BBC Showcase increasingly represents the whole TV industry, says Steve Macallister.
It’s only five months until the UK welcomes around 15,000 athletes from around the globe, putting London on the world stage for the Olympics and Paralympics.
There is, however, another international delegation arriving this week - more than 640 influential TV buyers, coming to sample the latest from the UK’s talented TV community.
BBC Showcase is an event that increasingly represents the whole industry. We’ve heard much in recent years about how media is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, with a real opportunity to flourish.
We also know from Pact that 25% of the indie sector’s total revenues now come from international distribution.
That’s why Showcase is so great for the industry - with the whole gamut of quality British programming pushed to the front of the stage.
As well as a huge range of BBC-commissioned productions, such as Planet Dinosaur, Inside Men and Call The Midwife, shows for Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 - including Sinbad, Whitechapel, Misfi ts and World’s Toughest Truckers - are all part of our premiere screenings.
We’re also making sure that indies are part of the proceedings.
In a first for Showcase, as well as welcoming many of the indies we partner with, we’re holding a forum with BBC North and RTS North for some indies based in the north of England to share insights on trends around international content demand.
We are holding Showcase in Liverpool’s Albert Docks for the first time, which is fitting as they have long been a hub for international trade. Who would have thought these same docks would become a gateway to the world for British television shows?
Even though we’re a little way off the summer’s Games, we have comedy Twenty Twelve to present to our guests, and with Hugh Bonneville among the 30 actors joining us, we’ll have some early Olympics action of our own - of the comedy gold variety.
Steve Macallister is president and managing director, BBC Worldwide sales and distribution