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Opportunities/Jobs Training/Workshops

Apply for Expert Voices: BAME Talent Days

Do you want to share your expertise and knowledge by appearing on television and radio? Are you from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background?

The BBC Academy is holding a series of free introductions to the world of broadcasting to help BAME men and women feel comfortable appearing on television, radio and online as expert contributors or presenters.

These events will help boost the diversity of experts in the media and follow the acclaimed Expert Women campaign which ran in 2013.

We are running five days across the country. The first will take place in London on 9 October and details of how to apply are below.

The days will offer a range of practical media experiences, including sessions on camera and in a radio studio as well as master classes and networking with experienced programme makers and industry leaders.


Event: Expert Voices: BAME Talent Day London

Location:  BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Date: Thursday 9 October 2014


What we are looking for: specialist areas
If you have recognised expertise in one of the key subject areas listed below and are interested in appearing in the media and live or work close to London, we want to hear from you. If you don’t live nearby or have expertise in a different area, take a look at our future sessions which are taking place around the UK.

Cultural Commentary – is your expertise in popular entertainment, the arts, literature or areas like social policy or national identity? 

History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which period are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?  

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

Finance and statistics – can you communicate about numbers, from personal finance to big business?

Food and nutrition – are you a chef, cook or expert on farming and food production?


How to apply
You will need to send us your CV and a short film of no more than two minutes duration. The film should be very straightforward – and can be as simple as a friend recording you on a smartphone.

The film should consist of you talking to camera:

a)     Give your name and job title at the start, explain your job in layman’s terms and talk briefly about what you do.

b)     Relate a story, within your area of expertise, that you want to tell and think the general public would find interesting.

The film should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo or similar so that we can view it.


Making your short film

1. We are looking for people who can really bring their subject to life in a way that would appeal to a broad audience.

2. Keep a mainstream audience in mind and avoid complicated terminology.

3. Convey your enthusiasm and passion for your subject.

4. Don’t worry about producing a super slick film; smartphone quality is ideal. Just keep it simple – we aren’t evaluating your camera skills. The most important thing is that we can see and hear you clearly.


Closing date 
The closing date for applications is 11.59pm on Sunday 31 August 2014.

Please only apply if you are able to be in BBC New Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA on Thursday 9 October 2014. 

Please note that the BBC is unable to refund any expenses incurred in applying for, or attending, the training day.


So we can see your film
A straightforward way to get your clip to us is to set up a YouTube account, and upload your short film there. You will need a Gmail email account in order to set up a YouTube account. (Please note that YouTube and Gmail are separate third parties that are not affiliated to the BBC.  You will therefore be subject to their third party terms and conditions.)

Once you have set your YouTube account up, please check your settings. You must change your YouTube default setting from private to ‘unlisted’.

The privacy settings on your entry videos must be set as ‘unlisted’ in order for us to view your films.

Please could you name your clip in the following format:

Firstname surname expertise 

If you choose not to upload your film to YouTube you will need to burn it onto a CD or DVD and post it to Expert Voices, BBC Academy, College of Production, BC2C1, Broadcast Centre, 201 Wood Lane, London W12 7TS. Your parcel will need to arrive at the BBC by Monday 25 August.  We will not be able to return any CDs or other materials to you.


Application Checklist
Please send an email containing the following:

1. Personal details

a)     Name

b)     Category (Cultural Commentary, History, Science, Health and Medicine, Finance and Statistics or Food and Nutrition)

c)     Mobile phone number

d)     Email address

e)     Job title – in layman’s terms, clarify what your job involves

f)      Details of your ethnic group (please identify yourself against the Office for National Statistics categories listed on the ONS website).


2.  A link to a film of you talking to camera about you, your area of expertise and a story/issue that you feel needs to be told.


3.  One written paragraph explaining the story/issue you have chosen to talk about. Why does this story need airtime? Why you are passionate about it? (250 words max.)


4.  Your CV as an attachment. Please name your CV file in the following format: First name surname CV


5.  The following paragraph, deleted as applicable (see Privacy Policy, below)

do  / don’t give my permission to be informed if the BBC Academy holds further masterclasses.

do  / don’t give the BBC Academy my permission to share my details with other producers or broadcasters.

do  / don’t give my permission to the BBC Academy to include my video in an Expert Voices YouTube channel and playlist.


6.  The name and contact details for someone from whom we can take a reference for you.


All to be emailed to:


How we will choose the delegates for this event
A panel of experts from the BBC Academy and the wider BBC will view all the material submitted and will select up to 30 delegates, plus up-to five for a waiting-list, based on the following criteria:

  • Passion for your chosen subject
  • Communication skills
  • USP as an expert in your field
  • Your potential as on screen/on mic talent
  • Relevance and audience awareness

The judges’ decision will be final and we will not be able to give you individual feedback or enter into any correspondence. We will take up references before confirming the final delegates and the people on the waiting list.


Privacy Policy (see application checklist)

  • We would like to add you to our mailing list so that we could contact you about future BBC events. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.
  • We will also make your contact details and your clip available to producers across the industry who may contact you. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.
  • We plan to include clips on a BBC Expert Voices YouTube Channel. Please indicate whether you agree or disagree to this in your application.

We will store your information for 12 months, after which it will be securely deleted from our systems.



Further events

We are also holding Expert Voices events in Birmingham, Salford, Glasgow and Bristol. If you live and work near these locations and have expertise in the subject areas required, we’d love to hear from you.


BIRMINGHAM: Thursday 27 November 2014

The subject areas will be:

Health and medicine – are you medically qualified?

Rural affairs – do you have specialist knowledge of farming and food production?

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Business and economics – can you demystify the world of business, from global finance to kitchen table start-ups?

Consumer finance – can you talk knowledgeably about everything from mortgages to pay day lenders?

Community matters – is your expertise in social policy, local education or family and religious affairs?

We will open for applications on 1 September 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this event before then, please email and we will remind you when you’re able to apply.


BRISTOL:  Thursday 29 January 2015

The subject areas will be:

Antiques / fine art – do you know your Ming from your Meissen? Do you collect, buy or sell desirable decorative items or advise other collectors?

Gardening and horticulture – are you a garden designer, a landscaper or a botanist? Are you passionate about shaping and beautifying the natural world?

Rural affairs – do you have specialist knowledge of farming, food production or rural issues?

Conservation and environment – are you an expert on alternative forms of power or preserving the natural world?

Natural history – are you a zoologist, anthropologist, geologist or biologist? Can you communicate about animal or human behaviours or the physical forces which formed the world?

Food – are you a chef or cook? Can you prepare delicious food or talk about what we eat?

Applications will open on 26 October 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this event please email and we will remind you when you’re able to apply.


SALFORDThursday 26 February 2015

The subject areas will be:

History – the Tudors, the First World War, the ancient world or modern Britain, which periods are you passionate about? Are you an academic, custodian, auctioneer or museum curator?

Science / health – are you medically qualified?

Sport – do you coach, play or comment on football, athletics or other sport?

Business and economics– can you demystify the world of business, from global finance to kitchen table start-ups?

Consumer finance – can you talk knowledgeably about everything from mortgages to pay day lenders?

Art – is your expertise in the visual arts, popular entertainment or literature?

We will open for applications on 1 December 2014. If you would like to express your interest in this date please email and we will remind you once applications can be accepted.


GLASGOW: Thursday 12 March 2015

The subject areas will be:

Arts – is your expertise in the visual arts, popular entertainment or literature?

Medicine – are you medically qualified?

Science – do you have expertise in a subject – from forensics to biology – recognised in the academic, research or commercial world?

Community affairs – can you talk knowledgeably about local government, education or social policy?

Law and justice – do you have a legal qualification and can you communicate clearly about legal affairs?

Children’s broadcasting – are you a specialist in history, science, coding, zoology, agriculture or medicine and can you communicate these subjects to a young audience?

Applications open on 5 January 2015. If you would like to express your interest in this date please email and we will remind you once applications can be accepted.

News Television

Canal+ launches new African channel “A+”

“100% African, A+ is modern, sincere and somewhat optimistic, targeted at the African family audience.” This is how Canal + executives summarised the qualities of their new channel to be launched on 26th October 2014.

After a long silence, Canal+, the dominant Pay TV platform in francophone Africa, is about to launch its A+ channel (“La Grande Chaîne Africain”), “made by Africans for Africans” with high standards as a further step to offer local content for local audiences. A+ will allow it to deliver content better suited to the emerging middle class of the African continent.

Several factors make this a good investment:

*  There will be 750 millions francophones in 2050 and 85% of them will be in Africa, claims a study from the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) published in 2013.

*  «TV content piracy remains high across Africa but proves that there is a need for more quality programmes at more affordable rates», said Jacques du Puy, Chairman of Canal+ Overseas. Canal+ has been working on highly secure decoders at very low prices making piracy much more difficult than in the earlier times.

*  Recent audience surveys reviewed by Balancing Act show that African audiences want more quality local content on TV at affordable rates. The local francophone TV content offer is limited and access to broadband internet is much more limited in many francophone countries as an alternative channel for francophone content.

* Quality African TV programmes cost less to produce than in Europe or North America.

* Canal+ is still doing all right things in France but the company needs to find new growth segments as competition is fierce. Free DTT channels, satellite services, Qatari BeInsport competition for sports matches, over 3000 VoD platforms from Europe, YouTube and Netflix all make further growth in Europe hard to find. Canal+ is the no. 1 payTV platform in Francophone Africa by number of subscribers.

* Local content quotas in Africa and elsewhere (for example, in Brazil) are increasingly covering Pay TV channels.

* Vivendi’s new chairman Vincent Bolloré has a strong presence in Africa and wants to create synergies across the group. If one man has a « user manual » for how to develop the African market, it’s Bolloré! A first step for these kinds of synergies is the channel’s “talent show”, an African version of The Voice in prime time on A +, produced in partnership with Universal Music Group, the music division of Vivendi.

* South African Pay TV Platform giant DStv/MultiChoice has reached 8 millions subscribers on the continent. Aggressive low cost contender Star Times claims over 3 millions subscribers and is now looking at Francophone markets; Canal+ only has 1.3 millions across 30 African countries. The group hopes to recruit twice this number within two years’ time: around 2.6 M. by mid-2016.

* The development of African markets is therefore a priority for the group as it is for several international companies. Over the past 20 years Canal+ has expanded in Africa with 4 levels of packages and 148 channels, radios and services, which implies different offers to suit different tastes. The company has already invested in programmes and channels dedicated to Africa; It’s now time to shift into second gear and launch more dedicated African channels.

Bertrand Meheut, Chief Executive Officer, Canal+ confirmed that «International business currently accounts for 40% of Paris-based Canal+’s earnings and subscribers». Vivendi wants to refocus on its core media business having recently sold its share in French telecommunications operator SFR, African telecoms operator Maroc Telecom and video games developer Activision Blizzard.

Canal+ has deployed a quickly expanding distribution network in Africa of 1200 PoS, which includes, to date: Canal+ La Boutique own stores (27 shops), Partner stores (>200), Approved distributors (>1,000) and extra points of sale specialising in the sale of top-up cards (>1,500).

The adoption of lower subscription rates with no strings attached also allowed Canal+ to swell its audience. Today, the French group has 1.3 million subscribers (equivalent to an audience of about 7 millions), which is three times more than three years ago. Pretty soon, Canal+ estimates its real potential audience at around 12 million people, and over 2 million subscribers.

To produce this new TV channel, a team of ten people from six nationalities will be working from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The channel will be led by executives located in a suburb of Paris and in Abidjan including Damiano Malchiodi, who led the group thematic channels (, Planète justice, Planète No Limit, etc.). The team will work along the 500 marketing employees the company already deployed in eight countries and over 1000 employees at Canal+ Overseas. The invested budget for the new channel represents several million euros.

Content-wise, A + is an entertainment channel which promises local series, reality TV, magazines and a few movies. A+ grid should comprise about 40% of programmes produced in Francophone African, another 40% from Anglophone and Lusophone Africa. The rest – 20% – will be focused on Black culture and being purchased outside the continent, for example in the United States (e.g. Moesha) or Europe. Overall, the channel will aim at 80% of programmes to be made in Africa and the remaining 20% coming from other regions.

A+ will broadcast anglophone series and films from Africa’s two largest audiovisual production centres, South Africa and “Nollywood” Nigeria, said M. du Puy. Additional programmes will come from Ghana and Kenya will also be dubbed into French.

A+ grid will offer 70% of series including saga hits “Ma Famille”, “Kadie Jolie” (Burkina Faso), “Adams Apples” (Ghana), “The Wild” (RSA) or “Docteur Boris” (Côte d’Ivoire), feature films, original programmes produced in Senegal (“Tundu Wundu”), Central (“Aimé Malgré Lui”) and Gabon (“Pango & Wally”). In 2015, the channel also hopes to create an event with popular Angolan series “Windeck” and the sequel to “Ma Famille” (Côte d’Ivoire) rebranded « Ma grande famille » which will expand its clan with actors from all over Africa. Magazines will feature “Island Africa Talent” (music), Blackamorphose (fashion style) and Star Chef.

This new paid TV channel will be included in Canal+ and CanalSat basic package and air live 24hx24h on two time zones, one for West Africa, the other for Central Africa. The basic subscription package costs CFA F 5000 per month (about 7.6 Euros, USD 10.40).

For Canal+, return on investment remains the same, based on a hybrid revenue model: subscription fees and advertising (15-20% initially, 80% in the long run). Canal+ could help shape up the advertising market by commissioning more regular TV audience surveys and by attracting large companies to advertise across Africa. The media group will also invest in digital services. Lastly, Canal+ wants to help boost global distribution of quality African TV programmes.

Will this new channel become a serious competitor to local public and private channels? Absolutely not  according to François Deplanck. SVP channels and content for CANAL+ OVERSEAS, M. Deplanck ensures that the positioning of A+ opens up competitive moves, and creations into other profitable niches such as sports, children, nature, cooking, history or information for pan-African and national channels, thereby excluding all unfair competition. Furthermore Canal+ envisages programmes’ exchanges, co-productions, local programme acquisition and even programme sales’ partnerships with African broadcasters.

A+ is rather good news for Africa: it will certainly put a bit of pressure on other broadcasters to innovate, generate more regular media audience surveys, attract advertisers and improve local production quality, recruit and train local staff in order to contribute to an improved pan-African media industry.

What’s next?

Canal+ is also looking into DTT in African countries the company is present in, said Jacques du Puy. With its long history and expertise, Canal+ can reduce DTT costs, share infrastructure costs, train local staff, purchase and boost local content creation and provide quality content, the recipe for DTT success.

The launch of digital terrestrial television (DTT) across Africa from mid-2015 could bring Canal+ Afrique a wider audience: DTT would, according to the group, put the subscription price down to CFA francs 3 000-4 000/month, more affordable for households with a layer of free national channels. Canal+ can bring huge expertise, training and investments to African nations who wish to launch successful DTT: content and digital technology are kings in this equation, and Canal+ certainly is a king of content and technology.

When the market gets ready, Canal+ SVOD could be deployed across Africa…but not too late since Balancing Act has already identified over 70 VoD platforms. The other opportunity is to take a multiplay route in partnership with national telecoms services providers.

If A+ becomes successful and by popular demand, Canal+ could also launch other themed channels from Africa broadcast to the World: one could imagine A+Sports, A+E (Enfants for children) or A+E for edutainment.

News Radio

You spoke, the BBC listened

THE AFRICAN and Caribbean communities are not powerless. When we come together in solidarity fighting for equality, demanding to be respected we can win. Above all when we are successful, everyone benefits way beyond our own communities.

Back in April, six Caribbean individuals – Diane Abbott MP, David Lammy MP, Pat Younge – ex director of BBC, Baroness Ros Howells, George Ruddock – The Voice Editor and myself wrote an open letter to two of the most senior men at the BBC – Tony Hall and James Harding.

We lamented the fact that they were about to make redundant the only journalist specialising in African and Caribbean news on the radio. Their argument was that budgets were being moved for a more local response, but we argued losing this focus and particular expertise was both short-sighted and undermined the BBC’s own remit to be a broadcaster that valued diversity.

Also a number of BBC Caribbean staff also made their feelings heard at the highest level.

Four months later, after some genuine soul searching, the BBC has been big enough to recognise April’s move was a mistake. They now want not just journalist specialising in Caribbean and African but a team of journalists which would enhance the BBC as a whole.

In a statement last week the BBC said: “We are going to create a small team to cover the underreported African-Caribbean community; we are going to increase the number of political reporters and city correspondents across England to enhance local coverage and we are focusing our funding on original journalism through the big stories fund in Newsgathering and by providing extra money for Newsnight.”

This move is perhaps too late for Helen Bart and Kurt Barling who between them had 35 years of experience before their contracts were not renewed. But on the broader issue of the roles importance, we have resoundingly won.

This latest move comes on the back of the Lenny Henry campaign who has demanded that the BBC and other broadcasters ring-fence a minimum amount of money for BME productions.

We can only applaud Harding and others for listening and acting upon sound advice. I guess we’d argue this should not have occurred in the first place, but they’ve listened.

Let’s hope that this latest move marks a new era in which Harding, Hall and others recognise our value and begin the process of ensuring greater representation in middle and senior management, and greater communication with those communities the BBC seeks to serve.

* Simon Woolley is the director of Operation Black Vote (OBV), an organisation that aims to inspire BME communities to engage with public institutions in order to address the persistent race inequalities we face in areas such as: education, health and employment

Online Shows

Black British Web Series: Life Of Hers (Season 1 – Five Episodes)

Cardy Films have released their brand new and highly anticipated drama series “Life of Hers”, written by Samantha Chioma, directed by Ola Masha and Olan Collardy.

The series, which reflects the lives and friendships of four women living in London is an exploration of the complexities of life as a young woman of the African diaspora and some of the unique conflicts that can arise between inherited traditions and assimilated new cultures.



The Empowerment Fund

The Empowerment Fund is part of the government funding initiative, Start Up Loans, supported by Inspirational YOU and Bigga Business to help new businesses and give entrepreneurs over 18 years old an opportunity to bring their business ideas to life with financial help and mentoring support from experienced professionals.

The Empowerment Fund is part of our Inspire YOUth series to promote and encourage enterprise in young people.

We want to see you get ahead! This is your chance to go out and get your business off the ground with the guidance of those who have already done the same.

There have been some amazing success stories already with over £100,000 worth of business funding already distributed. There is now a further £500,000 available and we want to invest in you!

We support all kinds of businesses from media, youth projects, cosmetics, fashion, music, digital, food, PR, sport and domestic assistance.

This is your opportunity to get ahead.

If you want to get your ideas off the ground then this is for you.

  • This is for the dedicated, the visionaries and the motivated.
  • Those who see an opening or are keen to create one.
  • Those who are unfilled by a 9-5 job and want to dictate their own future.
  • Those who are ambitious, hungry and will put the work in.

To apply click here

Online Shows

An African City Season 1 Episodes 6-10

Five beautiful, successful African females return to their home continent and confide in one another about love and life in ‘An African City’



Find out more here