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Countdown to the BAFTAs Podcast Transcript: Episode 5, Entertainment

Countdown to the BAFTAs Podcast Transcript: Episode 5, Entertainment

Alex: Hello and welcome again to this celebration of Television excellence. I'm Alex Zane, and this is Countdown to the BAFTAs, where in this series Stars, Industry insiders and expert voices join forces to discuss the nominees in the running for the 2024 BAFTA TV Awards with P&O Cruisers and the BAFTA Television Craft Awards.

And today we are looking at the nominees for all the categories from the world of entertainment…


Rina: We went up on stage and all I remember is I stood there and I was like, I don’t know what to do with my arms.


Rina: And when I look back, I think I’m like doing this thing where my arms are just like this and I was just thinking, what am I, what is happening here?



Alex: So what does it take to be nominated for a BAFTA? Stay tuned to find out.

Now the BAFTA TV awards are voted for by industry professionals and that voting has now closed. So anything we say and do on this podcast has no influence on the results, and crucially, we do not know who has won. With that in mind, joining me in the heart of London at BAFTA headquarters in Piccadilly, we welcome to the show Entertainment Exec and a Blooming BAFTA award winner, Rina Dayalji and hello again to TV critic and broadcaster, Scott Bryan. Hello!

Scott: Hello.

Rina: Hi.


Alex: Rina, let me start with you. You've worked on some big entertainment shows over the years. The Friday Night Project, The Graham Norton show, The Big Nasty, The Big Breakfast Revival. What do you love about working on these shows? What's the appeal and what is your favourite experience you've had on one of these shows, and you have permission to name Drop?

Rina: Oh God. Oh, oh God, so many.


Rina: I just love where you have a serious meeting and you go, okay, so Mr. Blobby will come in here and he needs to break the table at this specific point.

And you have a meeting with like 50 people on how Mr. Blobby’s going to fall over and then you miss it anyway. So they're my favourite moments. I just love how ridiculous it is. You know, you, you mentioned Graham Norton, I think one of my favourite things is so random, before it's the sit down talk show that is now, I remember it was Glastonbury and we pulled someone out the audience and we said, “oh, who likes to get dirty?”

And this guy put his hand up and then we took him backstage, we stripped him down to his boxers. I think Sandi Toksvig and Alice Cooper were the guests and then we just fired him with mushy Peas from a cannon.


Scott: welcome to the TV industry.

Rina: And I was like, this is so fun.

Alex: I love the fact that I said, you have permission to name drop and the first person who came to mind was, Mr. Blobby.


Rina: I know, isn't it mad? Okay, I'll do a bigger name drop. My two highlights, one was off-screen. I had gone back to work on Graham Norton and I'd made the rookie mistake of not putting my Wi-Fi on in rehearsal.

And then I came out and I had all these missed calls from an agent, and then I was listening to the voicemails and it was like, right, your research call with Matt Damon is going to be now. And I was like. Oh no, I've missed it. Oh my gosh, what am I going to do? And then I listened to the voicemails and it was like, he's calling you right now.

He's calling you right now. And then the next voicemail was, Hey, Rena, this is Matt Damon, so I'm calling you for a research chat. Anyway, I'll call you in a minute. Four voicemails later.


Rina: The second one. Hey, it's Matt, the third one. Hi, it's me again, you must be busy and then the fourth one, was like, Rena, what are you doing?


Rina: I'm sure it'll be fine, but you know, I'll see you at the show. And then when I knocked on his door he opened the door and I went, hi, I am Rena. He went, Rena, what? Answer your phone! And I'm so gutted I didn't save those voicemails.

Scott: That was literally what I was going to say. I would've kept them, framed them.

Alex: Wish you kept those Messages.

It's kind of like, it escalates like the Bourne movie instead of Who am I? It's like, where are you?


Alex: Scott, the last time you were on, we were talking about reality shows and since then, and you have launched a brand new podcast about a cult classic reality show, famously pulled from Air in America after only four episodes.

Remind us what that show is and why you've decided to open this cold case and investigate?

Scott: I mean, it's been a real ride, making this podcast. The show is called I Wanna Marry Harry. That was the reality TV show back then, and it was when 12 American women were flown to the UK and they were told that they were dating somebody, who was incredibly notable.

And then over the course of several weeks, they were very much pushed into the idea that they were dating Prince Harry.


Scott: I think their like, third in line for the British throne.

Rina: Was Meghan Markle one of the contributes?


Scott: No, this is where it gets weird. There was a contestant called Meghan two years before he actually met the real Meghan.

The whole show was ridiculous. They would have dates where, one of them was in a boat in Central London and they planted members of the public to Yell, Harry, Harry! So then she would be thinking, I'm definitely with Prince Harry.

They also had another one where he would land in a helicopter at the far end of the field, but meticulously at first, far away. So they couldn't really work out who it looked like.

Alex: I mean, you don't want to speak Ill of reality show contestants, but you have found people who clearly have never seen a photograph of Prince Harry to be on the show.

Scott: well this is the interesting thing and the reason why we made the series was that, when the show originally aired, it was very much a quite humiliation period of reality TV and the whole punchline is how these women could be so, gullible in terms of thinking that it was Prince Harry, when it wasn't.

And actually looking back and from speaking to many of the contestants, they had not entered the show to date, Prince Harry, they'd entered the show called Dream Date. A lot of them had no idea who the British Royal family were, just the fact that it’s a very different area to where it was now.

Like the royal family were notable with the Queen, but not really that much about the other royals and then also the process was, they would, if you were too doubtful on screen saying, I really don't think this is Prince Harry, you would likely be filtered out of the program.

So of course if you are trying to make a name for yourself in a very different age of reality where there's not that much social media, this was your opportunity to be on TV. So I think with some of them, they were happy to go along to the process. I think what's been interesting about making this series, which is called The Bachelor of Buckingham Palace, it's like realizing that actually there's a bit more agency to the women that I think at the time that we've been, Given credit for.

But also this sort of attitude of, you would never be able to make this show now,

Alex: yeah, we made a show called Space Cadets,

Scott: Yes, Yes!

Alex: quite a famous reality show.  It's a show however, that could not be made now.

Scott: So this was with the show where basically for three days people thought that they were going to space.

Alex: I mean the bottom line is for three days, three people believed they were in space while they were sitting in a simulator on an Ipswich Air Force base.

But again, that was where the change, I think like you're talking about, the fact that you wouldn't make it now began to happen. Because the big reveal of that show, which is why it never had the big reveal, they were meant to go on a spacewalk. The doors would open for the walk and bang! All their family are there and like, nah, you're not in space.

And then at the last minute, channel four, and I think probably quite rightly we're told this could actually mess these people up. They think they're in space and you're going to open the door and there's their friends and family there. So they had to do the soft exit, which was Johnny Vaughn appearing on a monitor going, you're not actually in space. Which kind of ruined the, the ending, but was the right thing to do.

Rina: Yeah.  

Scott: Such a different era was it.


Scott: truly, truly.

Rina: like I said, one of the best shows I've ever done.


Alex: But we are not here to talk about reality today. We are after escapism from this rain swept metropolis, it's time to discover these celebrated entertainment shows and performances nominated at this year's BAFTA TV Awards. Let's take a look at who and what we're discussing today.



Comedy, entertainment:

The Graham Naughton Show, So television, BBC one.
Late Night Licit, rumpus Media.
My options were limited, Channel four.
Rob and Ramesh versus CPL Productions, SkyMAX.
 Would I lie to you? ZePetron, BBC One.



Hannah Waddingham, home for Christmas, done and dusted. Apple TV plus.
Later with Jules Holland, BBC studios, BBC two,
Michael McIntyre's, big show Hungry Mcbear, BBC one,
Strictly come dancing. BBC studios, BBC one

Entertainment performance:

Anthony McPartland. Declan Donnelly for I'm a Celebrity. Get me out of Here, Lifted Entertainment ITV one
Big Zoo for big zoos, big Eats, boom. Big productions. Dave
Graham Norton for the Graham Norton Show. So television, BBC one,
Hannah Waddingham for the Eurovision song Contest 2023 BBC Studios BBC one.
Joe Licit for Late Night Licit Rumpus Media. My options were limited. Channel four,
Rob Beckett, Ramesh, orang, Nathan for Rob and Ramesh versus CPL Productions, SKYMAX.

Factual entertainment:

Celebrity race across the world. Studio Lamber, BBC one.
The Doghouse. Five Mile Films, channel four,
Endurance Race to the Pole. October Films Channel Five,
 Portrait Artist of the Year, story Vault Films, sky Arts.

Alex: So yes, big shows and big stars. Let's begin with entertainment performance and Joe Licit is keeping busy. A new series of late nights Licit is on screens now, but because all the nominees come from the past 12 months before January this year, it's season one, broadcast early 2023 that has been nominated.

Scott, it's a live show, which is fundamentally exciting. And Joe has become a real star for Channel four, hasn't he?

Scott:  I mean, this is a really interesting show because it goes against the grain I think where a lot of mind-set of TV, which is like, live TV's kind of on the way out because everyone's watching streaming shows.

You have to spend much more formats. It's harder to get people to be watching a program at 10:00 PM which is unpredictable. And actually, I think Joe's gone, no, hang on. Live TV is brilliant when it's live because it could go off the rails and that's what makes it appealing. If you make it into a format or in the studio and you prerecord it, that can be, a great program clearly.

But there's always this sort of sense of chaos with live TV and I think, late Night Licit captures a lot of the shows that were on Live in the nineties manages to reinvent it to an audience, but also make it really warm and inclusive. And I think also. Not having it in London has been such a strength for it because it's given the mind-set of, hang on, there's a hell of a lot of great talent in Birmingham.

There's a hell of a lot of great talent beyond the M 25, and that should be celebrated. But I mean, it's just such a wonderful, warm program and unpredictable as hell.


Alex: to focus on that point. Yeah. I mean, I grew up watching, TFI Friday in the nineties, and when it ended, I was one of the people going, bring it back! Bring it back! And then they brought it back. And I was very much like, get it off! Get it off!


Alex: Because it just looked like a relic from an era of TV and culture that just didn't exist anymore. But this late night Lycett, it's the new TFI.

Rina: Well this is it. Channel four have been after, they always call it a noisy show, and they've been after a noisy Friday night show basically since TFI. And they always talk about it. It's always in there whenever you meet with your commissioner, they're always saying, we want it to be like that.

And this is the one that when I watched the first episode, I was like, this is it. They've got it. And they have borrowed from little bits. You know, Richard Ewre is like, when Alan and Justin would do the news on Friday Night Project and the walkways from TFI.

But I do agree with you in that having it in Birmingham really has given it a different voice, and just makes it seem different. Because you know, it is the same all people on the same shows all the time in the same studios. What I think is really clever about it is that they're not after the big guests. They're embracing the Huns and they can literally do anything then.

So it doesn't matter if they're slightly, Further down the alphabet, guests, they're really embraced and, you've got Claire Sweeney in a shop or H from Steps and you know, David Pots and all those people. But I do think Joe is like, it is like Graham Norton. But for now, isn’t it?

Alex: I think you're absolutely right, Reina. There's no smoke and mirrors about it.

There's no pretending a small guest is a big guest. It's so transparent. Joe is so transparent about what it is and I think in this day and age, how savvy TV viewers are. It just need that transparency. You need someone to say it like it is and not pretend something isn't the way it is.

Rina: Yeah. And he does that with items as well. If you notice, they'll go, well, this could be terrible and if it is they go, well, we won't be doing that again.


Rina: And that's it. And you can hear it literally being it crossed out and it is not there for next week.

Scott: And I love the little jokes that run throughout, like the dog that was managing and running the camera because I have the trainee scheme and they were like, yeah, so we got a dog involved called Linda Biscuit and then Linda got fired and there was a campaign. And I was feeling quite riled up and I was like, it's a dog. Why am I?


Scott: And then also having Katherine Ryan, purposefully late and unable to appear in each episode of the show on a canal boat and there was one week where they accidentally forgot to tie it to the side of the studio so it drifted away.

Rina: Joe has got a lot of license to do what he wants because he's so trusted within Channel four that I think he's very, very heavily involved and you can see and that's what makes it so brilliant.

It's got his voice stamped all over it, all over the items and stuff. And even if it is super weird and random, they'll just go, okay. So yeah, It’s great.

Scott: It is great to have somebody who's so invested in the shows that they're actually making.

Alex: Also in contention are the hosts of this year's BAFTA TV awards.

Rob Beckett and Ramesh Ranganathan, for the fifth series of their Sky one show Rob and Ramesh versus, and also for their performances. Rina, they have great chemistry together. How does this format show that off?

Rina: They've just got their best mates, banter down. That's, not too laddy either. They're the underdogs they're really relatable and you can't help but just laugh your head off and it feels really natural and unscripted as well. Because some of the stuff you go, well, they're playing that. They're doing that but they've just got it down and their just really, really funny.

Scott: but also they have such great competition with each other because it's that classic case of you want to be the person who wins and they also have really quite inspired challenges. I think that was one of the most recent series when they went to crafts. And I think part of the appeal of when they do those challenges makes you go, oh, I could do that.


Just give me a dog and an assault course and it'll be absolutely great. And then the course, within two minutes, the dog is letting one go in the middle of the course and its like, oh actually It is not this easy.

Rina: So, I watched one recently where, Ramesh was trying to teach Rob how to drive and he is trying to teach him how to go uphill.

And it is so funny, but when Rob gets stressed, he, farts and then Rob has to get out of the car.


Rina: But yeah, it's brilliant.

Alex: let's talk about someone else who has multiple nominations, both for her entertainment performance, hosting Eurovision, which I believe everybody saw and entertainment show for her Apple TV, special Home for Christmas.

Hannah Wadingham, she's an experienced stage performer Rina, musical theatre background.

Live TV is a very different thing though she was quite something at Eurovision, wasn't she?

Rina: She is the woman of the year, isn't she? She's just like, superwoman, can sing, act and then live present, and you are like, wow, and what can she not do? And I don’t know what that is.


Rina: I literally think she can do everything.

Scott: But what is astonishing is Euro vision, from my understanding. She did the Olivier Awards, but Euro Vision was the first time she's actually done TV present, quote unquote presenting, which is astonishing.

Eurovision was I think, the most popular Eurovision that there's been in the UK ever. The expectation

Alex: 162 million.

Scott: But also you know, the expectation. The fact that they had to make it in a much tighter turnaround than usual because of Ukraine. And the fact that Liverpool was going to take that over.

And I completely understand why they chose her for that role because I think all of her years of being on the stage and performing has just made her exactly the right person to know how to have great stage presence.

The funny thing is, because she's been nominated for the entertainment performance, but also she's also for entertainment for home for Christmas. From my understanding that was the very same month that was recording. So imagine going from the Eurovision song contest to an all singing, all dancing Christmas experience within days and able to just pull it off with ease.

Rina: And she nailed it.

Alex: Let's continue talking about live because we just mentioned Eurovision, obviously Live Ant & Dec are nominated for entertainment performance for I'm a Celebrity. Get ready for this stat attack. They have been nominated 21 times, winning 12. What makes them, Scott, such a good presented duo and also specifically good at live TV?

Scott: I mean, I think in regards to the second question I think is because they've had so many years. Honing in on their craft. I mean, kids TV is one of the hardest forms of presenting jobs just because of the unpredictability of it and they were on one of the most popular kids TV programs of all time.

So I think that really worked for them. But also I think the reason why they have managed to have such success, is no trick. It's just being a very good at your job and essentially being the same in front of camera as behind the camera. I've been lucky enough to, to meet them on a few times.

They are exactly the same. There is no persona that they project, I mean, obviously there are no cameras in the room when you're chatting to them compared to if you are seeing them on Saturday Night Takeaway. But the only difference is that sometimes deck is standing on the left and ant is standing on the left, rather than the other way around.

Rina: Their not allowed.


Scott: And then your brain goes, no, no, no.


Alex: My eyes are bleeding!


Scott:  Yeah literally they are exactly the same as they are off-screen compared to how they are on so there's no faking

Alex: Let's turn to someone else who's already been mentioned on the show. Graham Norton, nominated for Entertainment performance and Award. He’s won three times as well as his show being nominated in the comedy entertainment category and award.

He’s won five times, of which you have partook in one of those wins Rina?

Rina: Yeah, I think it was 2015 and We went up on stage and all I remember is I stood there and I was like, I don’t know what to do with my arms.


Rina: And when I look back, I think I’m like doing this thing where my arms are just like this and I was just thinking, what am I, what is happening here?


Rina: And I was right next to Graham and Yern, who’s the exec and everyone kept sending me these screenshots and I’m like, please don’t. I’m doing some weird stance.

So yeah, that’s the only thing I really remember from it.

Scott: I just love, that you’ve won an award and the only thing you’re thinking in your head is arms, arms, arms, arms.


Rina: I was like, what did you do? And I still haven’t learned what to do yet.

Alex: Never had to consider this before, but what does one do with their arms? That’s such a weird appendage aren’t they?

Tell me, Rena, is it as much fun to work behind the scenes on that show as it clearly looks like it is on camera? Because as a show it just has this wonderful, playful, enjoyable, warm atmosphere.

Rina: yes. I worked on it on and off for 10 years, so it was a big chunk of my career.

And I started as a researcher in 2007 when it was on BBC two on Monday nights.

Scott: Astonishing. I mean, just seeing how big the show has become.

Rina: Yeah well, guests then people forget, but we had like Louis Walsh and Jenny e Claire and that was your two guests and that was it and then it just built and built and built and built and to what it is now.

The success is down to Graham and to Jorn and Graham Stewart as well, who are the three that have worked closely together. And Graham Naughton is so heavily involved he goes to all the screenings, he reads all the biographies and the biographies are 15-20 pages each for each guest.

He comes in and they write the script with the team, and he knows it in and out and I think that is what makes the show. And it's probably one of the most successful shows that isn't crazy, crazy to work on behind the scenes.




Alex: It's quite amazing, isn't it? I think, hearing that it's that level of research that he does and that commitment to learning as much as possible about the guests that allows him to then in the moment pretty much go anywhere because he's always got that knowledge to come back to.

Rina: Mm-Hmm.

Scott: There was one episode at the end of last year because you were mentioning, what it was like when it was on BBC two on the Monday. I think there was one where they had, Timothy Chalamet Followed by Tom Hanks, followed by Julia Roberts, followed by Cher.

Rina: Yeah.

Scott: And it's like A-Listers where Timothy Chalamet is the first one out.

Rina: I know in the production office, there's a board and the grid of who the guests are. There's a producer that's worked on it a long time. Pete Snell, who's fantastic, and he has the job of writing the name on the board and you are watching and you're like, who is it?

And then as it builds, you're like, oh my gosh. Wow. And there's always one show in the 12 that you go, that's the one. Mm-Hmm. And that was that one. And Julia Roberts has been on that list for a very long time.

Scott: but also like leaning into, what makes them so special. I think there was that one moment last year where it was Judy Dench when kind of out of nowhere she was given the opportunity to go and do a sonnet.

And she did it completely and utterly, perfectly delivered it without having to refer to any notes. The whole room, like you could hear a pin drop gravitating, and she was able to hold the room completely on her own. And I feel like a lot of other chat shows wouldn't have A, had the opportunity offered and B, would've been tempted to sort of keep it going, keep it going, but the fact that they were able to hone in on that and have it for a whole minute. Absolutely spell binding.

Rina: Yeah, It's a well-oiled machine, and then you throw in Graham and it's just the perfect show.

Alex: Well, I think that might be enough on the wonders of Graham Norton and The Graham Norton Show.


Alex: let's move on to shout out Big Zoo who is nominated for entertainment performance for his show. Big Zoo's, big Eats. He won the award in 2022. Rina, gather you've been a, big fan of his for a while.

Rina: I love him I just think he's so energetic and charismatic and he's fun and he just lights up a room. And it's great to just see someone from a diverse background. Someone who's like from the streets but like has street cred still. But the mainstream have finally caught up and like, who's this guy? He's really fun, he's really cool.

I've worked with him, I've had him on a few shows and he can freestyle, he can rap, he can sit next to Kate Garaway and they can get on and it's, just brilliant.

Alex: Also, up for comedy entertainment. Let's talk about a show that is in its 17th season right now, would I lie to you? So, this is apparently TV legend, Richard Osmond's favourite TV format. Season 16 from last year is the one that's nominated. It's sixth nomination for comedy entertainment. No winners yet, Scott, what is it that continues to work about the show that it’s not only, nominated again, but it seems to almost have evolved and improved over the years.

Scott: I feel it's like a show that's really gained a real loyal audience. I think it's also the fact that it's a format that can just be done again and again and again, and always feel fresh and I think it's also having, a wider selection of guests on, not just from a comedy background, trying to give it a go.

And I think it's like audiences really warming into finding out more about them and the daft silly situations that they may or may not have been in. And also just being able to bluff and lie and you realizing that this person that you never thought would be able to really nail it, absolutely. Doing so.

So I think it's like rooting for the underdog in a room of very, very high calibre comedy performers who are normally quite good at carrying that off. I think it's unapologetically mainstream and that's not a bad thing at all, but the fact that it's been able to hold its own for so long on BBC one on a Friday night, and it also being a rarity in British TV in which its primetime BBC one, but also for everybody.

I think it's a show that that is appealing as much for the kids because they love this sort of format as much as it is for parents and grandparents. And that is a rarity in TV because I think in streaming it tends to be quite fragmented. Either very much for the kids or very much for the adults and not that much in between.

But this is a format that I think really works because you know it’s suitable for everybody, but it doesn't feel bland It feels like it's really being able to build a big audience just from itself.

Alex: Let's move on to the entertainment award nominees and strictly come dancing. It's staggering. 21st series aired last year and it is still being nominated for entertainment. In fact, this is a list that is dominated by the BBC, with Michael McIntosh's big show, and later with Jules Holland also being made by the be but strictly Scott, what is, its staying power?

Scott: I think it's the fact that it is always about and I hate saying this because it's so cringe, but it is true. It's the journey because you're seeing people who have no dancing experience and feel quite unconfident, really build and hone in a craft that they didn't know that they were going to be good at for a long period.

And just seeing somebody realizing, oh, hang on, I'm far better and far more capable than I first thought. And actually, if I put my mind-set in a hell of a lot of training, I could really nail it. And I think it's also the fact that they've always had this from the very beginning where with strictly, but very much so in, in more recent years, that they really have a wide selection of people in it.

You know, people from 18 and 20 may be from a background of performing arts all the way to people in their seventies, it was of course, Angela Rippin and the legs that went up in that, that first episode.

Rina: I've tried that, I still can't do it.


Scott: I mean, I'm on crutches at the moment, so I've been given these stretches to do, unrelated, but I've been given these stretches that I have to do at the moment and I can barely like bend my legs and do pigeon pose, let alone swing it over. And she had to do it.

I was reading an interview the other day. She had to do ice baths constantly just to go and be able to feel nimble enough that, don’t know how I've thrown that in there.

Rina: that's what I need to do then, get my bucket.


Alex: Now let's move into our final category today. This is Factual Entertainment and we'll start with Celebrity Race across the world. So a quick reminder, this features McFly’s drummer Harry Judd, racer, Billy Monger, All Saints Singer Mel Blatt and broadcaster Alex Beresford.

Now, there was an original non-celebrity version, which won the BAFTA in 2020. It is a hugely successful show. The first episode of this first ever celebrity series was the BBC's biggest factual entertainment episode of the year with over 6 million viewers, which is obviously a huge number. Scott, I know you really love the original, tell us about the format and why you like it?

Scott: I think I love the format because it is so authentic. There are small crews with each participating team. They've got to get from one place to the other but they give them no help. They aren't given their phones, they just have to go by a map.

And it is to the case, because I've interviewed the people behind it. If one of the teams go, oh, there's a bus there and the people who are filming happen to know that the bus is going a thousand miles in the wrong direction, the only reaction they are allowed to say is, yay. Great. Let's board the bus and go along with it and having to go with it.


Scott: So, it feels really authentic and I think that is the reason for its success. I think it's also that you see parts of the world that you never normally see on a travel program. I mean, not saying that these are places that aren't interesting, they absolutely are. But it's all of the other destinations in between all of the most popular tourist destinations you the see size of countries that you never normally see depicted.

I think with the celebrity series, I think everyone was at first a bit like, oh really? Celebrity? But actually I think it was to the format's benefit, because I think what you learned was, a bit of surprising vulnerability with a lot of the participants taking part.

So like Melanie Blatt from All Saints now really opening up and talking about her lack of confidence and you're like, hang on, you performed in stadiums like, you are really accomplished singer. But she was saying that actually she's felt unconfident for a number of years and then you see her build her confidence over the course of the series.

And then there's the added element of course with celebrity race across the world that these are celebs and they're not able to have a luxurious lifestyle.

Rina: Mel really wanted, didn't She, She was going to spend all her money on one night in a hotel and cabs.

Scott: Yeah. All of that.

Rina: But I, I think what's clever about it is the non celeb version. You watch it for the relationships and, you know, the traveling with my, friend or my dad or whoever. And it's the same with the celebs. You know, Alex and his dad? And Alex is really wound up and his dad's really chill and he's like, no, we need to get the bus now. We need to win! We need to win!

And I love seeing the moment where Billy' sister, they're rushing to get to the checkpoint and they see Alex and his dad. And Billy's obviously, you know, he's got his prosthetics and so his sister takes his massive backpack and goes and they're really, really trying and they make it to the checkpoint.

And you think to yourself, that's so sweet seeing that brother sister relationship or like you said, the mom and Mel getting wound up and basically being turned into back into a teenager, when talking to a mom and stuff.

Alex: Let's move to the other end of the spectrum. Tempo wise, we have Sky Arts portrait Artist of the Year. You couldn't get more. Different could you Scott?

Scott: I mean, it could get more different, but I think it's something that this country's very good at and I think British TV is very good at, which is highlighting people's skills and celebrating those skills.

And I think there's something about people, perfecting their craft, but also listening to feedback from what their receiving and then being able to build on it week and week.  

And also I think the change in factor entertainment that I've seen over the course of the last 10 years was, I think before a lot of emphasis on has to be big scale, but also really fast paced and really intense.

And now actually it can be quite slow TV and people really do like the idea of something that isn't necessarily the most, edge of your seat watch, but you can really get engaged in and see the personalities come through. And I think this show really highlights that.

Rina: They are polar opposite though, like celebrities across the world and then the rest of the shows in this category. For me, celebrities across the world is more entertainment than factual entertainment. But I know that it is a strange one. Because the other ones are a lot more factual, a lot slower paced.

But I know what you mean about portrait. It is a very mellow, gentle watch. In some cases you are watching paint dry, which-


Rina: you know, in a good way, in a good way.


Rina: when you pitch that, you're like, so we're they're going to do a painting and we'll watch it dry. You're like, oh, okay, fine. But yes, it is in a good way.

Alex: I'm going to use an expression I used there previously in front of Scott. It is a warm duvet of a show, you do just sit there and you wrap yourself in and go, God isn't life beautiful, isn’t life great?

Rina: And then you try and draw and you go, oh. I can't do it.

Alex: Well, let's talk about one of the other shows, in this category. Again, totally different to celebs race across the world. This is The Doghouse, where as Channel four explained, people and dogs are matched and hopefully fall in love. Now as a dog owner I got all the time in the world, for shows about dogs finding their forever homes. They've got a whippet, he’s called Simon, and he’s a lovely, lovely, lovely, dog as long as you don't like having a stair carpet.

What did you make of this show, Scott? It kind of operates on the same, dopamine hit formula as scrolling through heart-warming dog videos. A new couple comes along or a new person comes along and they're introduced to the dog and its like, is it going to like them? It loves them.

Scott: It’s a bit like first dates for dogs, isn't it?

Rina: its First dates makes dogs.

Scott: And I think it's also the fact that it is not just for entertainment's sake.

They like highlight the fact about the number of dogs that need rehoming. I think also the reasons why an owner might have to sadly give up their pet. There are many reasons. It's not just abandonment, which is awful in itself. It can be because that their owners passed away or their circumstances have changed or they're not too able to look after.

So it's all about the reasons why adopting a dog can actually be a very beneficial thing and that is something that people can consider. I like the way it's been filmed. A lot of it is actually with rigged cameras set back in the place where they actually help the dogs and they rehome them.

So you have something a bit authentic with when they meet the owners, and then it's the owner's stories and or the potential owner's stories about why they might want to have a dog, but also in the mind-set of like, do you know what you're letting yourselves in for in a little way?

Because some dog breeds need to be looked after more than others in terms of the amount you would have to walk the dog, for example.

Alex: Sometimes you're like, they're not going to take that dog. There was one where this couple had never had a dog before and they were like, we want a big dog.

Maybe a German shepherd. And you're like, okay. Sure. And then they brought this German shepherd in that hated other dogs when it was on the lead and this couple were trying to call it over and it was just, not having any of it. And you're like, I can't wait for the, because it's one of those shows that at the very end it goes, sadly, X and X didn't take that dog.

Alex: And you're like, yeah, of course not. That would've been insane. They've never had a dog and this thing is barking.

Rina: I was a bit sceptical and I just thought, you know, it is like first date I feel like I've seen it before. But then I watched an episode where, there was a family and they were getting a dog because her partner had, passed away and they had the children there. And, you know, the son had really gone into his shell and stuff. And, I watched it and I just burst into tears. I just cried. I think I cried for about 10 minutes and I just thought, okay, this is a great show.


Alex: Let's move on to our final show. We're talking about on Channel five, endurance Race to The Pole. Ben Fogle and Dwayne Fields step back in time to wear the clothes, eat the food, and go to the toilet the same way Shackleton, Amonson, and Scott did on their explorations of Antarctica.

It's a fascinating mashup of a kind of, bare grills style survival show and a history documentary, isn't it?

Scott: Yeah. And I think also highlighting how the original explorers were able to do that, what they used, the equipment they used, the food rations they used, but then also participating, in it, themselves. I think Dwayne Fields is, is an explorer himself.

Ben Fogle has also had an expedition down to the South Pole, but using modern equipment rather than the old equipment back then. And I was watching it. With a bit of awe because I got hyperthermia during a practice, duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award when I was 13 in June. So I go to myself-


Rina: In 10 degrees.

Alex: Where abouts?

Scott: we were traveling from one side of the New Forest to the other, and I had only packed a T-shirt, which wasn't good and provided very little rations. I was like, first he didn't read the email or the letter that I was given by the organizers and only realised then I had very few rations and then it rained a lot overnight and all my existing stuff got soaked. This is bringing back a lot of trauma by the way.


Rina: Did a leader or a parent not check your stuff?

Scott: Um, the following morning when it was too late


Scott: And then my dad had to come up to collect me because I was quite cold and I was shaking and managed to make a full recovery. I was off school for three days and I never finished my Duke of Edinburgh.

Alex: Oh my god.


Scott: There you go.

Rina: So you're watching thinking-

Scott: So I was watching this being like, wow, people really do this?  I have not been able to.

Alex: So Rina, what did you make of endurance race to the pole?

Rina: The risk with this kind of show is that, they are them on a white landscape and they could just be in a studio. They could just be in a white box and it's, them against white for a long time, but they've really upped the ante with the graphics and the way that it looks and it looks really glossy and the use of the archive is really clever and really draws the audience in.

Alex: Right then that is almost done for this episode. But before I let you leave BAFTA HQ, I'm asking you and indeed every guest my regular quick fire questions. So, Scott, I'll start with you because, you've done these already once, so you have to pick something different.


Scott: Damn.

Alex: What was your most memorable moment from the past year of TV in general?

Scott: Probably I'd say Eurovision song contest last year. Just because it's one of the biggest live TV shows you really have to do. And I think we really were able to do it, and really, really well.

And I think it was just also just the stars aligning kind of perfectly, like a great range of performers. And they had that, songbook in the middle where they had all of the different, Eurovision artists covering other, well-known songs from the Liverpool area. Astonishing so good.

Alex: And the energy, you're right, the energy in that crowd. Rina, what are you watching and loving on TV right now?

Rina: I know it's just finished. I finished about a month ago, but gladiators. So I know its old school and even all the games, like I think there's one new game. But it's probably one of the one shows that we actually sit and watch as a family. My kids love it. And it's linear and I really had to explain to my children.

Okay, we've watched this one and you have to wait a week now to the next one. And my daughter was like, why, just go on Netflix and watch them all for hours? And I went, no, no, you have to wait. And I think it took about a month of explaining and then they finally got it. But yeah, that, and I think it's great.  

Alex: It's good, isn't it?

Rina: It is I mean some of the gladiators, are phantom and Nitro, amazing.

Alex: Scott, what are you watching and loving right now? And you can't pick Baby Reindeer again.

Scott: Can't pick baby Reindeer again? I would say Renegade now actually on Disney Plus, which is Sally Wayne Wright, who of course made Happy Valley, her next project. And it's this fantasy, highwayman, adventure, which is funny.

I mean, what Sally Wayne Wright has always been really great at, and it stars Louisa Harland too, who's just phenomenal in the role, she was in Derry Girls.

Throughout all the series, I think why it works really well is that Sally's been always great at fleshing out character. Also just having. Characters who you immediately latch onto and who are always slightly a little bit flawed in their own way.

And I think having two people, one good, one evil and just seeing their relationship develop and realizing that actually they're more similar than what they might have thought of at the start. Just great. And also, yeah, I keep banging the genre about this, the rarity in which it is a family show. It is a show that is for absolutely everybody from the kids up to adults who enjoy it equally. And I think that's a rarity. But I mean, when you have, Sally Waine wright TV drama, when are you going to say no?



Alex: Right then. Well, that is us done. I hope you have enjoyed listening to the show. To use Scott's phrase from earlier, it's been about the journey.

My thanks to Scott and Rena hit follow right now to get the inside take on the rest of the nominees up for contention in the 2024 BAFTA TV awards with P&O Cruises at 7:00 PM on the 12th of May on BBC one and I player hosted this year. The ceremony is by Rob Becketts and Ramesh Rangan Nathan. You won't want to miss it. Thanks to the producer of this series, Matt Hill at Rethink Audio.

I'm Alex Zane. This was a BAFTA production. I'll see you again as the countdown to the 2024 BAFTA TV Awards. Continues.