Cardiff 2019 Convention Programme

Times are indicative, and programme may be subject to change


MONDAY 1ST APRIL (1730-2000)

1730 Conference opens

Conference host: Kirsty Wark

  • Welcome to Cardiff: Nia Thomas, MD Boom Cymru
  • Welcome to Wales: Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director BBC Wales

1750-1820: How To Build A Drama Giant: His Dark Materials

Some of the biggest global brands are made outside London and they’ve achieved success through smart planning, talent development and pushing the boundaries of possibility. Bad Wolf’s amazing co-founder tells the story behind its latest giant.

Chair: Kirsty Wark

  • Jane Tranter, Bad Wolf
  • Joel Collins, co-founder of Painting Practice and production designer on His Dark Materials.

1820-1845: How To Build A Factual Giant: Drain The Oceans

The story of how Bristol-based specialist factual producer Mallinson Sadler Productions met the challenge of growing their National Geographic marine archeology brand into an award-winning global juggernaut in two years.

Chair: Kirsty Wark

  • Crispin Sadler, Mallinson Sadler Productions
  • Sophie Elwin Harris, Director

1845-1910: A Tale Of Two Cities

Bristol and Cardiff are geographical neighbours and now media bedfellows too, with people regularly working between the two cities. Leader of Cardiff Council Cllr Huw Thomas and the Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees take the stage to announce their shared commitment to closer partnership working.

Facilitator Kirsty Wark

1910-1915: People Like Us 1. Video insights into how YouTubers and vloggers work

1915-1945: No Laughing Matter

Channel 4’s current hit Derry Girls is just one of many new shows changing the face of comedy from the nations and regions. Former political advisor turned stand-up comedian Ayesha Hazarika chairs a panel, including the people behind Scot Squad (Scotland), Soft Border Patrol (Northern Ireland) and Wales’s very own The Tourist Trap.

Chair: Ayesha Hazarika

  • Rab Christie, The Comedy Unit
  • Paul Forde, BBC Wales
  • Laura Marks, Channel 4

2000: Networking party with drinks, canapés and live music

TUESDAY 2ND APRIL (0930-1530 latest)

0830-0930: Tea, coffee and biscuits

0930-0935: People Like Us 2. Vloggers, gamers and YouTubers share how they make a living from their activities.


Host Kirsty Wark sketches out what’s coming up.


Controller Patrick Holland says the way to engage new audiences and achieve authentic portrayal is to understand communities better and produce more content locally.  Followed byQ&A with k and audience

1005-1025: New Channels, New Voices

In February the BBC launched a new channel for Scotland, bringing distinctive voices to a wider audience. Here in Wales, S4C is also providing a platform for local voices to reach a wider audience. They discuss their objectives.

Chair: Kirsty Wark

  • Muslim Alim - Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime and Early-Peak (based in Scotland and Northern Ireland)
  • Jo Street - Commissioning Editor for BBC Daytime and Entertainment, and BBC Scotland Channel
  • Amanda Rees, Director of Content, S4C

1025-1040: A Little Light Relief - Ayesha Hazarika’s Brexit

A former political advisor to Harriet Harman, Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown and now an award winning stand-up comedian, Ayesha is perfectly placed to find the farce in Brexit for us all.

1040-1100 COFFEE

1100-1105 The Big City Challenge: Newcastle/Gateshead. The first of our bids to host the Creative Cities Convention next year.

1105-1135 The Commercial Challenge

ITV and Channel 4 experts reveal tactics and creative ideas for keeping our PSBs in good commercial shape, as digital savvy audiences demand more and SVODs and social media become ubiquitous, with regulation adding another dimension to the challenge.

Chair: Aasmah Mir

  • Magnus Brooke, ITV Director of Regulation and Policy
  • Simon Daglish, ITV Deputy Commercial Director
  • Ewan Douglas, Agency Principal, Channel 4 Manchester

1105-1135 The Commercial Challenge

ITV Studios production is rooted in the nations and regions and today half its UK labels and nearly half ITV staff are based outside London. Julian Bellamy shares his thoughts on running a global business at the heart of the UK’s Nations and Regions and argues that the most successful production company is the one that can find and nurture distinctive voices.

Chair: Kirsty Wark

1200-1205: The Big City Challenge: Nottingham. The second of our bids to host the Creative Cities Convention next year

1205-1230: WORKING WITH LOCAL INDIES - Ben Frow, Channel 5

It’s been a year since Channel 5 Director of programmes Ben Frow announced at the Creative Cities Convention a brand new initiative to work with the most talented producers outside London. Delegates will hear how he’s faring in his ambition to increase regional output.

Chair: Aasmah Mir

1230-1235: The Big City Challenge: Glasgow. The third and final bid to host the Creative Cities Convention next year

1235-1335: LUNCH

THE BIG TALENT CHALLENGE Kirsty Wark presides over a mega-session designed to address the talent challenges presented to producers by rapid production growth outside London

1335-1410: Can’t Get The Staff? How can talent keep pace with the imminent growth of production outside London? Speakers discuss the biggest question of the moment from all angles.

  • Pat Younge: CEO Sugar Films London and Cardiff
  • Emyr Afan: COO/Joint CEO Avanti
  • Fiona Campbell: Controller BBC Three
  • Nick Curwin: MD, Matisse

1410-1435: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

We’ve talked about talent, now we talk to talent. The London media scene is full of people who grew up elsewhere. What needs to happen to reverse the trend?

  • Nasfim Haque: Commissioning executive BBC Three
  • Anna Dickeson: Creative Lead, The Garden Yorkshire
  • Dan Adamson: Director of programmes Two Four group

1435-1500: ALEX MAHON: The Channel 4 Journey Out Of London

CEO Alex Mahon shares her thoughts on twelve months of working with producers and local leaders across the UK before considering options for growing talent outside London.

Facilitated by Kirsty Wark with audience Q&A

1500-1520: The Way To Go

We pull together thoughts on the way forward with an  audience vote to decide priorities. Speakers include:

  • John McVay, CEO Pact
  • Deborah Dunnett, Nations and Regions Manager, Channel 4