Spun Gold TV Nominated at BAFTA TV Awards 2019

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have announced the nominations for this years 2019 Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards. These awards reward the very best in television craft and television programmes broadcast in the UK in 2018. The awards ceremony will be held at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 12 May with the British Academy Television Craft Awards taking place two weeks earlier on Sunday 28 April at The Brewery, London.

Spun Gold TV has been nominated in the category Best Reality & Constructed Factual for The Real Full Monty: Ladies’ Night.

All other categories and nominees can be found here:

http://www.bafta.org/television/awards/tv-2019#reality–constructed-factual

Travelling Blind review – a touching journey that leaves tweeness at home

★★★★☆

The beautiful relationship between blind entrepreneur Amar Latif and his sighted guide, comedian Sara Pascoe, elevates this frank and funny travelogue

Amar Latif, an entrepreneur who lost his sight 25 years ago at the age of 18, set out for Turkey with the standup comedian Sara Pascoe as his sighted guide. He is a seasoned, gregarious traveller and man of insatiable curiosity and optimism. She is a solitude-loving homebody who doesn’t even like spicy food and prefers to hide in her hotel whenever she goes abroad. We had the statutory opening shots emphasising their differences: him selecting and immaculately packing his holiday wardrobe and enthusing about the coming journey; her clambering over her unmade bed wondering what she should take. You know the drill.

And then, suddenly, as the pair touched down in Istanbul, the programme seemed to find a different and much better groove. It was still an odd-couple pairing, but one we hadn’t seen before and which soon began to make use of its potential to explore new emotional and psychological territory.

Detouring to the Grand Bazaar on the way to their hotel, Pascoe is eager to reach the latter. But she must slow down so her companion can experience everything around him. Pascoe watches anxiously as he picks up and sniffs fruit (“I’m so afraid of being told off … He’s hands and nose straight in”) and gradually learns, as a sighted person who “doesn’t have to build from ground to sky to know what’s going on”, how much detail she needs to provide for Latif to add the physical world to what he can smell, hear and taste.

Once she knows, she applies herself wholeheartedly to the job and – as you might expect from someone who depends on making her audience see the joke for a living – she is able to evoke the various weird and wonderful activities and landscapes they come across so that Latif can understand what surrounds him. Not that watching oil wrestlers – all in black rubber trousers, trying to reach the handles inside them and flip each other over – doesn’t present a challenge. “It’s like … frogs mating,” says Pascoe eventually. And it is.

Pascoe is intrigued – as I suspect are we all who share her introverted persuasion – by the endlessly, genuinely charming Latif’s attitude and his perennial enthusiasm for life. He founded the company Traveleyes which, as here, pairs sighted with non-sighted travellers for group holidays, when he realised there was nothing out there that could meet his needs. “I was shy,” he says. “But blindness changed me.” After going blind at an age when his peers’ lives were starting to expand, he fought off the depression that threatened to consume him by deciding he would start saying yes to everything. “Because if I don’t keep moving, I’m going to end up back in that dark place, and I don’t want to go there.” It is a tearful, honest, underplayed confession and deeply touching. As is the moment when they are present at a mountain sunset and he says: “These are the moments when it’s shit being blind.” He notes that it has been so long since he saw a sunset that, like the faces of his parents, it is beginning to slip from his memory.

Their relationship – frank, funny, fond – is strengthened as they go. Latif can feel the strength of a hand-built platform full of hives and persuades Pascoe, terrified by its rickety look, up there to hear the “motorway of bees” buzzing atop it. She can tell him that the bull he hears passing them on an alpine farm has “testicles the size of your head”. And sometime she can tell him that a place is so beautiful she doesn’t have words for it. “I wish you could see it.”

I feel almost the same about the programme. The two of them and their chemistry and compassion without sentiment made it beautiful and it’s hard to capture how without introducing a tweeness that simply wasn’t there. All the pitfalls were sidestepped. They learned from each other, but it didn’t feel like life lessons were constructed for the camera. It didn’t feel like a disability was being exploited or patronised (helped greatly by Latif being the kind of presence you just want to up and follow as an abject devotee wherever it leads), or used to say: “Hey, they’re not different from us!” Or that someone’s suffering was being pressed into the service of self-improvement for another. Or any of the other infuriating ills that such setups are generally heir to. So – I wish you could see it. Head to iPlayer, please, and you can.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/mar/07/travelling-blind-review-sara-pascoe-touching-journey-that-leaves-tweeness-at-home

Spun Gold TV win at the RTS Programme Awards 2019

The Royal Television Society has announced the winners of the RTS Programme Awards 2019 in partnership with Audio Network this evening by comedian Shappi Khorsandi at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Guests in attendance included the cast of Hollyoaks and Coronation Street, star of Killing Eve and Actor (Female) winner Jodie Comer and legendary actress Lesley Manville, who picked up the award for Comedy Performance – Female for Mum.

Jodie Comer’s iconic performance in Killing Eve won her the Actor – Female award, with Lucian Msamati winning the Actor – Male award for his harrowing and extraordinary portrayal of Tobi in Kiri.

Mum won two awards during the evening with Stefan Golaszewski winning the Writer – Comedy award, and Lesley Manville winning the Comedy Performance – Female which was described by judges as having set a “new benchmark for excellence In this genre”. The winner of the Comedy Performance – Male went to Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith for their “astonishing and committed” performances for Inside No. 9.

Derry Girls took home the award for Scripted Comedy while The Last Leg won the Entertainment Programme category, with Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan winning the Entertainment Performance award. Romesh Ranganathan took home the award for Presenter for The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganthan, with Osi Umenyiora winning the award for Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit for his work on NFL This Week and The NFL Show.

Described as an “exciting new talent destined for an exceptional future”, Nabhaan Rizwan took home the RTS Breakthrough Award for his incredible performance in Informer.

Sky Atlantic’s Save Me was recognised in two separate categories: Drama Series and Writer – Drama for Lennie James. The show was praised by judges for “its authenticity as a series, and captivating performances throughout.”

The past year has seen some truly captivating documentaries created, giving audiences much-needed insight into issues affecting both people and the planet: Channel 5’s Raped: My Story won the Programme Award for Single Documentary, alongside Channel 4’s Prison which took home the award for Documentary Series. Drowning In Plasticwon the award for Science and Natural History with A Dangerous Dynasty: The House Of Assad winning the award in the History category. The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night won the Formatted Popular Factual category.

The Live Event award went to the BBC’s The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Match of The Day 2018 World Cup: Quarter Final – England VS Sweden won Sports Programme Of the Year, described by judges as “capturing the intense emotion of the occasion”.

Continuing their winning streak, the BBC’s A Very English Scandal won the award for Mini-Series for its “excellent peformances and relevance” while the award for Single Drama went to Killed By My Debt for its expertly told tale. CBeebies took home the award for Channel Of The Year.

The RTS proudly presented its prestigious Judges’ Award to Ben Frow, the transformative Director of Programmes at Channel 5. The panel praised Frow’s “passionate and transformative” approach to the channel since taking it over in 2013, increasing the audience by a full five percent over his tenure.

The winner of the Programme Award for Soap and Continuing Drama went to Hollyoaks, which blew the judges away this year for its performances and content.

Finally, presenter Lorraine Kelly received the Outstanding Contribution to British Television award.

The RTS Programme Awards seek to recognise programmes which, in the year in question, have made a material and positive contribution to their genre: either because their originality in form or content has in some way moved the genre on, or perhaps created a new genre; or because their quality has set standards which other programme-makers can learn from and emulate.

https://rts.org.uk/article/winners-rts-programme-awards-2019-announced

 

Spun Gold TV Nominated at the RTS Programme Awards 2019

The RTS Programme Awards are one of the gold standard awards for our industry and an important showcase of the extraordinary talent evident across the UK’s television industry.

The awards seek to recognise programmes which, in the year in question, have made a material and positive contribution to their genre: either because their originality in form or content has in some way moved the genre on, or perhaps created a new genre; or because their quality has set standards which other programme-makers can learn from and emulate.

The Awards will be presented at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, W1K 7TN on Tuesday 19 March 2019.

We are so proud that Spun Gold TV has been nominated in two categories. Best Formatted Popular Factual for The Real Full Monty Ladies Night on ITV AND Best Live Event for The Real Full Monty Live for ITV.

You can find all of the other categories and nominees on the RTS website.

Travelling Blind image

New BBC2 doc Travelling Blind explores what it’s like to travel the world without sight

AT the age of four, Amar Latif learned he would be blind by the time he was an adult.

When his sight went, he decided to travel the world and got a ticket to Canada. In 2004, Amar set up his own company that pairs blind tourists with companions to help them explore the globe.

In new BBC2 documentary Travelling Blind, Amar asks comedian and self-confessed nervous traveller Sara Pascoe to accompany him to Turkey.

What unfolds is a funny but poignant exploration in which Amar opens her senses to a different way of travelling.

Amar says:

NEVER travelled before I went blind at the age of 18.

It was a condition called RP, or retinitis pigmentosa, and my parents had been told when I was four I would go blind in my teens.

Everybody around me kept saying, ‘You’re blind now, you can’t leave the house alone’, and I felt claustrophobic. I wanted to study abroad, so I went off to Canada.

Over the next few years I tried to continue travelling but I found no travel company would let me, or I’d struggle to get insurance.

I was told I had to bring a carer. But I didn’t need one, I just needed a sighted companion.

So I set up my own company in 2004 called Traveleyes, which pairs blind people with sighted.

The sighted people get a 50 per cent discount in exchange for being the eyes for blind travellers.

With a sighted partner explaining everything, I end up with such a vivid image of what’s going on.

You also listen to sounds and take in smells and tastes and focus on different senses.

Sight is only one sense — that is easy to forget. I enjoy travelling because I love meeting new people and I take risks.

I go skydiving and I’ve skied down black runs. Sara, on the other hand, is risk averse. We came up with this idea to go away together.

I would help her to interact and be braver, and she could help bring the sights to life by describing them.

She described everything brilliantly, from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar to oil wrestling, a sport in which men wear leather trousers, cover themselves in olive oil and throw each other to the ground.

As the journey went on, she relaxed. I think the experience was beneficial to us both. When I lost my sight I thought my world had ended but it’s great that I can still travel and give something back to people who can see.

Sara says

I USUALLY travel for work, so I am organised but not an adventurous traveller.

In fact I feel quite shy when I go away. I don’t explore in any chaotic way. Generally in life I’m a scaredy cat. I don’t like scary films or spicy food, and I don’t want to jump off something high — ever.

So I was worried about travelling with Amar, about travelling with someone I didn’t know, let alone someone who was relying on me for descriptions.

I was worried I wouldn’t have the right language to do it justice and that I’d ruin his holiday. I’m also very clumsy, so ­worried about getting him run over or something. But it was a great experience.

When I first get somewhere, I normally head straight for the hotel and hide. Amar was very open to chatting to people and he pushed me out of my comfort zone. We met many lovely people and I learned that to get a really good experience out of travelling, I have to talk to them more.

Amar knows how to seek out the fun, while my usual method is to avoid it. Most of us are afraid of getting told off, whereas in the bazaar he just put his hands and nose out and touched people’s silk scarves and their dried tea.

He got stuck in, which made for a more fun experience. Everything is interesting to him, things that we would take for granted.

It was good to compromise, too. There were things we did which I thought would be boring. But because of how he processes the world, it forced me to be very “present” and slow, which meant I had some wonderful, completely surprising moments.

Amar is trusting and brings out this warmth in people. It was inspiring. Next time I go away I’ll appreciate the slowness I’ve learned, and push myself to be braver.

I’ll try to find experiences that  aren’t just about “the sights”.

 

From: https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/8547531/bbc2-travelling-blind-tourists-without-vision/