Selected Client case studies
Below you will find some case studies we have selected to provide examples of the types of programmes and series we have worked on. We have taken each project and summarised what the possible pitfalls and issues might have been, as well as provided details on how we worked with the programme makers and broadcasters to successfully avoid or address these both during and after production.
Emergency Animal Rescue, Middlechild Productions for Sky Networks
Aim of Programme: To make the first documentary to follow the RSPCA’s specialist enforcement team.
Potential Risks and Issues: Given the seriousness of the animal cruelty cases featured prosecutions were likely to commence between filming and broadcast so it was important to avoid potential contempt of court.
Our Involvement: Specific guidance was provided on filming on private property, securing informed consent and assessing cases of public interest as well as how to handle vulnerable individuals.
Outcome: 20 episode series successfully delivered to broadcaster and shown in 2010.
Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses, UKTV Style (relaunched as Home)
Aim of Programme: This was a daytime series about normal people’s embarrassing and highly personal conditions which prompted them to seek help in a spa detox and therapy programme.
Potential Risks and Issues: There were no guarantees that people participating in the series would be able to cope with the very testing process of detox, colonics, inner searching and counselling. All the content had to be playable in daytime.
Our Involvement: We worked closely with the production team to ensure the careful handling of participants from the application stage, through the story selection process and throughout the medical checks on their resilience to cope with filming and the broadcasting of their stories.
Outcome: The successful delivery of the series led to several series and even a Teen Spa series, where we were once again involved.
Aim of Programme: Comedy show filmed in front of studio audience, featuring four comedians who had to debate topical subjects. The audience voted for the most convincing argument/performance so there was pride at stake for the performers. Teams were anchored by Marcus Brigstocke and Rufus Hound and featured guest comedians of the highest calibre, including Sean Lock, Phil Jupitus, Dom Joly, Will Smith.
Potential Risks and Issues: The names of the rounds to debate were topical, risqué and rude. The ensuing arguments were lewd, brutal and personal, but hugely entertaining in what was clearly as post-watershed show.
Our Involvement: We aimed to capture the comedy exchanges in the most natural state and let them run their course, whilst managing any risk of libel, personal attack and widespread offence.
Outcome: Contributed to the successful delivery of three series for Dave with multiplatform extension of the programme.
Aim of Programme: An ad-funded programme to cover the Friday night Euromillions live draw from Paris.
Potential Risks and Issues: Challenges of logistical processes had to be managed and commercial references contained to ensure Ofcom compliance.
Our Involvement: Detailed script review of links to ensure live broadcast was Ofcom compliant and engaging.
Outcome: Oversaw the successful delivery of this event on UKTV for one year.
Market Kitchen, Good Food Channel
Aim of Programme:A regular daytime food show featuring renowned chefs, celebrities and viewer competitions. Studio based combined with filming at Borough market, it aimed to deliver the gold standard in food programming, combining entertainment and seasonality.
Potential Risks and Issues: Daily script approvals on stories, requiring fact-checks, assessment of commercial references and ensuring fairness in product reviews.
Our Involvement: We provided bespoke training for the production company; daily script reviews and format meetings; offline checks on contentious content.
Outcome: Successfully delivered a high quality, entertainment series for Good Food channel.
Life in the Forces, Sky 3
Aim of Programme:To schedule a quality programme about the lives of British troops who are currently serving, and have served, in a war zone and broadcast it daily in the run up to Remembrance Sunday.
Potential Risks and Issues: Taking content from a news provider and repackaging it in a sponsored programme in compliance with Ofcom Code. Ensuring archive footage was used fairly and in a dignified manner for all contributors.
Our Involvement: We advised how to adapt the stories from British Forces Broadcast Service to create a series of human interest programmes about for Sky 3.
Outcome: The series was turned around in four weeks to be shown weekday evenings in the week before Remembrance Sunday 2010.
Angels, Sky Real Lives
Aim of Programme: A studio-based show, hosted by Gloria Hunniford and featuring guest medium explored ordinary people’s experiences and beliefs regarding angels and unexplained ‘angelic’ moments.
Potential Risks and Issues: This entertainment programme had to avoid the pitfalls of the Code rules on paranormal programming to deliver a warm, entertaining format.
Our Involvement: Detailed review of host’s script, checking offlines for content of studio-medium interaction and VTs.
Outcome: Successfully achieved balance across all stories so they could play in daytime.
Aim of Programmes: Reality shows about ordinary people with eating disorders and extraordinary dietary habits. Using experts in the field, people from all walks of life participated in a number of series.
Potential Risks and Issues: Filming in very sensitive circumstances with a great duty of care to all participants, some of which had very strong reactions to the food conflicts or dietary regimes they were asked to confront.
Our Involvement: Assisting with contributor selection, referrals for psychological testing, ensuring contributors had provided full and informed consent of their commitment to the series.
Outcome: Successful broadcast of several series on lifestyle and entertainment channels without complaint.
Got to Dance Series 1, Sky 1, 2009
Aim of Programme:A new UK-wide talent show judged by experts in dance and performing arts.
Potential Risks and Issues: Fairness and transparency were key to protecting the integrity of the competition and the programme’s success.
Our Involvement: We provided the programme makers with guidance from the initial on air and online recruitment campaigns, through to filming at auditions across the UK and onto the live finals which included viewer voting.
Outcome: A logistical success which delivered a ground-breaking format in dance entertainment.
Live programming e.g. FIFA World Cup 2006, UKTV
Aim of Programme:Live programming scheduled about the World Cup that feature celebrity guests and commentary on live matches and events.
Potential Risks and Issues: During live broadcasts anything can happen and the programme makers, presenters and guests have to be fully aware of what can and cannot be said. They also need to be able to react quickly if things don’t go to plan.
Our Involvement: We have worked on a range of live programmes where we have provided the following: guidelines for the production team; briefings on how to handle commentary; and guidance and scripting of apologies live on air.
Outcome: No regulatory interventions and ‘touchline’ incidents dealt with in the body of the broadcast.
Ross Kemp Extreme World, Sky 1
Aim of Programme: This documentary series was filmed abroad in places that were in a state of conflict, disaster or extreme lawlessness.
Potential Risks and Issues: Avoid dangers of overlooking impartiality due to the strength of the story. Had to keep editorial firmly grounded and not swayed by emotive stories that couldn’t be backed up by fact.
Our Involvement: We helped the programme makers to secure confidence in the programme content by checking the accuracy of reports and fairness to all parties referenced.
Outcome: Disciplined fact checking and balance helped add weight to the storytelling and hopefully raised the impact of the ‘Ross Kemp’ brand of programming.