October 2015

Colette Foster lifts lid on Birmingham indie

Colette Foster, the former Remarkable Television co-managing director, hopes to spark a renaissance in TV production in Birmingham with the launch of hew new indie, Full Fat Television.

The company will focus on factual entertainment and feature formats with an emphasis on emerging talent, particularly from the Midlands.

“Birmingham is incredibly vibrant at the moment,” she said. “I’ve set a personal imperative to set something up here and I believe I can do it.”

Foster, who worked in Birmingham before her eight years at Endemol, said there was a “sense of decline” in the industry when ITV shut its Birmingham HQ and the BBC moved its production to Bristol.

However, she pointed to the “fantastic skillset” of Birmingham’s TV production professionals, and said the bona fide ‘regions’ status of Full Fat could help “fill the gap”.

“We have to be creating our own output from this region,” she explained, “I made 10 Years Younger, Embarrassing Illnesses and How to Look Good Naked all in Birmingham, and before that The Clothes Show and Gardeners’ World. We can create a renaissance.”

Foster launched Full Fat earlier this year, and is working with a senior development executive who she declined to name. She is keen to make some appointments if she secures financial backing for the indie.

Foster’s departure from Remarkable, which was closely followed by the promotion of fellow co-managing director Nick Mather, ignited a management refresh at the brand.

Remarkable is now being led by James Fox and Kitty Walshe.

She stressed that her exit had nothing to do with the seismic Endemol Shine Group merger, which completed late last year.

However, Foster said being part of a “bigger machine didn’t suit me personally” and was “creatively driven” by making new content.

“The audience, particularly the young audience, is hungry for fresh stuff and gets bored really quickly,” she said. “I think most shows I make are capturing the zeitgeist – we see things happening out there and respond by going to a channel quickly.

“If we can give it a narrative heart and it’s transformative, people always love that.”

Source: Broadcast Now

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