Creative Cities Convention: A place for gaining insights, sharing views and helping to shape the future of production and distribution outside London.

It’s been a long time. Our Glasgow conference was scuppered by the pandemic in 2020 with a month to go, but we were undaunted and delivered a virtual event in 2021 that mixed live studio sessions, pre-recorded speakers, podcasts and meet-the-commissioner events.

We’ve never needed to share our thoughts and plans more. Content creation outside London is a multi-million pound business and despite the current challenges it’s getting bigger all the time. So whatever lies ahead as we all find new ways to deal with covid, we’ll be back in 2022. We’ve set a date of April 28-29 - please put that in your diaries and watch this space for details of the city and venue that we'll announce early in the New Year.

Meanwhile, here’s a reminder of the great content we provided in April 2021 with the help of a whole range of incredible contributors:


  • BBC Director General Tim Davie publicly discusses for the first time his new BBC Across The UK plan with conference host and distinguished broadcaster Kirsty Wark.
  • How To Go Global Post Covid: Advice from a panel of leading international players including Sky Studios chief content officer Jane Millichip, ITV Studios MD of global creative network Mike Beale, Woodcut Media’s creative director Derren Lawford and Synchronicity’s creative director Claire Mundell, who will also be joined by her Melbourne based development producer Ruth Underwood to explain how they run two bases 11,000 miles apart.
  • How To Build A Hit Returnable Format: Producers hoping to crack the formula for a big returnable factual format will gain insights from Voltage TV CEO Sanjay Singhal, Raise The Roof creative director Andrew Jackson and Channel 4 daytime and features commissioner Kate Thomas, who will then be joined by Sioned Wyn, whose small production company Chwarel in Snowdonia has bagged a 60 episode returnable commission from Channel 4.
  • Creative Diversity: A Year Of Change: The heads of creative diversity for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – Miranda Wayland, Ade Rawcliffe and Babita Bahal – will be joined by author and BBC Scotland Class Wars presenter Darren McGarvey to reflect on a year of seismic change in the pursuit of improved equality, diversity and inclusion in our industry.



An extraordinary line-up of speakers contributed to the event’s brand new Thinking Aloud strand, designed to offer insights and information for delegates working in the business:

  • ITV Digital Channels controller Paul Mortimer tells ITV presenter Charlene White how audience habits changed during the pandemic
  • BBC Three controller Fiona Campbell shares thoughts with Kirsty Wark on portrayal and the importance of partnering across the nations and regions
  • Channel 4’s head of daytime and features Jo Street turns tables to become a guest of Steph McGovern, presenter of the channel’s Leeds based live daytime show Steph’s Packed Lunch
  • Channel 5’s deputy director of programmes Sebastian Cardwell offers insights on his channel’s relationships with producers outside London
  • CEO of Pact John McVay and his MD of business development and global strategy Dawn McCarthy-Simpson ask ‘how was it for you’ after a rollercoaster year for Pact and its membership
  • STV’s CEO Simon Pitts discusses his company’s ambitions, surviving the pandemic and the value of public service television with presenter Kelly-Ann Woodland
  • The new director of BBC Scotland Steve Carson shares thoughts on his future plans with commissioning editor daytime Muslim Alim
  • Awesome smartphone content creator Imran Azam will challenge TV traditionalists to think afresh about the power of the mobile device we hold in the palm of our hand
  • ScreenSkills CEO Seetha Kumar will address strategies needed to train talent across the UK in a session close to the hearts of producers across the UK
  • TV property gurus Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer discuss ten years of working with their managing director Jane Muirhead at Raise The Roof Productions
  • Argonon CEO James Burstall argues that the pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital by ten years
  • The remarkable team behind Casualty’s powerful deaf storyline - writer Charlie Swinbourne, director John Maidens, actor Gabriella Leon and producer Dafydd Llewelyn, share thoughts on how they did it and why it matters that people with disabilities tell their stories on mainstream TV
  • Sanjeev Kohli’s Guide To Glasgow: the actor, writer and comedian offers a unique take on his home city



New this year a diverse set of podcasts called Creative Cities Conversations. These included:

  • Channel 4 digital exec Navi Lamba and YouTube’s EMEA head of originals Luke Hyams offer insights on tomorrow’s digital content creators
  • Producer Adeel Amini and director Stewart Kyasimire discuss their shared determination to improve mental health and diversity in the TV industry
  • Glasgow based Bandicoot execs Daniel Nettleton and Derek McLean tell broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove how they turned The Masked Singer into a big lockdown hit
  • Screen Scotland CEO Isabel Davis talks to Kirsty Wark about turning Scotland into a global screen hub
  • ITV director of social purpose Clare Phillips and Seadog’s natural history filmmaker Monty Halls consider what TV can do to help save the planet
  • XR Stories director Damian Murphy and Creative England head of programmes Stephanie Clark explore the future of immersive storytelling
  • Presenter Janice Forsyth from The Big Light and CEO Jez Nelson from Somethin Else offer thoughts on what TV can learn from podcasting
  • Silent Witness actor Emilia Fox and criminologist and broadcaster David Wilson discuss the public’s obsession with true crime stories and what it tells us about the nation we are
  • STV creative director Craig Hunter and comedian, actor and writer Sanjeev Kohli talk to Kirsty Wark about the merits of heading for London to build a career versus staying put


For more session information simply click CONFERENCE INFO above and select Speakers, Studio Session, Thinking Aloud or Podcasts.

Our Funders

Additional funders for 2020-'21