Extra: Wildscreen names chairman; Format Farm winner

In today's 'Extra' wrap, Peter Phippen (pictured) boards conservation charity Wildscreen, Channel 5 extends its run of Penguin A&E, and RTÉ and NRK provide development funding to this year's Format Farm winner.
April 22, 2016

Former BBCWW exec boards Wildscreen

UK-based international wildlife education and conservation charity Wildscreen and endangered species encyclopaedia Arkive have appointed former BBC Worldwide director Peter Phippen (pictured) as chairman.

Phippen will replace outgoing industry veteran Dick Emery, who is stepping down after nearly nine years in post.

In his new post, Phippen will oversee the company as it rolls out its new strategy that will include developing outreach programs; delivering the Bristol-based Wildscreen Festival in October; enhancing the global impact and reach of the Arkive website; and its newest initiative Wildscreen Exchange, which will look to alter the face of conservation communications.

The executive has held myriad of roles in the media industry, including BBC Magazines MD and BBC Worldwide Americas president and CEO, where he launched a number of TV channels and chaired a joint venture with Discovery Inc.

Phippen currently serves as director of publishing house Immediate Media; chairman of cross-media publisher Texere Publishing; Bell Educational Services chair; a board member of The National Archives; and founder of media company East West Relations.

RTÉ, NRK Norway announce Format Farm winner

Irish pubcaster RTÉ and Norwegian national broadcaster NRK have unveiled the winner of this year’s Format Farm Development Pitch.

The competition, which was held during the Celtic Media Festival’s pitch forum on Thursday (April 21), awarded €10,000 (US$11,268) in development funding to Dublin-based shop Sideline Productions to create a format pilot for both the Norwegian and Irish domestic markets.

The prodco’s Bucking the Trend – which beat out four other competitors including Scotland’s Bees Nees Media, Ireland’s Waka TV, as well as Norway’s Sam Muir Studio and Rubicon TV – will look to change the lives and habits of families with long-term problems. Sideline will now have 10 weeks to deliver a sizzle tape and full treatment to pitch back to RTÉ and NRK.

Formats were pitched to a panel of industry leaders that comprised of RTÉ One channel controller Adrian Lynch; RTÉ formats head Janet Frawley; NRK commissioning editor Steiner Igdun; and NRK independents commissioning editor Unni Ødegård.

Elsewhere, the Waka TV- and Sharpjack Media-made format Scorchio, a hidden camera series pranking youths on vacation, was greenlit by RTÉ2.  Sony Pictures Television will distribute the format internationally. The series is exec produced by Warren Meyler for Waka TV and Elliot Johnson and Amanda Wilson for Sharp Jack Media.

Channel 5 extends order for Penguin A&E

UK broadcaster Channel 5 (C5) has greenlit a 4 x 60-minute series for its Penguin A&E two-parter from Argonon-owned Remedy Productions. The series follows the action at Cape Town’s SANCCOB Western Cape Centre, also known as ‘Penguin Hospital.’ It will depict life-saving procedures, dramatic rescues and other aspects of the care needed to preserve Africa’s endangered penguins.

As previously reported, the series is presented by Scottish television host and penguin lover Lorraine Kelly, and was commissioned by Greg Barnett, C5′s commissioning editor for factual entertainment.

“I was completely amazed how close our cameras could get us to this extraordinary colony of penguins,” said Barnett in a statement. “Because of their geographical location they sadly endure all manner of accidents and the work of the team we follow coupled by the penguins’ own determination and bravery is inspiring and enlightening.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.