tv The Media Show BBC News August 28, 2021 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news, the headlines: senior taliban leaders say they are ready to take control as soon as the us leave. the us has warned against for people to not travel to the airport because of security concerns. the us can intelligence reports concluded that covid—19 was not developed as a bio weapon by china but they were able to provide more in formation onto its origin and blamed beijing for withholding information. the man who assassinated vanessa kennedy during his —— robert f kennedy. now on bbc news,
the media show. hello. have you turned on the television recently and thought it all looked a little bit familiar? laurence llewelyn—bowen boisterously doing up people's living rooms, ruby wax looking back at celebrity interviews that she did in the past, and then, look what's coming up — never mind the buzzcocks, blankety blank, sex and the city — it's a very long list. so, welcome to the era of the reboot, an age when tv executives seem to be pouring over dog—eared copies of the radio times, looking for formats that they can bring back to our screens. so, why this trend and why now? is it because the �*90s and the naughties were the real golden age of tv after all, or is competition for viewers now so fierce that commissioners are too quick to fall back on what
they see as trusted hits from yesteryear? well, let me introduce you to my guests. ruby wax, who needs little introduction — actor, comedian, writer, mental health campaigner — and clive tulloh, who worked with ruby as her producer for many years, including on some of those interviews that she did with the likes of donald trump and imelda marcos. i wonder what it's like for both of you to be reunited via zoom. well, usually, i touch clive a lot. there's a lot of interaction between our limbs. luckily, he's burnt. his face is like a beet, so i'm very turned off. clive, she's not in the same room as you, so what was ruby like to work with? erm... laughter she was... talk, clive. she was... she was always exciting to work with, and it was always thrilling. it was thrilling to work with her, and it's been even more thrilling to reunite after 20 years. yeah. well, you're both very welcome.
layla smith is head of objective media group, part of the tv giant all3media and, before that, she was controller of entertainment at itv. i mean, layla, you're looking after a huge selection of programmes at objective. what are your big hits at the moment? well, like what we're talking| about, one of the big things, was bringing the cube| back after many years. so, it was off air for many. years and we bought it back last year in october. it was a £1 million - cube with new gameplay. it's back again this year, i and there are other shows that we are either rebooting formats on from other - territories and our own, - and that, i think, is notable at a time when everybody still tries to innovate, - but actually, you do look back at the things that have been l brilliant and think how - they can be brilliant again. we'll dip into the cube a little bit later for sure. and mark sammon is the executive producer of changing rooms, now back on our screens. mark, welcome. hello, thank you.
why was now the right time to bring back changing rooms? i guess what i... you've touched on it already, julian, the fact that a known title often cuts through, and myjob at the time at shine tv was to find shows that would get commissioned, brand—new shows that were innovating, but also to win business, put plainly. so, changing rooms is something that was available that i was able to pitch and develop. but i suppose i should also say, and it's absolutely true, that i loved it. i was a viewer first time round. i think if you're going to sell anything, new or reboot, you need to go in with some passion, so it was a great show. yes, you've got to believe in it, haven't you? yeah, of course you do. it's a great show, great format. at its heart, you're letting in your neighbours or yourfriends, with
a designer, to come in and make over a room in your home. so, it's a golden format, and why wouldn't we take that back out again after 19—20 years? well, for those who've never seen it — and i'm sure there must be somebody out there who falls into that category — let's have a brief listen to what you've done. there's this big thing happening in design at the moment called maximalism, ok? so, it's anti—minimalism, and it's about being really crazy and party—orientated, quite fair. yeah. and i just thought that's got claire written all over it. yeah. neat—o. voiceover: but surely not written in pink, - laurence. you know, the colour claire doesn't like? l that was laurence llewelyn—bowen sorting out claire's living room. this is a reboot, mark, clearly. how much did you want to go back to the original and copy it, or at least come close to copying it? how much did you want to introduce elements
that are entirely new? look, i think you want to do both, don't you? the original... you know, i'm old. i've been doing this a long time now. i've been on both sides of the fence. i've seen reboots come and go, and some did incredibly well and somejust fell flat on theirface. so the first thing for us when we looked at changing rooms was looking at what people love about it. you know, actually we don't want to lose all of that. then you look back at the show that it was and you analyse it and you go, "oh, my god, how did that sustain" and "why did you watch that?" actually, we cast shows differently, we cut them differently now. so, the bits that we rebooted or the bits that we changed were actually about how you film it, how you cast it, how you tell that story, how you hold onto that audience that have so much more choice now. you know, changing rooms went and disappeared because people would come in for the first five minutes, and then come
back for the reveal at the end, normally switching over to watch the soaps on itv at the time. actually, so those are the bits that we've really worked on and that we really changed, but it was about preserving the essence of the, you know, that actually... you played a good clip there and you can feel and hear it from laurence, the campness and the playfulness, and it's an entertainment show ultimately. well, it's the clip when he's told she doesn't like pink, so what colour does he go for? pink. yeah, of course, of course! and therein is some drama and some entertainment, and that's hopefully going to keep the viewer hanging around. but, actually, it's really important for us to... you know, to take it seriously, and i know that sounds ridiculous after the clip you've just played. and i'm sure lots of people watched the original and hopefully watch the reboot. but we could have
been quite cynical. we could have gone in and said, "let's always play that trick, "let's always give them pink or green or purple "when they don't want it." but, actually, we didn't. actually i think that's the key, hopefully, to it sustaining an audience. layla, you mentioned the cube coming back later this year and, as you say, it had the £1 million specials aired last year. again, for those who haven't seen it, what does phillip schofield guide the viewer through on a typical episode of the cube? well, the cube, it's . a very simple tag line. you have nine lives to playl seven deceptively difficult — they look simple, they'rej deceptively hard games — try and win a quarter of £1 million. - and inside the confines of the perspex cube, . simple games- are incredibly hard. so, that's the game. there were nine series on itv over the last, . gosh, however many years. 15 years, and it's been off air. - but we did change it up quite a lot. -
we felt like it needed - new elements to come back, and it wasn'tjust £1 million. that was a discussion we had i with itv about creating a stunt week, but we felt like _ a two—player game would make it far more interesting. we introduced a different lifeline as a result of thatj because we felt like it's great| to have something evergreen. it's a format like — - game shows are so hard to get right. if you've got one that actually works, don't change that. - well, except, at some point, somebody must�*ve decided that it didn't work, at least not sufficiently enough to stay on the television. and then, what, five years elapsed and you all come back and decide, actually, now is the moment to revive it. i wonder what the dynamics of all that is. oh, gosh, i won't go - on for ages 'cause i think this stuff is really complicated. - i was at itv for many years when the cube was on, - so i obviously wasn't i running objective then. and i think what you do, . with all shows, is you tend
to look at it and think, | "how can we improve? "does it need _ something changing up? "do we change elements of it? "do we freshen up the format?" when it's a game show... it might be different for ruby and clive with celebrity- interview, that's about really brilliant interview, isn't it? l but i don't think that - happened with the cube. so, actually, it's not so much that the format is broken, . but actually, viewers do demand a freshness to their content. - they don't just want the same thing, ad infinitum, _ and that's i think— what happened with the cube. itjust didn't have a fresh- view, and that's what we did. ruby, you've gone back to some of your classic celebrity documentaries from the 90s and the naughty. again, why is now a good moment to revisit those?
i didn't realise we were rebooting the show. the show had been shown for 25 years. i had an interview with someone questioning why that won't be, between clive and me, the show was commissioned just because the commissioner happen to like myself. but i think there were a thousand between them, and either didn't get it or thought why show it? what's so interesting about her? i have a life, and it's nice they put it on before i died, because now i get to do my obituary. laughter. when you look at them now, what do you think? she looks like she's having the time of her life. i think they could've been deeper, but was very young. i think i could've played it more, don't get in front of the camera, go behind it. but my personality was hot on the screen. we went on for 25 years, so i could have changed, but didn't know they would keep saying... so i kept dancing.
people either got tired or a man comes along and takes her time slot. again, not upset, got a new life. but if i didn't, i'd be quite bitter. clive, you visited some massive stars of their day. how did you get access to some of these people? it was a combination of... it was also a very distinct time in history because it was sort ofjust before social media and the internet, and you'll remember this, julian. when we had a guest, you would call up the library and you'd get all the photocopies of every article. sadly, i do remember that. we used to do research, and i think we would just... a lot of the american stars in those days, britain was sort of regarded as like doing an advert injapan, they didn't really care.
nowadays, because as soon as you do an interview, it's on youtube, so it would be very, very hard to get the practice we did. ruby and i would work incredibly hard and explored every avenue, and ruby as a host, which you sometimes see and sometimes don't, would be basically almost performing a one—woman show for roseanne or goldie, and those guest with think, "oh, wow, i got up my game." quite often, we will cut that out,... it was always an audition. yeah. and quite often, we didn't know. ruby would say — what can we do, and if i ask any more questions, they would shut door. i said i would get her through the door, and the rest was up to her.
to sharon stone, "can you go out on the street?" sharon would say no. she asked what if she wore a beard. we would say yes! we have a beard! we had instincts. the interviews were ten minutes, but if you keep making them laugh, they tell their pr to go away. but i knew something would happen with pamela if we got on that i could play her body double. grab my red bathing suit, but ijust had a baby. my boss went down to my knees, and pamela said she could play my body double. that kind of approach is unimaginable now. with social media, you couldn't do that any more.
ijust think there's so much control and so much... you just couldn't get the access. 'cause the reason this series came back was that we started to look into, our commissioning editor, who was a big ruby fan. said we've gotta get ruby back on. we were going to try and see some of pamela and roseanne, and a couple were interesting. then the pandemic happen, so we thought about, ok, let'sjust go back and look at the archive. then it chimed with the louis podcast — then it chimed with the louis podcast and his good grace, we were _ podcast and his good grace, we were up— podcast and his good grace, we were up and running. you use the word audition. and clive, i think there was a sense of how the camera crew operated. there was a degree of auditioning of how they did theirjobs. ruby would say, and she was right, some cameramenjust aren't listening and can't do it.
we would audition the camera men and women and they would come around to ruby's house, and then we would walk around the house and they would have to film us. if ruby said "oh, look at that picture", if they didn't swing the camera and come back to see our reaction, they didn't make the squad. we wanted the camera to have a personality, notjust a piece of dead meat. i wonder, given that celebrities in that kind of format were much more prepared to let their guards down to a good degree, perhaps over no way they have it much before, did that lead us down a route towards programmes like i'm a celebrity many years thereafter? clive, you know this, i'm sure. jim allen, whose is someone we all know very well, -
watched the joanna lumley- programme that clive produced. sat up and said what happens if it's notjustjoanna. - what happened if you take celebrities and really- strip them bare. it's not necessarily- from the celebrity interview, but it's from that programming in that instinct which is about l saying, and that is why i think| i'm a celebrity endures today. it's notjust- a reality concept — what happens if you take people who you think are normally- pampered, then what was happening as a result. - that show is now in its... can even remember how many seasons. | that still runs through. that's why i think. people still watch it, and it is very revealing. and not always in a bad way — people meet characters -
on i'm a celebrity who are more rounded, more realthan they thought and that i becomes part of their career. and some people don't reveal a different side i of their selves. but it all stems definitely. from the sort of interviews that ruby's has been doing. where you really peel back the layers — let stay with you because all given us some context to the programs we're talking about. layla, we are in this period where i mentioned some names where there are clearly others that are coming back or are back or are at least being considered. and i slightly suggested there might be lack of ideas as part of the reason for that happening. is that fair?
i'm going to say absolutely not. i i thought you might. because there are not| just in our companies, across the whole industry, there are brilliant - i individual innovative thinkers, i constantly thinking of new ways to do it. that is the challenge, - you sit and think there's only so many subjectl matters in areas. there is risk around - everything in broadcasting, because broadcasters always want viewers to watch, - and even if it's a public service broadcaster, i they want the right viewers . to watch if not sheer volume. that i think leads people to understandably... - i was at iwas ata i was at a broadcaster, mark was — i was at a broadcaster, mark was at — i was at a broadcaster, mark was at a _ i was at a broadcaster, mark was at a broadcaster. - it leads people to kind of play the game. - here's three new shows, i but i also want to know that i'm going going to hit three key demos... l if someone is going to bring back— if someone is going to bring back an _ if someone is going to bring back an old _ if someone is going to bring back an old format - if someone is going to bring back an old format that - if someone is going to bring back an old format that is l
back an old format that is really _ back an old format that is really attract. _ mark you have both conditions and pitched, so you sit on the other side. yeah, i have. i think layla said it perfectly. you're looking at safe bets and looking to innovate. if someone presents something to you that is familiar, that will pr itself in the way that changing rooms has, or that have a ton of celebrities in, they are all shorthand, they are all shortcuts to get an audience to you. that doesn't... you've still got to deliver the goods. your mention of money, changing rooms this time around is made in partnership with a paint company, isn't it, which would not be allowed on the bbc the first time around. did that make any difference when you were pitching it?
yes, i think it definitely does. i absolutely don't think it's the only reason. i've done a lot of programming. i commissioned a number of broadcasts. i'm really interested in this area. we took the decision to take changing rooms out and present it to channel 4 with some money attached. i've pitched other ideas with a tonne of money attached. and broadcasters have still said no. it doesn't matter if it is a good idea, they might be making a saving. layla knows this from itv. the risk you run in terms of your ad revenue and and not getting an audience, the brand didn't fund all of it. i think that's true with all ad funded programming. the channel needs to pay some cash. clive, looking back to the interviews, clearly some of that wasn't cheap —
wou are jetting off all over the world often without much without much advance warning. and you won't always sure you would get the interview when you got there? we were lucky. n was... — we had a pretty good budget, it was bbc one prime time. i sometimes think, would i have taken _ i sometimes think, would i have taken the — i sometimes think, would i have taken the risks that i did then? _ we flew to manila, ten of us, and we'd been offered half an hour? clive just gets me to the door and kicks me in like someone who says... it's just cruel. go ahead. ruby said to me, "go and get some jewellery.
i've got to wear good jewellery because imelda marcos will clock the jewellery. " we went to see theo, and he lent us £200,000 worth of jewellery. ruby dripped into the flat, and in the first half hour, imelda clocked the jewellery. she sang feelings to us while we danced around in her apartment. that was really a lot of foreplay. just gushing and loving her and never asking the question that would offend her. we tried to create the image... and clive put the hello magazine in her garbage can with a picture of me on the front. i know you did that, clive. that is too much of a
coincidence. she picked it up and went oh, she is on the cover of hello! she thought i was just a journalist. from that moment, she took my hand, she took me to parliament, she covered me in herjewellery. clive, that was clever. ruby, i was wondering about those like yourself in front of the camera. we talked about changing trends and programmes being reinvented and coming back. how much are you conscious of that need to adapt as fashions change in terms of what you do in front of the camera? well, i wanted to produce after my show finish. i constantly like to reinvent. i wouldn't have minded being behind the camera and working for a production company. next time i will present and you produce. everyone will watch _ you produce. everyone will watch that.
clive will do anything but... that was too much fun. i went to america in may asked me if i would do a show behind the desk. —— and they asked me. i can't get anything five minutes. i need to move in. that doesn't exist any more. i suppose i was getting at we've talked about rebooting programmes, but do people in front of the camera have to acknowledge the need to reboot as well? if i was doing more, but i'm not that interested. these were movie stars with skills, and the thrill of spending time with them will never happen again. so, i wouldn't even know... i would invent something else. layla, how much further do you think this rebooting trend has got to go? ithink....well, i i think it will be... so, i don't want to write off| the reboots that are coming because i know you'vel listed them, but i think there was also — - and i hate this word — but there was also|
a covid thing here. there were certain shows, i and i think the cube was part of this, we couldn't do audiences, it's great l to do — a show that you know. but it's fine because you know the show. | if you put a new show that i probably would be or better with an audience, that might affect it doing well. - you don't want l to take that risk. i think that happened i quite a lot during covid, and i don't meanjust- with game shows, but a sense of familiarity, of people - going back to what they know. i think that's playing out now across our schedules, - and i think... maybe i hope, but the reboot i will always happen because it's happened forever and people will always, - if there is a new way of doing and old, familiarl format, why not? but i think we might see a switch back into morel more originality again.
i think that crest might changel now because i think covid made people more risk—averse. that's all we have time for today. thank you to all my guests — ruby wax, clive tulloh, layla smith and mark sammon. the media show, back at the same time next week, so thanks very much for watching and goodbye. saturday shaping up to be the sunniest day of the weekend, they will be some cloud around northwest scotland, some coastal parts of eastern scotland, quite a bit of cloud in england to begin the day, a lot of that will thin and break and then they will be increasing amounts of sunshine through the afternoon. an isolated shower can't be ruled out to east anglia in south—east england for a time, with a stiff breeze here and the breeze coming into the north sea coast will keep
bridges right along the coast around 16—17, to many low 20s, 23 in glasgow. overnight into sunday cloud increasing in scotland, ireland into north—east england, clear spells across the rest of england, and wales, bridges dipping down into single figures in some rural spots. and then on sunday, claudia skies in scotland, northern ireland, north—east england, across more of eastern england during the day, still a few sunny spells but most of sunday's sunshine will be in wales and south—west england. feeling cooler with the cloud, just as warm where you see the sunshine.
welcome to bbc news — i'm rich preston. our top stories: quite like the us carries out a drone — quite like the us carries out a drone strike in afghanistan less— drone strike in afghanistan less than two days after a deadly— less than two days after a deadly attack at kabul airport. the taliban say they're ready to take control of kabul airport as soon as american forces leave. it's thought us and uk troops could end their operations there within hours. also on the programme, us intelligence agencies it says covid—19 was not developed as a biological weapon but they remain split on its origins. and, football superstar cristiano ronaldo is returning to manchester united — 12 years after he left.