Radio 4 cycling show pilot ?

sheddy

Guru
Location
Suffolk
Do any of the media types on here know the procedure for getting a current affairs or documentary type show onto Radio 4 ?

I guess there's enough knowledge here to put together a format that might work on Radio (mainly interviews?) but I have no idea how the commissioning process works. Whadya think ?
 
AFAIK you need to write a programme proposal. I made an episode of the money programme a couple of years ago and this is where it all started for me. I just wrote a paragraph about myself and then a paragraph about the central argument of the programme. If you are pitching for a series, I guess you'll need to do that for each show. You'll also need to specify length...and most importantly, cost it. How are you proposing to have the programme funded?
Key costs would probably be:
interviewer time/interviewee time
travel and subsistence for interviewees
studio time and staff costs associated with studio time
equipment hire costs and any staff costs associated with opping the equipment (ie sound recordist, boom operator etc)
copyright in case you are going to use archive material, music etc.

It also helps to know someone on the inside of the beeb cos it is a bit of an old boys club. Not sure how you would pitch it but it's probably worth giving them a call. You need to reach the programming desk at radio 4.
 

Hilldodger

Über Member
Location
sunny Leicester
sheddy said:
Do any of the media types on here know the procedure for getting a current affairs or documentary type show onto Radio 4 ?

I guess there's enough knowledge here to put together a format that might work on Radio (mainly interviews?) but I have no idea how the commissioning process works. Whadya think ?

I'd start with doing a few features on local radio to get a foot in the door and also find out how the BBC works.
 
OP
S

sheddy

Guru
Location
Suffolk
Ok, heres a basic idea for radio 4 - working title 'Velo and the City'

6 x 30min episodes featuring a different UK town, made up of interviews with local -
residents, commuters, employers BUGs, cycle clubs, cycle shops, students, cycle campaigns, cycle show organisers, council cycle officers, tourists etc,

discussing what is good (or bad) about their town in terms of cycling

Whadya think ? I guess the Beeb would want a single host for continuity across the series (say Richard Hammond, just for Arch) but the interviews could be conducted by local BBC staff.

So nominate your town/city and why it should feature in the series (also a snappier title required)
 

Fnaar

Smutmaster General
Location
Thumberland
sheddy said:
Ok, heres a basic idea for radio 4 - working title 'Velo and the City'
So nominate your town/city and why it should feature in the series (also a snappier title required)
Velo-city :smile:
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
sheddy said:
Thanks Roger
Mods - could you move this thread to Campaign please ?
Done, I think.

Good idea on Richard Hammond!:smile: And York ought to be in there, of course - we have cycle couriers (not just speedy chaps on fixies, proper loadcarrying guys), a recycling servie that uses trikes, a cycling magazine based here, ideal flat landscape, plenty of scope for cycle journeys to be quicker thanks to cyclepath shortcuts, issues for motorists of parking and congestion in a small city centre - but being a small compact city, everywhere is within a fairly easy ride... And we have the solar system bike path to Selby - a scale model of the solar system, 10 miles long...

Not sure 6 x 30 mins could be spared in the R4 schedule. But there are some 15 min slots in the afternoon and morning - sometimes they run with a theme for a week. I would think a good producer/editor would get plenty into 5 x 15 mins...
 

Hilldodger

Über Member
Location
sunny Leicester
York, Cambridge, Oxford etc all too predictable.

Derby and other Cycling Demonstration towns should be the focus.
 

Hilldodger

Über Member
Location
sunny Leicester
From the Radio 4 Commissioning web site


Radio 4 has a Register of Independent Production Companies which is reviewed in January and July. We cannot consider ideas from companies not on this register.

We regret that we cannot accept programme proposals submitted directly to Radio 4.

All registered suppliers receive copies of the guidelines for each commissioning round, held in spring and autumn. These contain guidance on:
• the commissioning process and timetable
• who is eligible to bid for particular slots
• editorial, audience and price requirements
• how to write and submit programme proposals
• what the BBC expects the proposed price to reflect
Information about contractual and legal aspects of commissioning can be found on the A&M Business Affairs website along with the complaints procedure for independent producers.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Hilldodger said:
York, Cambridge, Oxford etc all too predictable.

Derby and other Cycling Demonstration towns should be the focus.
Surely though, you need contrast - so some 'obvious' towns, some 'Cycling Demo' towns, some 'places where there's one old guy who rides a Raleigh Twenty with his whippet in the basket and that's it' towns....
 

Hilldodger

Über Member
Location
sunny Leicester
It's all academic because it's not going to happen. The beeb aren't looking to commission such a series and even if they were a production company whould have to want to make it.
 
OP
S

sheddy

Guru
Location
Suffolk
Sounds like Roger speaks from experience.

Anyway we can have fun trying. If Arch can't persuade Richard Hammond then maybe someone could ask Alice (Red) Roberts to present it. Is anyone friendly with a media presenter who cycles ?
 
Why not, though, make your own pilot show? You can post it on the web as a podcast. We'd enjoy it anyway, and if you can do two or three good shows, you might be able to get a production company to take the idea on, once they've heard what sort of format you have in mind.

Good quality digital recording kit can be got for a couple of hundred quid. Editing can be done on any computer these days.

Let's hear your pilot. You already know where to find the local cyclists with something to say!
 

Hilldodger

Über Member
Location
sunny Leicester
Believe me, making any kind of pilot programme with any quality takes people with a huge amount of skill, VERY expensive equipment and a lot of time.

Do it for fun, but don't spend any time thinking it'll lead to a series.
 
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