Notes from PPC September meeting: Television
Tom Fenner – The One Show
Hattie Hamilton – ITV This Morning
Claire Williams – BBC Victoria Derbyshire
Senior News Producer on This Morning
Looking for human interest stories. They also have a lot of crossover with the showbiz team and cover a lot of chefs/cookery.
THe programme is on week daily from 10.30 – 12.30. Monday – Thursday is presented by Holly and Phil, Fridays by Ruth and Eamonn. R and E also cover the school holidays and summer. When E and R are presenting they have a slightly different remit, softer. For example, E and R would do a feature on dogs whereas Holly would cover a piece on young children. Eamonn is very good at the more serious interviews as he used to be a news reporter.
They have Alison Hammond doing their VTs.
The show starts with a topical slot. This tends to be booked the day before and runs from 10.30-10.45. Authors would appear on the show from 10.45 onwards. Big names appear later in the show in order to keep people watching and waiting to see them.
Successful guests examples are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tim Peake live from the space station, Caitlin Jenner. Crime/true crime works well on the show.
Their average viewer is a 54 year old woman from the North. They don’t really cover childcare or parenting too much. Their viewers love animals – Street Cat Named Bob did really well and their piece with Dion and Gobi received 60k hits on YouTube. Real life stories such as the story of Alex Hanscombe work really well. Celebrities such as Prue Leith are often rated top in the whole show – she is a similar age to their average viewer.
This Morning have an on-screen ‘family’ consisting of Dr Chris, Dr Ranj, Dr Zoe so they wouldn’t bring in any new medical faces.
Phone-in – worth mentioning if you think your author would be good on the phone in but they don’t tend to use people they haven’t trialled first.
Exclusivity – they love to have it where possible but do understand where not. Internal competition is rife though.
Pitching – Hattie pitches options to the team a week in advance. They generally hugely dislike dropping people but of course will have to every now and again if something huge news-wise breaks/happens. Short snappy pitches are welcomed – to the point. Please do send books. The forward planning meeting is on a Weds for the following week. Once booked someone from the team will have a research chat with the guest. The presenters receive a briefing pack the night before the show so the research chat will have to have been done before then.
Serialisation – can tie into an extract running. Let Hattie know what they will focus on and pitch and interview accordingly.
Senior Producer on Victoria Derbyshire
Looks after all books for the show. Working on the show since 2015. This month they are moving to an hour show although this won’t affect the length of an interview. They have an aim to attract a younger audience and are using digital to achieve this. Digital = younger audience, Television = older audience.
They had 75 million views of their interviews last year.
They are closely linked to the BBC Newsroom so their stories and interviews often appear on the News at 1, 6 and 10 which is great for getting a lot more views.
Their guest slots are 10-15 minutes long. Topics that work well are health, crime, celebrity (will follow ITV but not BBC Breakfast). They don’t do cookery. They love normal, average people with a fascinating story.
They have big briefing chats beforehand. Victoria reads every book that appears on the show so they plan far in advance. The briefing chat usually fuels a social media piece which goes live before the interview goes up. For example – Chloe Ayling piece was viewed 50k times on social, the interview was viewed millions. Gemma Dowler (Millie’s sister) – during the week of MIllie’s 30th birthday did an interview which was viewed millions of times.
Pitching – what’s new, angle, publication date and exclusivity status.
The show is recorded at Broadcasting House with the guests on the sofa. They can do down the line but very rarely. They will fly people over in special cases.
Guest Booker on The One Show
Guest Booker for the show. The show is now 11 years old. Charlotte Ross is off at the moment.
The One Show is the transitional show between news and entertainment on from 7-7.30. It is topical and covers anything that BBC would cover. They have a guest presenter on Fridays, their main presenters are Alex Jones and Matt Baker.
The show is good natured, topical, fast moving. It has a countrywide reach. Their average viewer is 60 but they also have a big family audience. Core audience is 3.5 million.
Tom tries to get back to all pitches but can’t always. Don’t be insulted – it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a no! Do persevere – try again for the paperback when the story has moved on or could fill a gap if someone else drops out.
Tom books the main guest for the sofa each evening – mainly celebrities.
They do VTs for anniversaries and can send Dan Snow or Gyles Brandreth depending on topic. They’ve covered things such as the history of trees or history of clouds and have built entire pieces around them. Send pitches to Tom for VTs and he will forward to the film team. They work around 18 months in advance for most but can turn things around in a couple of months. The majority of their VTs come from independent production companies.
Tom does do publisher meetings to go through catalogues and highlights. On press releases please can publicists always include their mobiles.
Social media – they are aiming to improve/boost their social platforms at the moment. They like to get in touch before a guest interview and do a short 2 minute interview for their social.
What are they looking for? – celebrity, well known, guests who work well in a live environment. They have a dedicated slot for books but the guest is then there for the whole show. If a guest is well known enough they’ll tailor the whole show around them – for example, Ellen de Generes and Finding Dory.
The whole show is half an hour but with a VT or two so it’s not an entire half hour on the sofa. They always do their best to put their guests at ease.
Recent examples of guests – Peter Crouch, Michael Palin, Jamie Oliver – all worked well.
Pitch-wise – he needs very little, press release and a chase if Tom doesn’t reply. Please do feel free to chase.
Lead time – varies depending on the name. Some are booked months and months in advance. They do get drop outs so everything is up for negotiation sometimes – don’t be insulted if a guest is called in late, see it as an opportunity.
Exclusivity – like to go first as have such high viewing figures but realise it’s not always possible with the high profile guests where time is super limited.
The Bookseller has said that The One Show is the best show to do in terms of crossover audience and audience numbers and they see a spike on Amazon almost every time.