Blog Type, Fellowship Blog, IPT Blog, Fellowship Type, Sector based Fellowships, Industry Sector, Culture & Creative | March 2014

MP Explores Production and Commissioning at Channel 5

Tom Harris, Member of Parliament for Glasgow South, Scotland, visited Channel 5 on Tuesday 11th and 18th March as part of his Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship exploring broadcasting and independent production for television in the UK.

Channel 5, the UK’s fifth public service broadcaster, started broadcasting in 1997 and has continued to showcase a popular range of programmes, including The Gadget Show, Big Brother and The Mentalist. Earlier this year Channel 5 was issued with a new ten year licence which will underpin its future development.

Tom’s two half-day visits opened with a tour of Channel 5’s offices in the City, followed by a series of discussions with senior executives detailing Channel 5’s future business plans, including how Channel 5 works with independent producers and its ambitions to grow its in-house production. The visits gave Tom an insight into how Channel 5 differs from the other terrestrial broadcasters and the broader regulatory environment facing public service broadcasters in the UK.

Tom Harris MP, said:

"I'm grateful to everyone at Channel 5 for making me so welcome and for answering all my questions. My IPT fellowship visit provided me with a unique perspective of a vibrant, innovative channel, a private company, which plays a vital role in the broadcasting and production market."

Martin Stott, Channel 5, said:

“We really enjoyed talking to Tom Harris on his visits to Channel 5. He has a keen interest in and understanding of broadcasting, so it was good to have the opportunity to tell him more about Channel 5’s plans and ambitions”.

Fellowships are bespoke placements in industry for MPs, MEPs and peers structured around a set of learning objectives dictated by each parliamentarian at the beginning of their programme.

Tom has completed 16 days of his Fellowship so far, focusing on the television industry, looking to develop his understanding of the commissioning and production processes and independent production sector in the UK. Tom has so far spent time across the broadcasting and production sectors with businesses including the BBC, Channel 4, PACT, Raise The Roof, So Television, STV, and TalkbackThames .