 6th season (6x30') for Passion
The 6th season of this highly acclaimed show has proved a
global hit, being licensed in over 134 territories, securing a
number of large pan deals including Asia (Sundance Channel), Latin
America (Turner), the Middle East (DMTV) and Central Eastern Europe
(Sundance Channel). The UK (Sky), Canada (Sundance Channel) and
France (Sundance Channel) picked up the latest season after
successfully running all 5 previous seasons. Denmark (DR-K),
Germany (NBC Biography) and New Zealand (Rialto) have also acquired
the latest season after seeing great success from ICONOCLASTS'
ICONOCLASTS, a Grey Goose and @Radical Media production, is
a profile series bringing together two celebrity icons from varying
worlds, including music, fashion and art, dropping them into an
intimate situation. Produced for Sundance Channel, the latest
season features icons such as, TV chef Jamie Oliver, designer Paul
Smith, singer Norah Jones, and actor James Franco, to
name a few. The first 5 seasons of ICONOCLASTS (30x60') have
historically sold well for Passion, being licensed in over 118
territories including Australia (Foxtel), Italy (Sky Arts), Korea
(Sky HD), Israel (Talit), Poland (Onet), and Pan-Africa (Seed
Passion Distribution's Director of Sales, Emma Simpkins said
"The intimate, unprecedented access to iconic celebs that
ICONOCLASTS gives its audience, makes this a smart acquisition for
international buyers. The return of all previous licensees to this
new season is proof that this is a show that delivers what
international buyers and audiences want."
Back in July 2012
we published the first Welsh language children's books on the Apple
iBookstore. Sales have been successful and now we are pleased to
announce that all fifty books from the popular Pobl Pedol series
are now available as iBooks. They are aimed at helping children
with Dyslexia and encouraging children and parents to learn Welsh.
Split into four different phonic levels, each book covers certain
letters and sounds.
At 49p each they're a great addition to your electronic
The Pobl Pedol book are the third installment in the Pitrwm
Buy Pobl Pedol books.
Yn ôl ym mis Gorffennaf 2012, cyhoeddon ni'r iBook Cymraeg
cyntaf ar yr Apple iBookstore. Mae'r llyfrau digidol wedi gwerthu'n
dda a nawr rydyn ni'n falch o gael cyhoeddi bod pob un o'r 50 o
lyfrau Pobl Pedol nawr ar gael fel iBooks. Eu nod yw helpu plant â
Dyslecsia i fwynhau darllen yn ogystal ag annog plant a rhieni i
ddysgu Cymraeg. Mae'r llyfrau wedi'u rhannu i bedair lefel ffoneg
sy'n mynd i'r afael â llythrennau a synau penodol.
Am 49c maen nhw'n ychwanegiad gwych i'ch llyfrgell
Pobl Pedol yw'r drydedd gyfrol yn y gyfres Pitrwm
Prynwch lyfr Pobl
Last night, after months of working
Promotion Walesand Careers Wales launched a
careers DVD focusing on the red meat industry in Wales. Many
industry representatives, assembly members and careers officers got
together at y Senedd in Cardiff Bay to celebrate the
The DVD was filmed in all over Wales on
farms, with auctioneers, vets an butchers to name but a few.
Dai Davies, the chairman of Meat Promotion Wales opened the
ceremony by inviting the young people of Wales to really consider
the meat industry as a career path. Using quotes from the DVD's
contributors he said the red meat industry holds "promising
prospects" for the young people of Wales. He added, that the DVD
really sings Wales's praises and that each of the ten contributors
showed that you can have a successful career in the red meat
industry in Wales.
He thanked Careers Wales for their support
throughout the project and also to Tinopolis Interactive who
managed to "capture on camera the spirit of the
Alun Davies, Deputy Minister for
Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and European Programmes who
participated in the DVD said that it had been a privilege to be
part of something that will encourage young people to think about a
career in one of Wales' most promising industries.
Copies of the DVD are freely available to
schools and careers officers. You can view the videos
BBC Three and BBC Learning
have commissioned a new series of Free Speech, the monthly live
current affairs debate programme, it has been announced.
Produced by Mentorn Media, the makers of Question Time, the new
presenter of Free Speech will be Rick Edwards. He takes over from
Jake Humphrey when the next programme is broadcast on February 13,
Broadcaster Rick Edwards, who counts presenting the C4
Paralympics coverage and being a columnist for the Observer
Magazine amongst his many and varied credits, said: "It's hugely
exciting to be joining the Free Speech team - it's clearly a very
important show, and unique in the way that it engages with an often
under-represented younger audience. I'm looking forward to hearing
their take on the issues that matter to them, and occasionally
sticking my oar in. As for stepping into Jake's lovely shoes, I'm
lucky; we're both a size 11."
Free Speech launched in March 2012. Commissioned by Executive
Producer Fiona Campbell, of BBC Current Affairs, and Head of
Commissioning, BBC Learning, Abigail Appleton, it is fully
interactive, with viewers on Twitter using the "Power Bar" to show
whether they agree or disagree with opinions voiced by the four
panellists on each show.
Subjects covered in the nine programmes aired in 2012 included
Immigration, Education, London 2012 and Body Image, as well as
exclusive polls by ComRes.
Panellists so far have included Government ministers, Opposition
MPs, BAFTA-winning actor Adam Deacon, comedian Shappi Korshandi and
Internet entrepreneur Jamal Edwards. The programme travels the
country with locations so far including Edinburgh, Manchester,
Newcastle, London and Bristol.
BBC Three Controller, Zai Bennett, said: "Free Speech challenges
and engages the BBC Three audience and gives them a valuable
opportunity to have their voice heard. I'm very pleased to be
continuing the channel's dedication to bringing current affairs to
the attention of young people in the UK. We're really excited to
have Rick on board; he's a great presenter and will be an excellent
addition to the programme."
Via a production partnership between Mentorn Media and social TV
production company, Telegraph Hill, a new cross-platform strategy
including exclusive online video and social media management has
been delivered to Free Speech.
Through the Free Speech website, Facebook page and Twitter feed,
viewers can debate the big stories every week day, and tell
producers what subjects they want thrashed out on the next TV show:
@BBCFreeSpeech, bbc.co.uk/FreeSpeech and
Free Speech also offers the audience the chance to make part of
the show. The Lab at BBC Learning works with groups of young
people in advance of each programme, giving them the skills to make
two films about the issues being debated that month: one for
transmission during Free Speech and one for the web.
Executive Producer for Free Speech, Steve Anderson said: "Free
Speech has made an instant connection with BBC Three viewers who
clearly enjoy a space where the stories that matter to them get a
"Student fees, the shortage of jobs and housing and media
portrayal of young people have all got people going in the first
episodes. We are delighted to be asked to carry on and are looking
forward to working with Rick, who is a great talent."
Free Speech is a co-commission from BBC Three, BBC Learning and
BBC News and Current Affairs.
The Series Producer is Susan Crook. The Executive Producer is
Steve Anderson for Mentorn Media; Andrew Tomlinson for BBC Learning
and Fiona Campbell for BBC News and Current Affairs.
Tinopolis, one of the UK's largest independent TV production and
distribution companies, has acquired Firecracker Films Limited
(Firecracker), one of the most innovative producers of factual and
factual entertainment programming in the UK and US. The transaction
follows quickly on the acquisition of Passion Distribution and
further underpins Tinopolis' strategy of widening its creative and
geographical reach. Firecracker's strengths in factual and popular
factual programming are significant additions to Tinopolis'
portfolio of companies and programmes.
Firecracker was founded in 2002 by Mark Soldinger to focus on
documentary programming with international sales potential and is
now one of the fastest growing factual and factual entertainment
producers both in the UK and the US achieving organic revenue
growth of over 150% in 2012. Firecracker works with all major
broadcasters in the US and the UK and has created shows including
Thelma's Gypsy Girls (C4), The Daredevils
(C4), Family Guns (Nat Geo), Unsafe Sex
in the City (BBC3) and Last Chance Driving School
(AETN) as well as one of Channel 4's biggest rating hits of
the last decade, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and in the US,
Big Fat American Gypsy Weddings (TLC). Firecracker is
one of only a few UK Indies that has successfully organically
expanded into the US and now generates as much turnover from the US
as it does from the UK. Firecracker also has a valuable branded
content division that produces innovative audio visual content
directly for brands such as Diageo, Nissan, Heineken, Motorola and
Firecracker's management and creative team will remain with the
business and Mark Soldinger, CEO, Sue Oriel, Managing Director, Jes
Wilkins, Head of Programmes, and Jeremy Groman, Creative Director
will all become shareholders in the Tinopolis Group.
Tinopolis, which delisted from AIM in 2008 through a management
buyout backed by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has grown
its turnover from £50m in 2006 to over £130m today and developed
into a global media company comprised of several leading
independent businesses. The range of programmes produced extends to
documentaries and factual, sport, comedy, flagship current affairs
series, critically-acclaimed dramas and high rating entertainment
formats, as well as human interest, history and science. Tinopolis
is responsible for successful television shows such as Question
Time, Traffic Cops, Hell's Kitchen and the London Paralympic Games
Ron Jones, Executive Chairman of Tinopolis, commented:
"In Firecracker we have acquired a company that is
operating at the cutting edge of television on both sides of the
Atlantic. Tinopolis continues to build a group of companies that
has the range and financial strength to provide the best creative
ideas to our customers around the world. Firecracker is an ideal
partner for us. Its programmes are already sold in over 100
territories around the world and our distribution platform will
help to support its continuing development."
Mark Soldinger said: "We have been conscious for
some time of the requirement for a financial and operational
partner that will allow us to sustain Firecracker's rapid growth
over the long term. Tinopolis's existing capabilities and its
forward strategy immediately marked it out as our partner of choice
and we look forward to working with Ron Jones, Arwel Rees and other
senior executives from the wider Group on developing the