The following speakers will be present at Celtic Media Festival this year:
Adrian has produced and delivered over 100 hours of Primetime Drama to all the major broadcasters in the UK working with a range of talent both in front of and behind the camera. Previously Adrian ran the Film & TV drama division of Zenith Entertainment and has Produced for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, S4C, Channel 5, and Sky. Award winning drama includes ‘Cider With Rosie’, ‘Affinity’, ‘Two Thousand Acres Of Sky’, ‘Little Crackers’ and ‘Aberfan: The Green Hollow’. Adrian jointly produced Craig Roberts’ directing debut feature film JUST JIM before Executive Producing ‘Keeping Faith’. Currently Adrian is producing Owen Sheers’ new film for BBC Wales ‘To Provide All People’ and Craig Roberts’ next film ‘Eternal Beauty’.
Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund at Northern Ireland Screen
Áine Walsh is Head of the Irish Language Broadcast Fund at Northern Ireland Screen.
For over 10 years Áine has worked closely with the local Irish language production sector and broadcasters to deliver Irish language content across a range of genres and to develop the local production sector. She is also responsible for a number of training programmes for Irish speakers working or seeking to work in production.
Prior to this she worked as an assistant producer and producer in UTV, working across entertainment and documentary programmes, including The Kelly Show and A Day in the Life. She also worked as a radio presenter and producer for BBC Northern Ireland’s Irish Language Unit and as a radio producer with Radio Kerry.
Amanda Rees, is S4C’s Creative Content Director. Before joining S4C, Amanda was the successful creator of many documentaries and the producer in her own television company TiFiNi. Also the winner of a BAFTA Cymru Award, and a nominee for many other Awards. She has filmed in over 35 countries for world-wide channels such as Channel 4, BBC, ITV, National Geographic, S4C, UKTV and Foxtel. Finding Mum and Dad, TiFiNi’s first commission for Channel 4 was nominated for a Grierson Award, a Bulldog and a Broadcast prize (for 2015’s Best Documentary). Currently, Amanda is also studying for and MSc in Business Psychology at Coventry University.
Bill began his media career in BBC Scotland’s Gaelic Department where he was responsible for some of its most popular and critically acclaimed titles including Na h-Eilthirich (The Emigrants), Ran Dan and the multiple award-winning Gruth is Uachdar (Crowdie and Cream). He subsequently moved into producing and directing primetime TV drama including Holby City and River City, as well as working on landmark factual productions such as A History of Scotland and classic kids’ shows like Raven. In 2017 he joined MG Alba as Commissioning Editor and is responsible for scripted output including Bannan and the brand-new comedy show, Func, as well as a major overhaul of children’s output.
Celyn has been involved in a number of high-profile history programmes including ‘Time Team’, ‘Hidden Killers’ of the Victorian Home and emotive and award winning ‘The Aberfan Wives Club’ for ITV. A passionate historian and documentary producer, Celyn worked on the double Welsh BAFTA winning Adam Price a Streic y Glowyr (Miner’s Strike) for S4C.
Colin Bateman is a novelist and screenwriter. His first film 'Divorcing Jack' (1997) was based on his own best selling thriller, and he went on to write screenplays for the films 'Crossmaheart', 'Wild About Harry' and 'Water Melon', before moving into television and creating and writing the long running BBC series, 'Murphy's Law', starring James Nesbitt. He has also written for 'Rebus' and 'Doc Martin' and created and wrote two series of the Irish language newspaper drama, 'Scoop' for TG4/BBC. More recently he wrote the screenplay for 'The Journey', about the relationship between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and was also selected for the Toronto International Film Festival. He has recently finished filming 'Driven', a movie about the downfall of celebrated car designer John DeLorean, which is due for release later this year.
Colm has been working professionally as a director for the last 13 years and has gained considerable experience in both drama and documentary formats. Colm’s development has been strongly supported by the Irish-language broadcaster TG4 during those years, having directed numerous award-winning Irish-language shorts and a host of documentary films and series for the station. In 2010, Colm was selected as one of six directors to participate in the BAI/TG4 “Údar” TV drama scheme. His finished film, An tÁdh, went on to win the Gold Plaque in the short drama category at the 2011 Hugo Television Awards in Chicago and was nominated for a Celtic Media Festival award. Colm was also selected for the follow-up BAI/TG4 drama scheme “Scéal”, where he was mentored by Irish director, Paddy Breathnach (I Went Down, Viva).
In 2013, Colm’s documentary series An Ceoldráma received three Irish Film and Television award nominations, including Best Director (Television). The 2014 docudrama film Cumann na mBan – Women of the Revolution, which was written and directed by Colm, won the Irish Film and Television Academy award for Specialist Factual. His documentary series The Joy, which charted the inner workings of Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison over the course of nine months, was nominated for Best Documentary Series at the 2016 IFTA awards. His most recent credit as both writer and director is the docudrama feature film The Mám Trasna Murders, which reconstructs one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in Irish history. The film was one of the contributing factors in the granting of a presidential pardon by President Michael D. Higgins to the man wrongfully hanged for the Mám Trasna murders in 1882.
Colm has recently been shortlisted for the Cine4 feature film scheme. His screenplay An Glaoch (The Call) is competing with four other shortlisted projects for full production funding, provided by the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TG4.
In 2012 Colm received an award from the Screen Director’s Guild of Ireland for his contribution to Irish-language film-making.
Commissioning Executive, BBC Scotland
David Harron is Commissioning Executive at BBC Scotland. He previously worked for many indies, BBC Scotland and stv as a producer and director on arts, documentary and sports programmes for various broadcasters. His credits include Grand Tours of Scotland, The Harbour, Danny MacAskill: Riding The Ridge, The Bridge: 50 Years Across The Forth, Teenage Millionaire: The Year I Won The Lottery, Scotland’s Game, Brian Cox’s Russia and Coming Oot: The Fabulous History of Gay Scotland.
Head of Productions, BBC Northern Ireland
Eddie Doyle is Head of Content Production for BBC Northern Ireland, playing an integral role in the delivery of BBC Northern Ireland’s content plans across all in-house production outside of News and Current Affairs, including factual, entertainment, comedy, music and events.
Eddie Doyle joined BBC Northern Ireland from his role as Head of Factual, Comedy, Talent Development and Music at RTÉ where he has provided leadership to the broadcaster’s in-house teams across these areas. He has been responsible for a number of Irish broadcasting initiatives including Prime Time Investigates, the Format Farm commissioning scheme and the Reality Bites documentary series. He has commissioned Comedy, Drama and Entertainment programmes such as Mrs Browns Boys, The Young Offenders, Dave Allen At Peace, Can’t Cope Won’t Cope, and The Tommy Tiernan Show. His documentary commissions, include Futureshock: Property Crash, Leas Cross, and The Notorious Conor McGregor. He devised and delivered the RTÉ Cross Platform Strategy on Comedy in 2014 and RTÉ2 Channel Strategy in 2012 and the RTÉ/Irish Film Board Export Initiative in 2017.
Entertainment and Music Commissioner
Before working for S4C, Elen worked as a producer for BBC Cymru Wales. She has a career in broadcasting spanning spanning a quarter of a century and has gained wide and comprehensive experience of creating, writing, producing and managing content for audiences in Wales, the UK network and internationally.
Elen has also had a successful career creating programmes for children and young people, and has produced and directed series for network as well as for S4C.
In her role as Entertainment Commissioner for S4C she is responsible for comedy, light entertainment/formats, factual entertainment as well as music and many of the events on the channel.
Ewan Angus is the former Commissioning Editor for Television at BBC Scotland. Ewan has worked in broadcasting for more than 25 years, much of it spent producing and directing across a broad range of programmes both for BBC Scotland and network services.
He was responsible for all television output produced for Scottish audiences. This amounts to over 1000 hours a year and an ever increasing proportion subsequently received UK wide transmission.
In recent years he also assumed responsibility for production in the areas of sport and comedy.
He has also been involved in numerous co-productions with international broadcasters.
Presentation Manager at MG ALBA
Fiona Mackenzie has been a well-known face as presenter and contributor to many of BBC ALBA and Radio nan Gàidheal’s programmes over the years. She was the first ever face on BBC ALBA when it launched in 2008 and was the channel’s main continuity presenter until 2014. She was on the team of presenters for BBC ALBA motoring series, ‘Air an Rathad’, for 5 series and has been presenting live coverage of ‘Belladrum Festival’ in each year of its broadcast since 2011. She also appeared as in the 2014 CMF award winning comedy ‘Dà Là san Dàmhair’. Fiona is now Presentation Manager at MG ALBA running the on-screen promotions team for BBC ALBA.
Drama Commissioner, S4C
Gethin has had a long career in Film and Television as an Executive Producer and Producer of drama, music and factual programmes. His credits include the S4C dramas Y Gwyll /Hinterland (2015) and Pen Talar (2010) along with the recent BBC 1 drama series The Miniaturist (2017). He was also an Executive Producer for several BBC music documentaries including Fairport Convention: Who Knows Where the Time Goes? (2012), Prince: The Purple Reign (2011) and Public Enemy: Prophets of Rage (2011). Gethin is currently the Drama Commissioner for S4C. He is also a former member of the Ffilm Cymru Wales Board.
Actor, Writer, Producer
Gordon has been acting, producing and writing scripted comedy and drama since the mid-80s starting with the Channel 4 iconic sketch show Absolutely. He has since starred in many notable TV series including Glasgow Kiss, Red Cap, playing Little John in the BBC’s Robin Hood and in the US Red Faction for NBC Universal/Syfy and ABC Television’s Combat Hospital. Gordon starred in the critically acclaimed Brit horror flick The Borderlands which earned rave reviews in the UK press and a major US release under the title Final Prayer.
Gordon has produced a number of successful radio dramas and comedies including Secrets and Lattes, Mrs Sidhu Investigates and Dusty Won’t Play for Radio 4 and Your Only Man and Glass Chair Chair Glass for Radio 3. In 2014 he co-wrote, performed and produced the BBC Audio Drama award-winning Sketchorama Absolutely Special.
2017/18 has seen Gordon star in ITV’s new costume drama The Halcyon, a cameo role in T2 Trainspotting and guest starred in Casualty’s 30th Anniversary episode, ‘One’, where the hour-long drama was recorded in one shot! He has produced the award-winning comedy Reluctant Persuaders and he also produced and directed 2 series of The Break.
This year Gordon and Absolutely Productions have The Fair Intellectual Club, The Absolutely Radio Show, and Siadwel all nominated for best radio comedy.
I am lucky enough to be a wildlife cameraman. I have worked for the BBC, ITV, National Geographic and other major international television channels. Although most of my work is wildlife documentaries with natural history as the subject matter, I also film sport, music videos, drama and other types of television documentary. Ever since I left college I have worked in television: I've been an editor for the BBC, an independent producer, and for a time the head of the RSPB Film Unit. I've seen programme making from all sides, but prefer seeing it from the wildlife cameraman's viewpoint. It's much more fun and generally far less complicated. I consider myself to be very good, and that's about as far as I can take self acclaim without feeling embarrassed.
As Creative Director of Paper Owl Films, Gráinne is pursuing her dream of creating meaningful content for little viewers. She is the creator and producer of ‘Pablo’ for CBeebies and RTÉJr – a 52-part series with an extensive digital content element. The series is due to air in October 2017 and has already been re-commissioned for a second series with CBeebies. Gráinne has a slate of kids’ shows in development for the national and international market. As well as its fast-growing animation side, Paper Owl Films enjoys producing live action content for BBC and TG4. Gráinne also created and produced Bia Linn (preschool) and Na Dúlradóirí (8-12s) for TG4.
Gus Beattie has been producing scripted comedy for BBC Radio for 15 years and recently created his own indie, Gusman Productions. Nominated in the Comedy & Entertainment Producer of the Year category at the Audio Production Awards in 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2015, he bribed enough judges to eventually win the award in 2016! Won Best Live Scripted Comedy at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2014 for 'Sketchorama: Absolutely Special' and picked up a 2018 Audio Drama Award nomination for 'The Absolutely Radio Show'. Nominated for three productions at this year’s Celtic Media Awards. Other popular credits include ‘Sketchtopia’, 'Fags, Mags & Bags' & 'Sketchorama' for BBC Radio 4.
Online Content and Channel Manager for RTÉ Online
Hilary O’Callaghan is an Online Content and Channel Manager for RTÉ Online and is responsible for the strategy for original online content for RTÉ Player. Short-form content is at the heart of our content strategy for RTÉ Player and Hilary working with colleagues in RTÉ Content, has been delivering highly engaging short-form online content for our young, mobile audience for over 2 years. The content commissioned covers multiple genres, from Lifestyle, to Comedy to Factual and always seeks to meet an audience need with particular focus on the under 35s.
Recipient of a Royal Television Society award for his outstanding contribution to television, Dr John Geraint’s credits for Green Bay include 'Do Not Go Gentle', nominated alongside blue-chip series 'Band of Brothers' and 'Blue Planet' at the 2002 Banff Rockies, one of the world's foremost media prizes; ‘Gêm y Ganrif' (Game of the Century) which scooped the top prize at the 2006 Celtic Film and Television Festival, the Gold Torc for Spirit of the Festival; and the drama series ‘Calon Gaeth' (Small Country) and feature-length documentaries ‘Fel Arall' (Otherwise), and ‘Carwyn' winners of BAFTA Cymru Awards.
John was executive producer and director of ‘The Story of Wales', Green Bay's landmark television history of the nation presented by Huw Edwards and commissioned by BBC Wales and The Open University.
His recent work for Green Bay includes ‘Castle Builders’, a three-part series filmed in the UK, France and Germany, and sold to broadcasters on six continents; and ‘DNA Cymru’ a mass-participation project featuring the largest-ever survey of the genetic make-up of the Welsh population.
John was previously at the BBC where he had a distinguished 20-year career as a programme-maker and executive, leading a department of 430 programme-makers, and doubling network output from Wales to a record £17million p.a. with hits like family drama Magician's House, the Oscar-nominated Canterbury Tales and the global adventure series Extreme Lives.
From 2010-2016 John was a trustee of the Arts Council of Wales. From 2008-2011, he served as a member of the Wales Employment and Skills Board advising Ministers on skills, training and business development across the whole range of the Welsh economy. John is a former Chair of Zoom Cymru, a media development charity for young people which incorporates a major international festival of children's film; and of the Welsh Board of Creative Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the audio-visual industries.
John’s doctoral submission ‘Representing Wales: Experience on Screen 1985-2010’ placed his career in the context of the continuing efforts to ensure fairer media portrayal of Welsh life and culture. An influential and provocative thinker about television, he regularly appears at industry forums and is called upon to give evidence to policy-makers about the creative industries.
Green Bay joined with Wildflame Productions in April and John has taken on the role of Creative Consultant and Executive Producer.
In the last 20 years, John Murray has produced and directed over 100 films for some of the world's leading broadcasters. He was won numerous national and international awards including a 2017 Grierson award, the highest honours in natural history filmmaking at Jackson Hole & Wildscreen Festivals as well as an Emmy nomination for his cinematography in 2015. John made his very first film in 1991 chronicling the first Irish expedition to attempt an 8000 metre Himalayan peak and since then has made films on Everest, the North Pole, the South Pole, across Siberia and the Sahara amongst many other locations. Career highlights would include producing the multi-award winning 'The Farthest', 'Here Was Cuba', 'Broken Tail' and 'On a River in Ireland'.
Judith was elected as RTS Wales Centre Chair in 2017. Judith’s career in the television industry spans 27 years and has been divided between the BBC and the independent sector in Wales. A programme-maker for many years, she has produced award-winning documentaries, worked in Commissioning and run her own independent production company. More recently, as Head of Factual & Music at BBC Wales, she ran a large production department with over 100 staff. She is now a freelance Executive Producer based in Cardiff.
Karen was appointed Editor, BBC Gaeilge in February 2013. She is a member of the commissioning team for Irish Language content and is responsible for leading the Irish language in-house teams and managing output on radio, television and online. Karen has worked as series producer, director, producer and presenter on a variety of programming for television, radio and online since she joined BBC Northern Ireland in 1995. She joined the Irish Language department as television producer in 2004 and has worked on projects both in-house and in the independent sector.
BBC's Director of Nations & Regions
Ken MacQuarrie is the BBC's Director of Nations & Regions.
Appointed to the newly created role in September 2016, Ken is responsible for bringing together and enhancing the BBC’s offer to the nations and regions of the UK and sits on the BBC’s Executive Committee.
He is responsible for the BBC Nations & Regions Division. This comprises of the Nations and the Directors of the regional hubs in the North, Midlands and the South West.
Prior to taking up this position Ken was Director, BBC Scotland, a job he held since 2009.
Ken was instrumental in securing the funding and approvals for the BBC’s £188m investment in the new BBC Scotland digital broadcast production Headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow and since then has overseen a business which has grown in size each year and which now has an annual spend of around £200m. He was also responsible for delivering BBC ALBA, the Gaelic television service which, in a unique partnership with MG Alba, now reaches a weekly audience of over 650,000 viewers.
In 2014, he was Chair of the BBC’s Commonwealth Games Steering Group, which brought together BBC Sport and BBC Scotland to deliver one of the UK’s most ambitious and successful broadcast sporting events of recent years. At the same time, as Chair of the BBC’s Independence Referendum Steering Group, he led the collaborations, across the BBC that delivered coverage of each step of the journey to the vote on the constitutional future of Scotland and the United Kingdom.
He was Controller, BBC Scotland from 2004-2009 when he was in charge of production and commissioning of all BBC output broadcast in Scotland on television, radio and online.
As Head of Programmes from 2000-2004, among the major projects he oversaw included: In Search Of Scotland, Chewin' The Fat, Still Game, Gruth Is Uachdar (Crowdie And Cream) and Scotland's Empire on television and, on Radio Scotland, Gracenotes and Off The Ball.
Between 1996 and 2000 Ken was Head of Broadcast and prior to that he was Head of Gaelic and Features and Children's (1992-1996), complementing the output in Gaelic with English language factual programmes and also setting up a children's production base for the UK networks. During this period Ken introduced daily Gaelic children's programmes on television, developed the investigative current affairs programme Prosbaig and launched the award-winning series Eorpa and De a-Nis?
Ken joined the BBC in Scotland as a researcher in 1975 before becoming a radio and then TV producer.
He was educated at Oban, Edinburgh University and Moray House College of Education.
Ken is currently a Board member and Vice-Chair of the International Press Institute (IPI), an Executive Board member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and a Vice-President of the Royal Television Society (RTS).
Llion Iwan is S4C's head of content distribution. Llion was appointed as commissioner for factual content at S4C in 2012. He began his career as a print journalist and worked at the BBC 1994 and 2004. His network credits for BBC1, 2 and 4 include Life on Land, The Search for Speed, Extreme Lives, Berzerk in Antarctica and Everest, getting to the bottom of a mountain, and he has been a producer for live OB football and rugby matches.
Llion has won awards from the RTS and international festivals including Vancouver, Grenoble and Dijon. From 2004 to 2012 he was a freelance producer/director with credits on S4C, ITV and BBC Wales including Drowning of a Village, Stradey Stories and Dic Jones.
At S4C his commissions since 2012 include Gerallt, American Interior and Gary Speed, and his programmes have won awards at various European Mountain Film Festivals, BAFTA Cymru and the Celtic Media festival, 5 awards at the New York TV and Film festival including a gold, an RTS shortlist and Grierson long/short list. He was shortlisted for his commissions by the CDN (Creative Diversity Network) in 2014. Llion has two young sons and lives in north Wales.
Maggie Russell is the Executive Producer of Keeping Faith for BBC Wales. She has worked in television and film for over 20 years leading creative teams producing work for BBC Wales and Network. Previous credits include; Belonging, High Hopes, Food for Ravens, Jack Of Hearts, Pleasure Beach, Border Cafe, Dirty Work and The Emmy award winning Magicians House. Maggie was also Head of Talent for BBC Wales and chaired Ffresh, the student film festival for Wales. Maggie is based in Cardiff and is also a practising psychotherapist.
Máire Ní Chonláin
Máire started her TV career as an award-winning producer/director on productions such as IFTA winning documentary Mad Dog Coll before joining TG4 as commissioning editor.
Having a special interest in Irish culture, history, language and music she has played a vital role in TG4's celebration of Ireland's rich heritage, both past and present.
As well as overseeing the production of TG4's hugely successful Murdair Mhám Trasna, a docu-drama, which led to the granting of a posthumous Presidential pardon for a man wrongly committed of murder, Máire also collaborates with the independent sector on the feature-length drama strand under the brand name Cine4.
Máire also commissions historical documentaries, entertainment programmes and formats. Máire was one of the founding members of Celtic Formats, an initiative set up by broadcasters, S4C, BBCAlba and TG4 to support the indie sector in developing and producing high quality formats for national and international markets.
Previously Máire commissioned various successful animated features and drama series, including An Béal Bocht (IFTA nominated), Grace Harte, and Oscar nominated, An Bronntanas
Margaret Mary Murray
Head of Gaelic Services, BBC Scotland
Margaret Mary Murray was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles. On graduating from Glasgow University with an honours degree in Celtic Studies she joined the BBC’s Gaelic department as a television researcher. During her 25 years in the broadcasting industry she has worked across a wide variety of programme genres ranging from children's programmes to documentaries, drama and current affairs. She has led award winning production teams and had a key role in the delivery and launch of the partnership Gaelic TV channel BBC ALBA. Margaret Mary is the head of the BBC’s Gaelic services, BBC ALBA and Radio nan Gaidheal.
CEO, Isle of Media
Michael is an experienced chief executive, managing director, board member and editor-in-chief with more than 30 years programme making experience.
He has held senior roles at national and international levels including Sky News, Five News, UTV and ITV.
He is currently the CEO of Isle of Media, the national development agency for the Isle of Man digital and creative industries. Set up as a Public Private Partnership with the Isle of Man Government to drive inward investment in Digital Media and foster the indigenous industry and talent, providing pro-bono advice to develop media projects on the Isle of Man.
Mike Ellen is Creative Director of Freedom Scripted Entertainment Ltd.
Previously, Mike was Head of Development at Eleventh Hour, joining from award winning indie On the Corner where he ran the company’s scripted development slate with David Morrissey and Asif Kapadia, developing shows for the BBC, ITV Sky, Showtime and AMC.
Prior to that Mike was a Development Exec at BBC Scotland Drama working on shows including Murder, Case Histories, Waterloo Road, Single Father, and Lip Service and projects with Toby Whithouse, Grant Morrison, Emily Ballou and Terry Cafolla. Whilst at BBC Scotland he also produced 50 hours of Scottish long-runner River City. At STV Drama as a Development Exec and Script Editor Mike developed Fast Freddie The Widow & Me for ITV, and worked on other shows Rebus, High Times & Taggart. At World Productions, Mike worked on the development of Party Animals for BBC2 and Murder Prevention for C5.
Innovation Lead at BBC Wales
Nick Palit is the Innovation Lead at BBC Wales, a role that rotates yearly. He has been a journalist in TV News and Current Affairs, filming and editing 95% of his daily output for the past 15 years, after graduating the BBC Personal Digital Production Scheme. Nick has covered most of the big stories touching Wales over the last quarter of a century.
Paul English is a Glasgow-based freelance newspaper journalist and broadcaster specialising in culture, travel and human interest stories. Paul’s BBC Scotland documentary Lost Letters, in which he set out to track down his former childhood pen pals after finding their old letters in a box, is nominated in the CMF’s Radio Documentary category this year. He can be found on the internet singing to Beluga whales in the Canadian Arctic, who, he says, were a cold audience.
Philip Kampff began his career in broadcasting with RTÉ Radio in 1984. Four years later he became a television Producer/Director at RTÉ.
Philip developed the music game format The Lyrics Board with Andy Ruane. Shortly after producing a series on RTÉ television, the distribution rights were placed with Freemantle Media. This Format has been produced in 26 territories and has been in production for the past twenty years.
From RTÉ, Philip moved UTV in Belfast to produce youth & entertainment shows and then to BBC Entertainment in London. Here he produced The Liver Birds by Carla Lane and Get Well Soon by Ray Galton and John Antrobus. Philip eventually became the series producer of BBC’s Saturday night show Noel’s House Party.
In 2003 Philip returned to Ireland and establised Vision Independent Productions.
Vision Independent Productions (VIP) is one of Ireland’s biggest independent production companies with a focus on original formats. VIP formats have local adaptations in Italy, Germany, Holland, Slovenia, Spain, Norway, China, Russia, USA, UK and Brazil.
VIP is about developing ideas that inspire and entertain and that now extends to digital where it has developed Twinstrangers.com, a platform that helps people find and connect with their doppelganger, it currently has over 4 million users worldwide.
Proinsias Ní Ghráinne
Commissioning Editor - TG4
Proinsias Ní Ghráinne is currently genre head for contemporary factual and arts / cultural programming and commissions programme in other genres.
In her 21 years working with the channel, she has worked on a wide variety of programme genres and has devised the channels landmark cultural events and schemes, most recently Gradam Ceoil (Irish Traditional Music Awards), ilDÁNA (TG4 / BAI / Arts Council fund for Arts docs) and AMHARC (TG4, BBC, ILBF arts docs fund).
As well as overseeing the production of numerous indigenous and internationally co-produced titles, she represents TG4 on EBU and other international broadcast and co-production fora.
Her most recent feature length titles ‘Song of Granite’ and ‘Rocky Rosmuc’ were oscar nominated and have gone on to win numerous international awards. Other recent titles to receive strings of nominations and awards include ‘Éire Fhián / Wild Ireland’ and ‘Cúl an Tí’.
Richard Rees has been a broadcaster for over 40 years. His career began as a presenter with commercial radio station, Swansea Sound in 1974. During this time he also worked as a freelance researcher for HTV Wales before joining BBC Wales as a radio and television presenter in 1976. On radio, he presented daily and weekly music and chat shows on Radio Cymru and Radio Wales, as well as producing a number of science and wildlife series for BBC Wales and for Radio 4. On television he worked for many years as a television announcer, before becoming an assistant producer / director and finally series producer in the factual programmes unit. He left BBC Wales in 1994 to join independent production company Telesgop, formed by his wife Elin. During his time with Telesgop as producer / director and executive producer he has made programmes on science, travel and wildlife subjects for the BBC, S4C, Discovery U.S, Discovery UK and Animal Planet. He continues to present a weekly Sunday morning radio show on BBC Radio Cymru which is produced by Telesgop.
Richard lives near Llandeilo in west Wales with Elin. They have one daughter, Ffion, who works as an editor.
Commissioning Editor, Channel 5
Sean Doyle, is commissioning editor for Factual at Channel 5.
Previous to this, he was head of development for daytime and features at the BBC. Series on his CV include Blitz Cities for BBC1 and Michael Portillo’s State Secrets for BBC2.
Prior to that he worked in the indie sector, at Wild Rover Productions and Telegael Media Group
Seona Robertson is Managing Director of Caledonia TV. A former mediaeval historian and film archivist, Seona is a BAFTA and Celtic Media Festival award winning producer. After a TV career at Granada TV, the BBC, Scottish Television, and running her first indie, Reality Productions, Seona set up Caledonia TV with award winning producer/director Les Wilson in 1993. Among Seona’s Caledonia credits are Chosen People, a feature length film shot in 10 countries for BBC2, My Husband’s Gay for ITV, Teens On Trial for Channel 4 and Over the Sea to School for Channel 5. Caledonia currently has an output deal to produce Gaelic language documentaries and factual entertainment programming for BBC Alba.
Seona also directs Caledonia’s co-production business. International productions include The Father of Australia (BBC Scotland, Screen Australia, Screen New South Wales and History Channel Australia); Execution at Camp 21 (Channel 4 and The History Channel); Superstar on Trial (Channel 4, Televisa and Crime & Investigation Channel); and series on British royalty - Charles and Diana, The Queen and The Real Queen - for Germany's ZDF.
Caledonia also has experience of co production within the UK and the Celtic nations. After Bannockburn, marking the 700th anniversary of Robert the Bruce’s invasion of Ireland, was a product of a Celtic Media Festival initiative and produced for BBC Scotland, BBC Northern Ireland and RTE, in co production with Tile Films in Ireland. Caledonia and Tile followed this up with Waterloo’s Warriors for BBC Scotland and TG4 Ireland. Both productions were supported by Ireland’s BAI and Section 481 tax credit scheme. And The Richest Scot in the Empire, nominated for this year’s Celtic Media Festival, is a co commission for BBC Scotland and BBC Wales
Sheila de Courcy
Writing for the junior section of the Evening Press when I was 10 is the first time I recall being paid for doing something I loved and learnt lots from. And so followed all kinds of curious work including being a maid, busker, illustrator, sweet-factory worker, clothesdesigner, streetcleaner, and technician in the National Museum of Ireland where I worked on the conservation and restoration of objects, amongst them the Terracotta Army. The diversity of this experience led me to filmmaking and then to RTE where I spent over 30 years writing, producing, directing and commissioning TV, Radio and digital content of all kinds for all ages while raising two terrific daughters. In tandem with this I developed and contributed to a range of media education events and participated in boards including PanPan Theatre, EBU Youth Experts Group and The Ark Cultural centre for Children where I was Chair.
In December 2017, after 15 wonderful years in charge of RTE kids content, I decided to hand over the reins and head on fresh creative adventures. These days the ‘office’ is often outdoors, in the hills or by the sea, where I’m developing a number of projects. I am also currently a member of the boards of the Irish Film Institute and Mary Raftery Journalism Fund.
Siobhán Ní Bhrádaigh
Siobhán oversees programme acquisitions/ reversioning and commissioning for TG4's young people's schedule.
She is an award-winning producer, whose experience also includes marketing, and directing.
Siobhán started her television life as a dubbing director, before moving to TG4 to oversee In-house production and marketing of the Young People’s output. During this time with TG4, Siobhán oversaw the development of Cúla4, and was central in the development of series such as Saol faoi Shráid, Bia Linn, Bog Stop and Aifric.
She then spent a number of years working as a producer in the Independent sector, developing and producing projects, such as ‘Is Eolaí Mé’ (CMF winner 2017). Siobhán returned to TG4 in 2016 to her current role. As Young People’s Exec, Siobhán commissioned Lár Stáitse, a live programme showcasing young talent at Oireachtas na Samhna 2017. She is currently overseeing a Pre-School Output deal along with various BAI funded projects aimed at primary school & post primary school age groups as well as acquiring high quality content for the Cúla4 na nÓg and Cúla4 schedules.
Sion Thomas is a filmmaker who explores the minutiae of life and story in Wales. His first fiction short film Two Player Games, a dystopian sci-fi short, was broadcast on the BBC and won the It's My Shout People's Choice Award. His second Stiff Punch, a bleak tale of wrestlers in the valleys, is currently starting its' festival run. He has also directed on Pobol Y Cwm, the BBC longest running soap opera. Sion's currently working on his next short film rural drama Dirt Ash Meat, which is based on the Owen Sheers novel "White Ravens". The film is being funded by Ffilm Cymru and BBC Wales as part of the Beacons scheme.
Sioned Wyn Roberts
Children and Learners Commissioner
Sioned is responsible for all children's content on S4C's pre-school brand Cyw and Stwnsh for older children. She is also responsible for Young People, Learning and Welsh learners' content.
Since joining S4C in 2012, Sioned has commissioned several innovative formats: Y Lifft was the first play along gameshow for kids in the UK, followed by Ludus and Pyramid; Madron combined animation and a digital comic app; Dwylo'r Enfys, a series introducing Makaton in Welsh; @tifiacyw twitter service for parents learning Welsh; #Fi award-winning documentary strand; multi-platform series Llond Ceg tackles kids' issues head-on; and Dyma Fi a digital youth project with crowd-sourced content, was shot over a 24-hour period, and Deian a Loli, a drama series for young children about mischievous twins who have secret super powers.
Sioned is a programme-maker with 25 years' experience. She worked at the BBC from 1990-2006 producing and directing radio, television and interactive content. She directed several episodes of All Our Lives, a landmark history series for BBC Wales and documentary series O Flaen Dy Lygaid. As a Senior Producer 2001-06, she led the award-winning multiplatform projects Come Clean, B*ll*cks, and pan-Celtic language learning project Colin and Cumberland.
In 2006, Sioned joined the independent sector and produced, developed and exec produced a host of shows such as CBBC's Stuck on Sheep Mountain and CBeebies' Alphablocks. In 2012 Sioned was a member of the group reporting on Digital Materials in Education for the Welsh Government that led to setting up the Hwb digital learning platform.
Susie Sandilands is Senior Producer on BBC Three commission 'Give Me A Voice' - which is a project set up to develop talented young content creators across the UK to a point where they can be commissioned for publication on BBC Three's social feeds.
Prior to this role, Susie was BBC Scotland’s Social Media Community Manager, building BBC Scotland's corporate facebook presence from 2k followers to 800k and making it one of the BBC's most engaged-with facebook feeds in the UK. She set up and ran dedicated feeds for BBC Scotland's continuing drama River City, creating a highly engaged community of fans of the show, and was also an integral part of the success of BBC Scotland's Short Stuff - a social media comedy series responsible for viral hits such as the News at Three and Gary Tank Commander's Election Special.
Susie is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has worked at BBC Scotland since 2002, with previous roles in marketing, communications and event management. She is also a Non-Executive Director on the board of Sportscotland (Scotland's national agency for sport), a 2nd Dan black belt in Taekwondo and a former instructor, who now enjoys interval and weight training and swimming.