Speakers 2019

Our speaker programme for this year’s Creative Cities Convention is an inspirational mix of industry experts who will share their own unique insights and expertise.

Join us to hear their views about a range of subjects which will impact on the future of broadcasting and the media as we look to the future our industry is creating. See below for our growing list of speakers, listed alphabetically.

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Dan Adamson

Dan Adamson:  Director of Programmes, Twofour Group

Dan began his TV career in the regions making items for Yorkshire Tyne Tees Television, before relocating to join the Top Gear team at BBC Birmingham. He then headed to London to build his career working for many of the major indies, leading to a BAFTA for his work in the boardroom on the first two series of The Apprentice.

In 2010 he joined Twofour Group to head up the production base in Devon where this year his team will produce over 80 hours of network television.

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Emyr Afan

Emyr Afan is an accomplished exec producer, multi-cam director, and ideas creative. He co-founded Avanti in 1995, and has built one of the most successful TV production companies in Wales.  In 2017, alongside partners Nine Lives Media, Avanti won the contract to produce BBC’s flagship series, Songs of Praise. Avanti is based in Cardiff & Manchester. In 2018 Sky acquired a majority stake in Avanti with a view to developing the business in the UK and internationally

Recent credits; The Mobo’s C5, Para’s: Ready for War ITV1, Secrets of Henry the VIII’s Warship C4, Plastic not Fantastic BBC3, Jonathan S4C

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Muslim Alim

Muslim joined the BBC 17 years ago and has produced content for TV, Radio and Online.

Starting as a Researcher in TV Ents he moved to Radio to produce programmes, features, documentaries, live sessions and outside broadcasts for Radio 1 and was part of the launch team for BBC Introducing where he gave a then unknown Calvin Harris his first Radio 1 live session. After 8 years in Radio he became Project Lead on strategic initiatives for BBC Scotland and returned to production as a co-creator of the award-winning digital youth brand BBC The Social where he commissioned over 1600 multi-genre items including a true crime podcast and a gritty YouTube drama.

Since joining the Daytime Commissioning team as an Assistant Commissioner in 2017 he has worked with Jo Street and looks after returning titles; Antiques Road Trip, Homes Under The Hammer, Money For Nothing, Impossible and Eggheads. His first daytime commission, The Customer Is Always Right will air later this spring.

Muslim was recently promoted to Commissioning Editor with a specific brief to bring fresh ideas to daytime from producers in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Julian Bellamy

Julian Bellamy is Managing Director of ITV Studios, one of the leading distributors and independent producers in the world; the largest commercial production company in the UK and the largest independent producer of non-scripted content in America.

The Studios Group has production bases in 12 countries with over 50 creative production labels around the world making over 8,500 hours of original content every year. ITV Studios’ diverse slate of hit shows, created and produced by award-winning production labels part of ITV Studios, includes: Bodyguard, Queer EyeI’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of HereThe VoiceAnt and Dec’s Saturday Night TakeawayCold FeetEducating CardiffThe ChaseCome Dine With MeHell’s KitchenUniversity ChallengeLine of Duty, The Graham Norton Show24 Hours in A&EVictoria, Vanity Fair, Emmerdale and the world’s longest running soap opera Coronation Street.

Julian joined ITV from Discovery Networks International where, as Creative Director and Head of Commissioning, he ran production and development across 200 countries, with commissioning teams in five international bases.

He was previously Head of Channel 4 managing over 2000 hours of original programming a year including Undercover Boss, One Born Every Minute and This is England.

Julian is also a former Head of E4 and BBC3 Channel Controller, he began his career as a current affairs producer/director.

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Magnus Brooke

Magnus Brooke is Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at ITV plc with overall responsibility for ITV’s policy and regulatory strategy and its interaction with UK and European regulators and government.  Magnus is a non-executive director of a number of ITV subsidiaries and joint venture companies including SDN, Freesat and Digital UK and from 2014-19 he was Chairman of the Board of the Brussels based Association of Commercial Television in Europe.  Prior to joining ITV in July 2006 he was Head of the BBC Director General’s Office for three years first for Greg Dyke and subsequently for Mark Thompson.  Magnus began his career as a solicitor specialising in regulatory and competition law for media companies and investors at city of London solicitors Ashursts where he also trained.

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Fiona Campbell

Fiona Campbell is Controller, BBC Three where she holds overall responsibility for content commissioning across platforms and oversees the strategy of the channel.

Prior to joining BBC Three in January 2019, Fiona was Director, Digital BBC News. In that role, Fiona was responsible for BBC News strategy to engage and build relationships with the youth audience on and off BBC platforms.  Fiona created the BBC Stories content strand curating the best of pan BBC content that appeals to women, the young and the less well-off and puts particular emphasis on the value of community building and listening.  Fiona also had responsibility for the BBC News presence on iPlayer and the audio platform BBC Sounds.
Fiona is a supporter of the BBC’s Women in Leadership group and the BBC’s Rise diversity scheme mentoring individuals inside and outside the BBC and has also worked in the commercial sector as a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 News.

Fiona was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and gained her Masters in International Affairs at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Bologna, Italy.

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Rab Christie

Rab Christie is the MD of the Comedy Unit, creators of BAFTA and RTS Award winning comedy programmes and currently producing Tourist Trap (BBC Wales), Scot Squad (BBC Scotland) and Soft Border Patrol (BBC Northern Ireland). Other comedy credits include Burnistoun, Limmy’s Show, Gary Tank Commander, The State of It, Only an Excuse?, Rab C Nesbitt, Still Game, Badults, Blowout, Rory Goes to Holyrood, Scotland in a Day, Offside, Chewin the Fat, Sketchorama and Fags, Mags and Bags.

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Joel Collins

Joel Collins – Co-Founder Painting Practice and Production Designer on His Dark Materials

Joel Collins is a formidable production designer on television dramas, feature films and commercials, teaming up with Dan May in 2007 to create Painting Practice, a company that combines concept design, production design and visual effects under one roof.

Previously a production designer for Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, Joel won a BAFTA for Special, Visual and Graphic Effects in 2018 after receiving two previous nominations for the same series, and a previous BAFTA win for Day of the Triffids.

He has worked with directors Tom Hooper, Otto Bathurst, Joe Wright and Jodie Foster, as well as collaborating with Hammer & Tongs on Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Son of Rambow.

He is currently production designer on Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for BBC One and HBO.

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Nick Curwin

Nick Curwin is Chairman of Matisse.  With a background in print journalism, he began his TV career at LWT and then Mentorn, where he ran its Folio division.  He launched indie Firefly, now Dragonfly, with Magnus Temple in 2004.  There he pioneered so-called “factual Theatre” with programmes such as the award-winning Anatomy For Beginners, as well as the “rig show”, with the Bafta-nominated The Family and Bafta-winning One Born Every Minute, both for Channel 4.  He sold Firefly to Shine in 2007 and left with Temple three years later to launch a second indie, The Garden, producers of 24 Hours in A&E, 24 Hours in Police Custody, Keeping Britain Alive and The Audience – all Bafta-nominated – as well as the Bafta-winning Bedlam.  The Garden was twice voted the best indie in the country by its peers.  Four years after ITV Studios acquired The Garden, he stood down as CEO and joined the Board of C4’s Indie Growth Fund.  After a year as Creative Mentor to investee companies and advising the channel on new investments, he left to launch Matisse, a new advisory service for indies and investors, focussing primarily on the Nations and Regions and operating in all genres.

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Simon Daglish

Simon Daglish is ITV Deputy Commercial Director

After leaving school Simon decided that University was not for him and joined the army.

This was followed by work in Venezuela, America and Australia before returning to the UK in 1991 to start work on the ‘new’ Daily Telegraph, which had recently been purchased by Conrad Black. Having managed the launch of the Saturday Magazine in 1995 he decided to set up his own publishing company, and in 1998 sold it to Tony O’Riley’s Independent Magazines.

Simon then joined the fledgling Classic FM and within 4 years it had grown into the biggest commercial radio station in the UK and the most profitable. In 2005 Classic FM and its parent company GWR merged with Capital Radio and Simon became the Group Commercial Director. On the sale of GCap Media to Global, Simon left and joined the early social media revolution working for MySpace as Commercial Director. Simon joined ITV plc in January 2011 as Group Commercial Sales Director and was promoted in 2014 to Deputy Managing Director, Commercial.

In his free time he has rowed across the Irish Sea and walked to the South Pole, unsupported on both trips.

He has also led an expedition to the North Pole with 4 wounded soldiers and HRH Prince Harry.

Simon completed his second South Pole challenge in December 2013 for Walking With The Wounded, a charity which he founded and he has raised over £10 million for various charities.

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Anna Dickeson

Anna Dickeson is a Series Producer/Director based in Leeds specialising in observational documentaries and has extensive experience of high profile fixed rig series. Anna joined The Garden at the end of 2018 as Creative Lead of The Garden Yorkshire to work across regional production and develop projects.

Before joining The Garden Anna has spent over 10 years working for a number of leading indies including Twofour, Dragonfly, Blast and Blakeway North.

As well as developing various series for the BBC and Channel 4, most recently A Very Northern Hotel (wt) for BBC1, Anna Series Produced and Directed the first series of The Secret Life of the Zoo (C4) and prior to that has Produced and Directed on multiple BAFTA and RTS nominated series including Educating the East End and One Born Every Minute as well as producing on the first three series of 24 Hours in A&E.

Her First Cut documentary ‘My Baggy Body’ (C4) received the channels highest ever viewing figures for the series and was nominated for a North West RTS award. Other  credits include The Job Centre (C4) and Parking Wars (ITV) the Wonderland documentary ‘Boy Cheerleaders’ (BBC2)  and The Air Hospital for Cutting Edge (C4).

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Ewan Douglas

Ewan Douglas leads the Channel 4 Nations & Regions commercial business based in Manchester, working with advertisers, agencies and producers across the breadth of the UK & Ireland. He is passionate about television and believes connecting brands with  high quality  programmes  and  mass audiences is enormously powerful. Ewan and his team partner advertisers across; spot advertising , sponsorship, digital, AFP, product placement and content creation.
Ewan is a strong advocate of the talent that thrives in the creative industries across all parts of the UK. Prior to joining Channel 4 he held a series of roles with Scottish Television.

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Deborah Dunnett

Deborah Dunnett is Nations & Regions Manager for Channel 4, the department whose primary focus is on helping Indies make the most of the broadcaster’s commitment to 50% production spend outside of London.

Working closely across all commissioning genres, Deborah leads strategy on increasing and improving Indy engagement across the UK.  She also manages the Alpha fund, a unique resource dedicated to growing new and emerging Indies,  and represents Channel 4 Nations and Regions in both Government and creative stakeholder engagement.

Prior to this role Deborah was an Executive Producer and Head of Development, working at Indies and broadcasters in London, Manchester and Glasgow where she also created Scotland’s go-to TV recruitment resource and pioneered schemes to bridge the gap between education and employment.

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Sophie Elwin Harris

Sophie Elwin Harris is an award-winning producer director with over 20 years of experience, creating shows for BBC channels, C4, National Geographic, PBS and Smithsonian Channel. Most recently Sophie has worked on National Geographic’s hit series, Drain The Oceans, for which she won a gold award at the New York film and TV festival, 2018.

The science and history documentaries Sophie has produced range from the story of the engineers who conceived the Lunar Module and the Saturn V rocket, for America’s Secret Space Heroes, to the archaeological investigation into Shakespeare’s tomb, for C4’s Secret History strand. Other credits include Immortal Egypt (BBC2), Time TeamHorizon and the Story of Wales with Huw Edwards, which gained a BAFTA Cymru award.

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Paul Forde

Paul Forde is Commissioning Executive for Comedy at BBC Wales and is responsible for comedy development across all of BBC Wales’ platforms.

During a long career in TV and Radio he has specialised in comedy. He brought Rhod Gilbert to the BBC in 2006, producing his early radio and TV projects and has been executive producer on numerous comedy projects for BBC Wales since. In October 2018 he oversaw BBC Wales’ first TV comedy output in over a decade and as a result has commissioned several full series that will go into production in 2019.

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Ben Frow

Ben Frow is the Director of Programmes for Channel 5  (the UK’s third largest commercial TV channel) and its digital channels 5STAR, 5Spike, 5Select and 5USA, with responsibility across all content for the portfolio.

Ben has driven a creative renewal of Channel 5 and during his tenure the number of original commissions in peak time has increased by 40% with over 100 original series or specials transmitting over the last twelve months.

Channel 5 has broadened the scope of its programming, commissioning history, natural history, drama, entertainment and comedy series to build on its roots in factual programming, attracting talent ranging from Michael Palin to Michael Portillo, Jane McDonald to Jeremy Vine.

In 2018 Channel 5 secured its best ever nominations at the RTS Programme Awards and Grierson Awards, its first ever BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald, its first ever wins at the AIB and Venice TV Festival Awards and scooped the prestigious Channel of the Year award at the Edinburgh TV Festival, beating BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and ITV.

Successes include The Yorkshire Vet and GPs, Behind Closed Doors, innovative travelogues including Michael Palin in North Korea and Cruising with Jane McDonald, impactful documentary series The Gift of Life and Body Donors as well as hard-hitting single docs Raped: My Story and Slum Britain: 50 Years On; a raft of natural history series such as Loch Lomond and Wild Britain and highly praised history programmes including Eight Days that Made Rome and Elizabeth and her Enemies.

Ben has also recently commissioned a slate of dramas for the channel including recent hit Agatha & The Truth of Murder.

Ben’s previous roles include Director of Programming for TV3, Controller, Factual and Entertainment for Channel 5 (2004-2007) with responsibility for features, lifestyle, comedy and entertainment. Between 1999 and 2003 he worked in a variety of roles at Channel 4 including Head of Factual Entertainment and Features, commissioning a raft of hit shows including Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, You Are What You Eat and Jamie’s Kitchen, Location Location Location, Property Ladder, No Going Back, Nigella Bites and How Clean is Your House. Prior to his broadcast career, Ben worked as a costume maker and launched a fashion collection under his own name.

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Nasfim Haque, Commissioning Editor, Short Form

Nasfim Haque joined BBC Wales as a production trainee in 2002 before directing her first film for BBC Three’s Fresh scheme. She then moved on to BBC Birmingham and Manchester Vision studios to help develop factual and feature ideas such as Hairy Bikers, Indian Food Made Easy and The Satanic Verses Affair for BBC Two.

Having worked as a producer at companies such as Two Four, Love and Century Films, Nasfim then spent 12-months at Channel 4 as Commissioning Executive within their documentaries team helping to commission new directors and look after returning series.

After joining BBC Three as Deputy Editor in 2016, Nasfim helped oversee in-house content including the Idris Elba Takeover, before being appointed Commissioning Editor for short-form content. Her credits include Romesh: Talking to Comedians, How Not to Die, the original series of Eating with my Ex and films such as Searching for… Kanye.

She has previously worked at BBC Wales and BBC Media Action on multi-platform shorts, and helped set up ‘Woke’ – a globally conscious Facebook news site.

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Ayesha Hazarika

Ayesha Hazarika MBE was a special adviser to Gordon Brown, Harriet Harman and Ed Miliband from 2007 to 2015. While in government, she specialised in women’s issues and helped draft the landmark Equality Act 2010. She is now a much sought-after political commentator and broadcaster.

She is a columnist and political commentator for the London Evening Standard and writes for many other national publications. She frequently appears on television and radio including the BBC’s Question Time, Andrew Marr Show, Newsnight, Sky News, Good Morning Britain, LBC and CNN where she’s a regular pundit on domestic and international affairs. She has also appeared on Have I Got News For You and Radio 4’s The News Quiz.

Her first book ‘Punch and Judy Politics’ – a history and insider’s guide to the art of Prime Minister’s Questions – was published in May 2018.

Ayesha is also an award-winning stand-up comedian.

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Patrick Holland

Patrick Holland became Channel Controller of BBC Two in March 2017, following his earlier appointment as Channel Editor in July 2016.

As Controller he’s overseen the launch of a raft of new titles including Hospital, Motherland, The Mighty Redcar, Collateral, MotherFatherSon, Surgeons – At the Edge of Life, A House Through Time, King Charles III, House of Assad: A Dangerous Dynasty, Boy with the Topknot and Blitz: The Bombs that Changed Britain.

His goal is to continue the revitalisation of BBC Two as a vital cultural force, filled with provocative points of view, where creatives can take their biggest risks and where the audience comes to be stimulated, challenged and entertained.

Patrick also line manages Cassian Harrison, the channel Editor of BBC Four.

Prior to joining BBC Two, Patrick was Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, leading one of the biggest commissioning teams at the BBC, responsible for a huge range of output across all channels. From The Real Marigold Hotel and Simon’s Choice, How to Die (BBC Two) to Abused: The Untold Story (BBC One), the award-winning global documentary strand Storyville (BBC Four), through to BBC Three stand-out films Chasing Dad and Murdered By My Father.

Other highlights include Camila’s Kids’ Company: The Inside Story (BBC One), Syrian Love Story (BBC Four), Louis Theroux: Savile (BBC Two), The Great Pottery Throwdown (BBC Two), Behind Closed Doors (BBC One), and Professor Green’s Suicide And Me film (BBC Three).

Before the BBC, Patrick was the managing director of one of the UK’s biggest factual independent production companies, Boundless (part of Fremantle Media UK). Whilst there he created a raft of new documentary series including An Hour To Save Your Life (BBC Two), World’s Toughest Jobs (BBC Three), Britain At The Bookies (BBC One) and Dara And Ed’s Great Big Adventure (BBC Two).

Patrick also oversaw the revitalisation of The Apprentice and Grand Designs (both BAFTA-nominated in 2015) and executive produced the feature documentary The Class Of ’92 (Universal). Before joining Boundless Patrick was the Director of Factual at Ricochet, where he ran Born To Be Different (Channel 4), executive produced Space Shuttle: The Final Mission (BBC Two) and established the new talent documentary strand My Crazy Life (Channel 4).

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Alex Mahon

Alex Mahon is the CEO of Channel 4 the British public-service television broadcaster. Channel 4 is a publicly-owned and commercially-funded family of channels with a statutory remit to deliver high-quality, innovative, alternative content that challenges the status quo. The business is funded by advertising with revenues of c £1bn annually and has a unique purpose to innovate, take creative risks and inspire positive change and ensure that all of Great Britain is represented in its programmes.

Alex was CEO of Foundry the leading design and visual and 3D effects software firm for 2 years from, 2015-2017 under its ownership by Hg Capital. The Foundry is at the heart of the creative industries and technology sectors in London making software for the virtual reality, design and entertainment industries. She is now a board member and Deputy Chairman at Foundry.

Before Alex moved into technology she spent 15 years running creative production companies and her focus is high growth, international and entrepreneurial businesses. She was CEO of Shine Group which she joined in 2006 and with partners built the group through M&A and organic growth into an organisation with 27 creative labels in 12 countries, and brands including MasterChef, Biggest Loser, Broadchurch, Spooks & The Bridge. Prior to this she had a career in media across Europe, at Talkback Thames, FremantleMedia Group and RTL Group. She started off as a PhD Physicist and then a strategy consultant at Mitchell Madison Group in the pre 2000 internet boom.

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Laura Marks

Laura Marks is Nations and Regions Exec at Channel 4, working across Comedy, Entertainment, Digital and E4 and the recent Channel 4 Short Form Comedy brief, Sparks. Prior to joining Channel 4, Laura was Commissioning Editor at BBC Three Short Form, working with and nurturing independent production companies in the UK across all genres. Laura was responsible for shows such as Sex Robots and Us, The Naked Truth, Too Fat For Love?, Face the Consequences, Oi Leonardo, the Comedy Quickies and Supercar Superfam. She was previously a comedy producer with BBC Studios, producing Bafta nominated Still Game Live for BBC One, 3 Kids on Three, short form comedy strand Short StuffBBC Comedy Presents and Supernatural Square Go.

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John McVay

John McVay OBE is the Chief Executive of Pact the UK’s leading Trade Association for Film, TV, Animation, Children’s and Digital production companies.  John contributes to many UK government and international policy fora on the creative industries, broadcasting, trade and investment.  John has extensive experience of policy development across all aspects of broadcasting and television production and leads on all Pact policy development in the UK and Europe.  He also maintains excellent relationships with all of the UK’s major political parties and the devolved assemblies and parliaments.  John is a member of the Creative Diversity Network, a member of the Creative Industries Council (CIC) and is the industry lead on the CIC sector deal which has recently been agreed with the UK Government.  John is the Chairman of the UK’s digital single market campaign and is the UK rights spokesperson for the Creative Coalition Campaign.

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Aasmah Mir

Aasmah Mir presents Saturday Live on Radio 4 and reports for the Tonight programme on ITV. She also reports for ITV during general elections and referendums. Born in Glasgow, she studied law at Bristol University and her first job was reading the news on STV at the age of 21. She switched to radio – presenting on Radio 5 Live for 11 years and then Radio 4 since 2014. As well as TV election reporting, she reports on live events for BBC1 including the Centenary of Votes for Women (2018) and the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland (2016) with David Dimbleby. She has been a contestant on both Celebrity Mastermind and Celebrity Masterchef.

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Photo Credit: Alistair Heap

Amanda Rees

Amanda Rees was appointed as S4C’s Creative Director of Content in 2016.

Amanda has had a long-standing career in TV and was previously Creative Director at production company Tifini. Since joining S4C Amanda has bought some hugely successful programmes to the screen including hit dramas such as Un Bore Mercher/Keeping Faith and ground-breaking children programmes such as Broadcast nominated Deian a Loli and BAFTA winning Prosiect Z. She has ensured rights for the biggest sporting events including coverage of Wales’ Euro qualifying matches and the Rugby World Cup in September 2019. She has managed to showcase international entertainment events including the Junior Eurovision Choir and Song Contest.

Amanda’s strategy to diversify S4C’s audience and future proof the channel saw the making of online service Hansh which has proved to be hugely successful. Amanda has also been vital in promoting S4C programmes on an international scale and many of S4C’s original formats can now be enjoyed in countries across the world.

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Marvin Rees

Marvin Rees was elected Mayor of Bristol in May 2016, becoming the first European City Mayor of Black African-Caribbean descent.

Marvin read Economic History and Politics at Swansea University, later achieving a Master’s degree in Political Theory and Government. He then attended Eastern University, Pennsylvania, completing a Master’s degree in Global Economic Development. He later undertook the prestigious Yale World Fellows programme.

After beginning his career in the voluntary sector, Marvin worked in Washington, D.C., on the response of faith-based organisations to President Clinton’s Welfare Reform Bill. He later worked in both public health and radio broadcasting, becoming a journalist at BBC Radio Bristol.

Marvin founded the City Leadership Programme in 2012, which invests in the development of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and continues as its director.

Marvin’s priorities are to tackle Bristol’s housing crisis by building more homes, improve transport across the city, ensure early intervention in health and progress social mobility through education.

He developed the Bristol ‘City Office’, bringing together diverse organisations to work on the problems facing the city.

Marvin lives with his wife, Kirsten, a Wellbeing coach, and their 3 children; two boys, Caleb and Levi and a daughter, Eden.

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Crispin Sadler

Crispin Sadler is a specialist factual producer with a passion for marine archaeology.   In 2002 he formed a partnership with a childhood friend, Simon Mallinson, and Mallinson Sadler Productions was born in 2002.

The first ‘Drain’ show, ‘Drain the Great Lakes’ was pitched to national Geographic in 2009, went into production in 2010 and delivered in 2011.  After that came five more shows on an annual basis until 2018 when the first series of 10 x 47’00” episodes were made.  This year, 2019, 15 episodes are being made with Series 3 planned for 2020.

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Jo Street

Jo has directed, produced and Exec’d across factual and entertainment working on everything from Countryfile to the Weakest Link before moving into Commissioning.

She now commissions hit shows across Entertainment & Daytime for BBC One & BBC Two and Popular Factual and Formats for the new BBC Scotland channel. She works with some of the industry’s most talented and demanding people – both on screen and behind the camera.

Her current slate ranges from the innovative celebrity dinner party format – “I’ll Get This” to everyone’s guilty pleasure “Homes under the Hammer” and everything in between.

Jo has been based in Glasgow for 10 years and is a passionate advocate for Out of London production.

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Rhodri Talfan Davies

Rhodri Talfan Davies has been Director of BBC Cymru Wales since September 2011. He oversees all BBC content produced for Wales across TV, Radio, online/mobile and social media – in English and in Welsh. His vision to see the broadcaster relocate to Cardiff city centre is on course to be realised this year, with the move due to complete by March 2020.The BBC’s most open and accessible building to date – open to the public and a wide range of partners in the creative sector – it will also be the first broadcast centre in the world to have a Live IP core meaning that it will have the most advanced technology of any broadcast centre in the UK.  Rhodri is an Honorary Fellow of the University of South Wales, and Vice President of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

New leader of Cardiff Council,  Huw Thomas.
Pictured at County Hall, Cardiff.

Huw Thomas

Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council, is the youngest Council Leader in Wales, leading one of the fastest growing cities in the UK. Huw’s administration is committed to promoting inclusive growth, with major projects including a £300m school building programme, the construction of 1000 council houses by 2022, significant transport infrastructure developments, and the delivery of a new 15,000 capacity indoor arena.

Huw has served as a Labour Councillor for the Splott ward in Cardiff since 2012 and held a number of Cabinet roles before becoming Leader of the Council in May 2017.

He is the Welsh Local Government Association Spokesperson for Culture, Tourism & Major Events. He is also the Core Cities UK Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture and was a board member of the Cultural Cities Enquiry, which reported in February 2019.

Huw is a fluent Welsh speaker who graduated in Music from Oxford University before completing a Masters degree in International Relations at Aberystwyth University.

Away from politics, Huw is a supporter of sport, culture and the arts, as well as an outdoor enthusiast and keen cyclist. He has played previously with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and is a fan of Aberystwyth Town and Wales football teams.

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Nia Thomas

Nia Thomas is Managing Director of Cardiff based Boom Cymru TV Ltd, one of Wales’s largest, indigenous production groups. Employing c.230 staff and annually producing and delivering c.500 hours of multi-genre content to UK and international broadcasters, the Boom group of companies is part of ITV Studios, and operates in a variety of sectors, including production (Boom and Oxford Scientific Films), facilities (Gorilla), animation (Cloth Cat) and visual effects (Bait). Nia is responsible for overseeing Boom group’s multidisciplinary operations and her production experience spans a variety of genres, including children’s, entertainment, factual, music and events. She is a Board member of TAC and sits on the Steering Board of Cardiff’s Clwstwr Creadigol (Creative Industries Clusters Programme).

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Jane Tranter

Jane Tranter is CEO at Bad Wolf.

In 2000 Jane was appointed the BBC’s first Controller of Drama Commissioning. Alongside Julie Gardner she instigated Cardiff’s development as a major hub for BBC drama production in Wales beginning with the revival of Doctor WhoSarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood.

In 2006 she was made BBC Controller of Fiction, adding BBC Films, Programme Acquisition and Comedy commissioning to her responsibilities.

In 2009 she received BAFTA’s Special Award in recognition of her outstanding creative contribution to the television industry.

From 2009 – 2015 Jane was based in America where she headed BBC Worldwide’s Los Angeles production arm. Whilst there, Jane produced over 800 hours of scripted and unscripted television including Life Below ZeroDa Vinci’s DemonsGetting On and Steven Zaillian’s The Night Of for HBO which triumphed at the 2017 Emmy Awards.

In August 2015 Jane partnered with long-time collaborator Julie Gardner to start Bad Wolf – an independent production company based in South Wales and Los Angeles – to make high-end film and television drama for global audiences.

Since the opening of Wolf Studios Wales in Cardiff, Bad Wolf has produced series 1 of A Discovery of Witches, an 8-part drama series for Sky One based on the best-selling All Souls Trilogy of novels by Deborah Harkness and written for TV by Kate Brooke. Currently in post-production is a new television series of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, adapted by Jack Thorne, and co-produced with New Line Cinema.

Jane is an honorary fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford and of the Royal Television Society.

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Kirsty Wark

Conference host Kirsty Wark has built up a reputation as one of the UK’s most formidable and versatile television journalists. She is best known as an anchor on the BBC’s flagship news and current Affairs show Newsnight.

Born in Dumfries and now based in Glasgow, Kirsty’s broadcasting career began in 1976 when she joined the BBC as a graduate researcher. She produced a range of radio programmes in Scotland before spending time in London as a producer on Radio Four’s The World at One and PM. In 1983 she moved to television to produce Reporting Scotland and was the first woman to edit the programme.

Kirsty was one of the first journalists to arrive on the scene when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up in the skies above Lockerbie in 1988.  Two years later, she famously locked horns with Margaret Thatcher in a headline making interview which propelled her into the national spotlight.  In addition to political reporting, Kirsty presents many arts and cultural programmes; career highlights have included interviews with Madonna, Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, Damien Hirst and George Clooney, to name just a few. She has fronted many documentaries for BBC Television including the critically acclaimed Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes and more recently The Insider’s Guide To The Menopause which was nominated for a BAFTA.

Away from the studio lights, food is her passion. She reached the final in Celebrity MasterChef in 2011 and was crowned top celebrity baker on The Great British Bake Off for Comic Relief.

Kirsty has several major accolades to her name including BAFTA Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, Journalist of the Year and Best Television Presenter.

Her second novel – The House By The Loch – will be published by Two Roads on 13th June 2019.

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Pat Younge

Pat Younge is Co-founder and Managing Director of Sugar Films.

Pat’s 24 year career in television spans channels, genres and continents, leading News, Sport, Commissioning and Production across ITV, BBC and C4 as well as running a major American cable network, Travel Channel Media.

Pat co-founded Sugar Films in 2016 – with the mission to create bold, popular and provocative programming for modern, mainstream and diverse audiences. Recent productions include Recipes That Made Me for BBC Two, Should I Marry My Cousin (BBC Three) and Gary Younge’s Angry, White and American for Channel 4.

Previous to this, Pat spent four years as Chief Creative Officer for BBC Production, with over £300m in revenues and 3,000 employees. His teams delivered some of the world’s biggest shows including Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, Dr Who, Frozen Planet, and Luther. In 2012, under Pat’s leadership, BBC Productions won one third of all the UK BAFTA programme awards, as well as Golden Globes, Emmy’s and RTS Awards.

As President /General Manager of Travel Channel Media USA (2005-2009), Pat led its turn-around by introducing award winning and globally popular brands including Man v Food and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

At BBC Sport, Pat presided over the transformation of the 6 Nations rugby championship, including regular Sunday fixtures, prime-time kick-offs and a tournament climax day now known as Super Saturday. As a result ratings doubled and rugby union is now regularly broadcast in primetime.

Pat has also been a commissioning editor at Channel 4, having started his career in news and current affairs at ITV and the BBC.

Pat has three children, and enjoys sport, movies and Sudoku, is a fellow of the RTS and the RSA, and is slowly writing his debut screenplay.