Mentorn wins back Question Time contract
Mentorn has won the tender process to produce BBC One's iconic current affairs show Question Time.
In a rigorous and demanding process, detailed proposals were received from 15 independent producers when the tender was advertised in December 2006.
Ten companies were chosen for a first round of interviews in January and four were shortlisted for the second round: Lion TV, Mentorn, Cheetah TV and Ten Alps.
In that round of interviews held last week, Mentorn, which has produced the programme since 1998, emerged as the strongest bidder.
George Entwistle, Head of Current Affairs, BBC, said: "It was a very tough and rigorous selection process. All four shortlisted companies came up with strong proposals both for the linear programme and for developing multi-platform offerings.
"It was particularly gratifying to see companies whose core experience has not so far been in this area of programming, making such strong pitches. I look forward to seeing more ideas from them in the current affairs genre in future."
Sue Inglish, Head of Political Programmes, said: "At the end of a very competitive process Mentorn emerged as the best of a very good bunch.
"We are happy to be continuing and developing the good relationship we've built up with Mentorn over the last few years and we are looking forward to moving ahead with their ideas for developing the programme and the digital offering."
The contract will be for three years from September 2007.
The tender invited independent producers to make Question Time as a qualifying regional production.
Question Time was first broadcast on 25 September 1979. The programme has an average audience of 2.5 million and a share of 20%. Each year, some 30,000 members of the public apply to join the debate.