In March 2017, Avanti Media won the first BBC tender (post-charter-renewal) to be granted to a UK indie, Songs of Praise. Winning this £12million, 3-year, contract surprised many in the industry, not only because this was the first of the tenders to move outside the BBC, but also because Avanti was not an established, metropolitan super-indie. AVANTI won the bid as lead partner, alongside our chosen production partners Nine Lives Media in Manchester.
In February 2017, Avanti Media hired Neil Grant, Executive Producer of BAFTA & multi-award-winning series The Murder Detectives. This significant hire has allowed us to supercharge our network development and expand our factual remit. In the first six months of Neil's tenure at Avanti, we have won a number of high profile network commissions:
Paras Ready for War in production for ITV, is a unique access doc series, which required us to establish significant levels of trust from both ITV and the elite regiment to secure access.
The People's Hour in production for BBC Wales, is a brand new franchise for BBC Wales, a weekly studio-based current affairs series. This commission epitomises the new creative remit of the business, in that the journalistic rigour of Neil Grant, is complemented by the creative flair and innovation of Avanti's CEO and Co-Founder, Emyr Afan.
In June, we supplied Channel 4 with our first fast-turnaround current affairs documentary for Dispatches. How to a British Passport was a timely and prescient documentary about hundreds of thousands of passport-less children being thrown into a legal limbo in the wake of Brexit. It also championed a diverse new C4 presenter, Datshi Navanayagam.
The Story of the Mary Rose, in production for Channel 4, is our first specialist factual commission, a ground- breaking CGI-based single, that charts the lives of the crew and passengers of the ill-fated ship.
We have just won the tender for 2017 MOBO Music Awards, which takes place in Leeds First Direct Arena, and will be broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK and BT Her worldwide. This commission also reflects our strength in entertainment and diversity programming.