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Diversity in Television: Lenny Henry 18 months on

BAFTA/Jonathan Birch
Tuesday, 17 November 2015 - 7:00pm
Princess Anne Theatre
Sir Lenny Henry returns to BAFTA, a year and a half after his headline-grabbing lecture held the TV industry to account for their record on diversity, to assess what progress has been made and consider if this will be enough to ensure growth and sustainability for diverse talent in the TV industry.

In partnership with the Creative Diversity Network 

7pm: Opening remarks by Sir Lenny Henry
7.15pm: Panel discussion and audience Q+A
8.45pm: Networking drinks

In his 2014 BAFTA Television Lecture Sir Lenny called for new legislation to reverse the “appalling percentage” of BAME people working in the television industry. Lenny proposed a plan to ring-fence money for BAME programming, hoping for “radical change” to achieve a screen where “great programmes are produced by the multi-cultural many as opposed to the mono-cultural elite”.

In response, broadcasters announced a raft of initiatives, some with specific targets, some with guidelines and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Ofcom recently issued ‘Thinking Outside the Box’,  new legal guidance aimed at myth-busting what companies can and can’t do to encourage and promote diversity.

After hearing Lenny’s views, an industry panel with representatives from major broadcasters, the production sector and stakeholders will debate and discuss how the new strategies are shaping up, exploring case study successes as well as debating the ongoing challenges.

What’s the experience now like for production companies and broadcasters, is diversity part of their conversation and have hiring and commissioning practices genuinely improved?  Is the picture any rosier for the future and how can we ensure the industry works together to make progress to banish this ‘stubborn stain’ (Lord Holmes, EHRC) on its reputation? 

The panel will discuss the recent findings from Directors UK which found that BAME directors are both under-employed and under-represented in the industry.


Keynote opening address: Sir Lenny Henry

Panel speakers:         Anne Mensah, Head of Drama, Sky   

                                    Ade Rawcliffe, Creative Diversity Manager, Channel 4

                                    Charlotte Moore, Controller BBC One

                                    Menhaj Huda, Director (Coronation Street, Queer as Folk, Kidulthood)

                                    Steve November, ITV Director of Drama                                 


Chair:                          Helen Veale, Creative Director, Outline Productions

With audience contributions from Oliver Kent, Executive Producer of Holby City (CDN Achievement in Production award 2014), Lord Chris Holmes, Equality and Human Rights Commission, who will discuss 'Thinking Outside the Box' and John McVay, Chief Executive of Pact.