HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
YOUVIEW BBC SALFORD AND CORONATION STREET
 

Star date: 31st January 2011 

NIGEL PIVARO GOES TO NATIONS AND REGIONS CONFERENCE

Recently, media people came to Salford from all over to discuss the present and future of TV in the UK.

We sent Nigel Pivaro along to The Lowry to attend sessions on the `future of local tv', `the MediaCityUK move north' and the revolutionary YouView gadget that's going to change viewing habits forever. Oh, and Nigel also listened to his former Coronation Street writer, Daran Little, being interviewed by former producer, Mervyn Watson. 

Full story here…


Delegates who attend a conference that leaves their trousers a good few quid lighter might expect something of substance in return - notwithstanding cheese balls in rice cake coating and all the fresh orange juice (sort of) you can drink. I have to say that this year's Nations and Regions Conference at The Lowry was a let down.

You had a chairman of the YouView board, Kip Meek, who could not give concrete answers to an audience that probably left the Quays Theatre less knowledgeable about his company's `You View' box than when they entered.

This was thanks to an evasive display by Meek, despite the best efforts of the excellent Steve Hewlett to find out the price, various functions and limitations of the latest wonder gadget designed to further enslave, sorry enthrall, the nation to the offerings of  the TV executive's present.

`Can you access the internet easily from page one on your YouView box?' asked Hewlett. Er, no.

 "It's not the internet through the telly" declared Meek, "That's Google TV, we are telly through the internet." Right…I think I have grasped that, I thought hopefully, bemused as almost everybody else.

`So how much will it cost?' Hewlett pressed.
"Well that depends, we are hoping to get our partners to subsidise the product…"
`So how much? Tens? Hundreds?'
"I can't say yet."

Right then, roll up, roll up, welcome to the nation's must have entertainment enhancer that its greatest champion can't actually er, champion.

So if we, a room of media professionals, were confused what chance does Kevin and Sharon, or Alf and Freda, have in getting their collective heads round this product?

My maxim, when applied to technology is, if it's not cheap and simple to use it's just going to end up at the back of the garage along with the Sinclair C5 or Betamax machine - and if the chairman of the products board cannot sell it to a room full of pros then that is probably where it deserves to be.

What else was on offer at the Nations and Regions? Oh yeah, a really soft interview with the prolific TV scriptwriter Daran Little, by his former boss and mentor Mervyn Watson.

This really was a story of anoraks to riches for the Little boy who smugly related how he went from earning £330 a week as Coronation Street's archivist to twenty thousand dollars while working on the US soap All My Children. He cheerfully related how he then went on to write for Hollyoaks, dating a couple of the actors along the way…ethical issues resulting from such carryings on were not discussed.

There was precious little introspection into his writing technique beyond Daran's declaration of undying love for the Street which had propelled him into begging for a job, any job, on the show as a gauche 21 year-old. According to Little he learnt his craft by default while watching and reading every episode over a three year period. This, he related, taught him to recognize what makes a good soap opera character or a bad one.

He made it sound all so depressingly formulaic, as if there is a template for every soap character in a soap. Personally I don't buy that and there was little said about the relationship between the actors and writers, and the cooperative synergy that goes into developing a character.

The forty minute interview passed enjoyably quickly but I was left wondering what purpose such a light and fluffy chat had served at a conference of this kind. Daran's route into writing was not typical, and little insight was to be gained for prospective TV scriptwriters beyond the superficial.

Both contributors had far more to offer - Watson a writer himself who has produced shows from Holby City to Coronation Street, and Little who can write well outside the Soap Box when required. All that emerged was a brief glimpse into the mechanics and functionality of writing for an ongoing drama show, with no exploration into its heart and soul.

A disappointment, as I know from personal experience, Little can dig down deep. He penned one of my best ever pages of monologues in Coronation Street some years back.

The type of question that might have been beneficial to young aspiring writers might have been, `How  does a gay male writer connect with the psyche of a dedicated heterosexual bloke to produce convincing dialogue for his character?'

Meanwhile, upstairs in the Compass Room, Richard Deverall, Chief Operating Officer for BBC North, was being grilled by Steve Hewlett about the benefits of the MediaCityUK move.

While nationally the idea of a full BBC channel move to Peel Holdings-land kind of excited the media audience, it was the giveaway bits of info that were more gripping… that the BBC had a (contractual?) commitment to move 1500 people here, and when staff refused to come and departments shrank with the cuts, they kept having to shift more and more sections north to make up the numbers.

We also learned that the relocation costs are £155million"but that includes 20 years of rent" explained Deverall, almost apologetically.

Hewlett finally asked `How is Media City going to do anything for Leeds?' Oi! Get to the back of the queue! We still want to know what Media City is going to do for Salford!
 
There followed a session again hosted by Hewlett that was like a replay of a debate during the 2009 conference on local TV. Three panelists waffled on about how local TV would definitely happen. Posh Yank lady Claire Ender, who runs a TV analysis firm, expressed her views through the prism of the Shot Report, commissioned by merchant banker Nicholas Shot. Do these people have any credibility left at all? Let alone telling us how local TV could work…

Ten Alps whizz kid, Alex Connock, told us that local TV could be funded from philanthropic sources for high end investigative journalism. Hmmm…noble but doubtful. It all seemed like a déjà vu until a fourth panellist, Nick Booth, an investigative reporter and social media expert, broke the spell and uttered the most sense by asking `Why are we having this conversation at all?' His analysis was that local TV was already happening and in the hands of the people via Internet TV.

He told the audience of what locals in Walsall were doing - filming council meetings, challenging councillors on issues in the community and uploading the content onto their very own internet television platform.

This I thought could be a whole new future for Salford and the Salford Star, as long as the Council and other bodies recognise their obligation and our right to an open transparent, local democracy, of course. Whaddya say John Merry? Watch this space… 


 

Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD CITY MAYOR MISLEADING STATEMENTS ON DEVELOPER CASH
Give us a breakdown on what fees have been paid in the last 3 years. And from which development. Also a breakdown on how many affo... [more]
article: DISABLED PEOPLE AGAINST THE CUTS STAGE SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT PROTEST IN MANCHESTER
Esther Mcvey has said on more than one occasion that she will not change Universal credit. Seem she is scared of Iian Duncan-Smit... [more]
article: IS IRLAMS O’ TH’ HEIGHT THE HARDEST PLACE TO SPELL IN BRITAIN?
I have to agree with you that IRLAMS O’ TH’ HEIGHT probably is the hardest name place to spell correctly in Britain. I am here, vi... [more]
article: SALFORD COUNCIL BANNER DECLARES ‘TRANSPARENCY’ DESPITE EVERYTHING BEING SECRET
It has to be stopped. Agree with Mary Ferrer.... [more]
article: OVER 1500 SALFORD PEOPLE SIGN PETITION AGAINST BUILDING IN BUILE HILL PARK
When the foundation put their plan forward they should have made it clear they didn't have the money to renovate the Mansion.Or di... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD CITY MAYOR MISLEADING STATEMENTS ON DEVELOPER CASH

Star date: 19th April 2018

AS £5.5MILLION AVOIDED BY DEVELOPERS SALFORD MAYOR SAYS IT'S A 'MYTH'!

In the latest issue of Salford Council's propaganda mag, Life in Salford, Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, has denounced the "myth" that "developers don't contribute money to the city. It's simply not true" he says.

Yes, they do contribute some money but they also avoid millions of pounds in payments and provision of affordable housing. Indeed, Salford Star analysis shows that developers avoided almost £5.5million in payments last year, as the Mayor only tells half the truth.

Full details here...

DISABLED PEOPLE AGAINST THE CUTS STAGE SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT PROTEST IN MANCHESTER

Star date: 18th April 2018

STOP AND SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT WITH NO EVICTIONS STATE GROUPS

Today, in St Peter's Square Manchester, around half a dozen campaign groups took part in a Disabled People Against the Cuts national day of action calling for Universal Credit to be stopped and scrapped.

Chalk slogans covered the square, speeches were made condemning the affect of the discredited benefit and a giant letter was handed into Manchester City Council calling for 'No evictions' as a result of Universal Credit payment delays.

Full details here...

SALFORD NURSERY CAMPAIGNERS TAKE FIGHT TO PARLIAMENT

Star date: 18th April 2018

FIGHT FOR THE FIVE CAMPAIGNERS HEAD TO WESTMINSTER

A coach load of Save Our Nursery campaigners will be heading to Parliament next Wednesday 25th April for a meeting with MPs in the Palace of Westminster and to urge the Government to be flexible over its new funding formula.

It is also hoped that Labour Party Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, will pressure Theresa May to respond at Prime Minister's Question Time on the same day.

Full details here...

HUGE PAY RISES FOR SALFORD CITY COUNCIL OFFICERS

Star date: 17th April 2018

ASSISTANT DIRECTORS TO GET HUGE PAY RISES

Cash-strapped Salford City Council is to give huge pay rises to senior officers after a 'job evaluation exercise' moved them well up the pay scale. It follows the resignation of the Director of Finance and Corporate Business, and spreading the majority of his salary amongst other re-titled roles.

The Salford Star believes the officers are in line to share around £54,000 between them.

Full details here...

HOMELESS KITCHEN AND PROTEST IN MANCHESTER WHILE SALFORD AIMS TO GIVE HOMELESS A VOTE

Star date: 16th April 2018

HOMELESS IN SALFORD CAN STILL REGISTER TO VOTE AS PROTEST HITS MANCHESTER

Today the Salford Unemployed and Community Resource Centre is urging homeless people to get in touch in order to register to vote as it's the last day to do so tomorrow.

Meanwhile, yesterday a food kitchen and sound system happened in Piccadilly Gardens as a party protest against homelessness... "I have spoken to Andy Burnham and I don't think he is going to accomplish his mission to stop homelessness by 2020" said organiser Emma Mohareb.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx