Soho Stories [documentary]

Television executive and broadcaster Paul Jackson charts the rise of independent producers, from the isolated minnows of the early 1980s to the global monoliths of today.

Episodes

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01A Thousand Flowers2009072520100426

Thirty years ago, virtually every home-grown programme on British television was made by either the BBC or ITV.

Today, the biggest and most successful shows - from Big Brother and Spooks to The Apprentice and X-Factor - are made by independent producers.

Paul Jackson explores how the birth of Channel 4 spawned a whole new sector and gave us both Television Scrabble and hard news.

Television executive and broadcaster Paul Jackson charts the rise of independent producers, from the isolated minnows of the early 1980s to the global monoliths of today.

How the birth of Channel 4 spawned a whole new sector.

02Lifestyle Or Business?2009080120100427

In 1993, Sir John Harvey Jones stood up at the Edinburgh Television Festival and declared that the independent production sector was less of a business and more of a lifestyle; more like mice running in a large wheel and less something that people should invest in.

Paul Jackson looks at how the foundations were laid for a viable business model.

With the help of activist Michael Darlow and head of Margaret Thatcher's Policy Unit in No 10, Brian (now Lord) Griffiths, he explains how the indies were able to pursuade the government that both the BBC and ITV should be compelled to take a proportion of programmes from independent producers.

The 25 per cent quota campaign was later described as the most successful poltical lobby in modern British history.

Peter Bazalgette, Paul Smith, Jimmy Mulville, Jon Thoday, David Frank and Henry Normal describe the artistic and business opportunities that presented themselves during the 1990s.

Television executive and broadcaster Paul Jackson charts the rise of independent producers, from the isolated minnows of the early 1980s to the global monoliths of today.

How indies could make hit shows during the 1990s and yet still struggle.

03 LASTMergers And Acquisitions And Megabucks2009080820100428

Television executive and broadcaster Paul Jackson charts the rise of independent producers, from the isolated minnows of the early 1980s to the global monoliths of today.

Following government intervention in 2003, the independent production sector is now the envy of the world and British television has become responsible for some 53 per cent of all format hours on the planet.

However, with the emergence of a worldwide digital market, its future is once more uncertain.

Paul Jackson is joined by Simon Cowell, Peter Bazalgette, Lorraine Heggessey, Paul Smith, Jimmy Mulville, Steve Morrison, David Frank and Henry Normal to chart the changing fortunes of the industry since the new millenium and to discuss what is needed to maintain artistic and business supremacy in the future.

Paul Jackson charts the changing fortunes of the independent production sector since 2000.