Three North East Indies are entering 2024 with a bang having won their first BBC daytime commission that will see them create inserts for BBC’s popular daytime show, Morning Live. 

Wander Films (Middlesbrough), Sea & Sky Pictures (Hartlepool), and Second Draft (Sunderland), were all successful with their pitch ideas and will now have their northern stories shown to a national audience. All three indies have been working closely with North East Screen over the last four years through a range of programmes and activities to support them becoming reputable broadcast-winning companies. 

North East Screen’s Development Director, Lisa Laws, believes this is just the beginning of the broadcast journey for these indies. She said, 

“It’s great to see the hard work of Wander, Sea & Sky and Second Draft paying dividends at last given the challenging commissioning climate we are in. So this is a real win not only for them, but for the North East. 

“This shows that our North East-based indies have built strong relationships with commissioners to really understand what audiences want and expect from a show like Morning Live.  

“This first step into broadcast is crucial for company growth, and I can’t wait to see what they deliver! Exciting times ahead!” 

The commission opportunity has been led by BBC Daytime and Early Peak Commissioning Editor, Helen Munson, who is based in the North East. She said, 

“This is a really exciting opportunity to build on and develop key relationships with indies based in the North East. I know there is such a wealth of talent here and I’m really looking forward to working with them more.” 

Chloe Clover, Co Founder and CEO of Wander Films said,

“We presented five topical stories with positive messages. It was crucial that the ideas were unique yet in line with the Morning Live house style. We’re buzzing that the commissioners loved our angles, and we are now in production for TV!” 

Lou Brannon, Development Co-Ordinator at Sea & Sky Pictures said,  

“We’re over the moon to have been chosen for this opportunity to contribute to Morning Live on BBC One. We’d like to thank North East Screen and the BBC for allowing us to build on our previous successes with The BBC’s Small Indie Fund 2023 and North East Voices initiatives.  

“Our films will cover varied topics such as ways to combat loneliness and litter picking, and will give advice, inspiration and hopefully start conversations across the nation.” 

 
Mark Stuart Bell, Producer/Director at Second Draft said,  

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work alongside the BBC’s flagship morning programme. We have a real affection for the warmth and optimism that Morning Live creates, and we hope that our film brings attention to the concerning issue of malnutrition in the UK, but also leaves the audience feeling inspired by the story of one ordinary woman’s mission to solve this crisis.” 

Morning Live is BBC One’s flagship daytime magazine show broadcast live from their Manchester-based studio, averaging over 1.2 million viewers. Since the new year, the show has been extended to 75 minutes from 45 minutes and strengthened its pool of on-screen presenters to include Cumbrian Helen Skelton. 

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