Five Radio Fast Train delegates have won development funding or are having further conversations with radio commissioners thanks to their pitching prowess.
The delegates were part of a group of eight who all pitched their ideas in front of a live audience at a Radio Fast Train masterclass hosted by Andrew Collins (6 Music) with commissioners Lewis Carnie (BBC Radio 2/6), Tony Phillips (Radio 4), Piers Bradford (Radio 1/1Xtra) and Jonathan Wall (5 Live).
RFT attendees were invited to submit ideas in advance of the event around the theme '90 Years of Radio’. Eight were then selected for the live pitch. The pitchers attended short presentation training sessions earlier in the day with the BBC Academy’s leadership trainer Frank Ash.
Some £5,000 worth of seed funding (50% from the commissioner's budget and 50% from BBC Audio & Music director Tim Davie's Innovation Fund) went to 'Ninety by Ninety', pitched by Nick Baker (Testbed).
"Pitching is always the most scary, horrific experience – and to do it in front of hundreds of your peers is even more daunting. Let’s hope these ideas make it onto air"– BBC Academy head of public service partnerships
Nick used a clip from the first ever Jeremy Vine Show (a 1978 recording with little sister Sonya Vine as the sole audience member) to illustrate his idea: 90-second audio miniatures saying "hooray for radio" in 90 different ways. The diverse mix - which will feature stories, memories and opinions - has been commissioned for Radio 4 subject to successful further development.
Kate Lamble's (Loftus) pitch for 'Revolutionary Radio' was the other recipient of seed funding. Billed as a "60-minute archive hour for Radio 4", it will focus on how radio has proved itself to be a powerful political force over the past 90 years, and hear from six listeners who "stood by their radios during extraordinary times".
Lamble said it would be a "privilege" to make what would be an "exciting and important" programme. She added: "That was my first ever pitch straight to the commissioner. To get something from it was really exciting."
Three pitchers were told they would have follow-up meetings with commissioners to discuss or develop their idea further:
Jim Lister (Folded Wing), for '90 Years Scanning the Electronic Radio Bands' - an exploration of the history of electronic music
Eliza Lomas (Folded Wing) for 'Time Travel Through the Ages' - which would recreate pivotal moments in radio history
Will Gilgrass (independent producer) for 'FA Cup' - a look back at FA cups through the ages, taking in technological changes in radio coverage as well as listeners' memories.
BBC Academy head of public service partnerships Donna Taberer said: “Radio Fast Train proved to be a brilliant, inspiring day for delegates. But the pinnacle was the success of these pitchers.
"Pitching is always the most scary, horrific experience - and to do it in front of hundreds of your peers is even more daunting. Let’s hope these ideas make it onto air.”
Listen to the pitching masterclass on the College of Production website.
Radio Fast Train was hosted and produced by the Academy in partnership with Skillset, in association with the Radio Academy, Radio Independents Group, RadioCentre, the Community Media Association, Sound Women and BECTU.