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Commissioner Development Programme - Specialist Factual

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

The BBC Commissioner Development Programme is an exciting 6 month training and development opportunity for disabled media professionals and those from a BAME background (black, Asian and minority ethnic).

Specialist Factual and Natural History covers a wide range of science, religion, history, business and natural history programmes, from Dynasties, We Are British Jews, Inside The Factory, Amazing Hotels, to Chris Packham Asperger's & Me. Our ambition is to ensure that we're working in the full range of forms in each of these genres from blue chip to presenter lead, documentary to magazine show, format to live or as live event. We're committed to the reputational and to the popular - and want our content to satisfy every section of the BBC audience - from the learned to the curious novice. 

The BBC Factual commissioning team is looking for someone with a genuine passion for Specialist Factual & Natural History programming and an instinctive feel for storytelling. The ideal individual will have current experience in Specialist Factual & Natural History television (non-commissioning) on which to build with this placement. An interest in developing mainstream and expert talent, telling stories from the UK and beyond, and making content that appeals to as wide an audience as possible are all a must.

Role Responsibility

In addition to the general objectives for the Commissioner Development Programme, through a placement in the BBC Specialist Factual commissioning team you can expect to:

  • Develop an understanding of how to ensure commissions are based on a sound understanding of cost, quality, delivery date, rights exploitation and funding needs. 
  • Develop an understanding of how to engage suppliers of Specialist Factual & Natural History  programming in the development process, learning how to spot a good idea and then learning how to work with suppliers to develop it; how to pitch it and how to build on/communicate the feedback.
  • Learn how to give clear briefs to suppliers on what is required in a particular slot/sub-genre.
  • Become a “Factual TV junkie” – watching widely and critically, across all broadcasters, paying attention to how audiences are responding to output.
  • Develop an understanding of a multi-platform approach to commissioning including digital, particularly short form and social media.
  • Move around the wider Factual team as appropriate to shadow Commissioning Editors in order to gain further knowledge of the specific considerations for Factual content - e.g. scripting, editing (including how to give concise and productive editing feedback), external communications, marketing and compliance.




Are you the right candidate?

The ideal individual for this development programme will have a keen interest in understanding the commissioning process along with strong programme making experience and sound editorial judgement.
You will have outstanding interpersonal and communication skills - able to relay contentious decisions. You will also display:

  • Experience in factual programming across a range of broadcasters
  • Senior Producer level experience on returning series
  • Experience in an edit from day one to delivery
  • Experience of delivering returning series at the highest quality to terrestrial channels
  • Ability to demonstrate taking an idea from page to screen



Package Description

Contract type: Development opportunity 6 months
Location: London W1A1AA

We’re happy to discuss flexible working. Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application. There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to. Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.

About the BBC

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling everyone to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles and placements, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here


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