News Reel & Blog

Written by Daniel Kirby on 19th September 2016

emmy awards 2016

The Emmy Awards took place last night in Los Angeles, where Game of Thrones was one of the big winners of the night.

HBO's hugely successful fantasy drama won in three categories, and in doing so it broke the record for the greatest number of Emmy Awards won by any fictional series.

As for British winners, Dame Maggie Smith won yet another award for her role in Downton Abbey, but was not in attendance at the ceremony. Given that she has never attended the awards show, the host on the evening Jimmy Kimmel joked 'We're not mailing this to her. Maggie, if you want this, it will be in the lost and found.' John Oliver also picked up an award for best variety talk series, ahead of fellow Brit James Cordon.

Elsewhere on the night, Tatiana Maslany won the award for best actress in a drama series for her part in the sci fi thriller Orphan Black, whilst Rami Malek took home the mens equivalent for his part in Mr. Robot.

The cast of People vs. OJ Simpson was another show which enjoyed a successful night, with three separate acting awards going to members of the show.

Overall this year's event was praised for the diversity of its nominees, and on the night two of the four directors who won were women, and Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari picked up awards for their comedy series Master of None, prompting Kimmel to suggest 'there's almost too much diversity in this show'.

See below for the main winners! 


  • Drama Series: “Game of Thrones”
  • Comedy Series: “Veep”
  • Mini-Series or Movie: “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • TV Movie: “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Masterpiece)”
  • Variety Talk Series: “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”
  • Variety Sketch Series: “Key & Peele”
  • Actor in a Comedy Series: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
  • Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
  • Actor in a Drama Series: Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
  • Actress in a Drama Series: Tatiana Maslany, “Orphan Black”
  • Actor in a Mini-Series or Movie: Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
  • Supporting Actor in a Drama: Ben Mendelsohn, “Bloodline”
  • Supporting Actress in a Drama: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
  • Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Louie Anderson, “Baskets”
  • Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

To see the full list of winners check out the Emmys website here.

Written by Daniel Kirby on 16th September 2016

skepta mercury prize winner
(Image by Batiste Safont)

Grime artist Skepta was announced as this year's winner at the awards evening at the Hammersmith Apollo last night.

In taking the award, Skepta beat out bookmakers' favourite David Bowie, who was expected to win with his final album Blackstar. Other artists vying for the UK's most prestigious music award included Radiohead, The 1975 and Laura Mvula.

Reception to the news has been very positive, with many applauding the fact that Skepta was able to win with an album which he produced and released by himself. Jarvis Cocker, one of those on the judging panel, explained that “we as a jury decided that if David Bowie was looking down on the Hammersmith Apollo tonight if he would want the 2016 prize to go to Skepta”.

The result has also underlined the remarkable resurgence of the grime genre, with Skepta becoming the first grime artist to win the award since Dizzee Rascal picked up the award in 2003 for his album Boy In Da Corner.

Written by Daniel Kirby on 13th September 2016

great british bake off channel 4

After a year of negotiations with Love Productions, the production company behind The Great British Bake Off, the BBC has lost its contract to broadcast the hit show.

The programme will now move to Channel 4, who have signed a three year deal with the production company.

The key issue appears to have been the large fees involved, it is thought that the BBC offered £15m per year to keep the programme on BBC One, which is double the amount they currently pay for the show, but Love Productions wanted at least £25 million.

One BBC executive explained “We made a very strong offer to keep the show, but we are a considerable distance apart on the money.[Our] resources are not infinite.”

This is clearly a major coup for Channel 4, who will now take ownership of the UK's highest rated show. Their first Bake Off broadcast will air as a charity special next year, however negotiations with the show's current presenters are yet to begin.

Written by Daniel Kirby on 5th September 2016

brexit media recruitment

On June 23rd Britain voted to leave the EU, a decision which forged a deep divide between two halves of the country and which has left us mired in political uncertainty. In recruitment terms the effect of Brexit is hard to gauge, given that different industries are likely to face very different challenges over the coming years, but we have attempted to summarise the current fallout from the decision and the predictions for the future.

Within hours of the result being announced, the job site Indeed reported a major increase in searches for jobs outside of the UK, and although these searches have since tailed off, this surely demonstrates a level of unease relating to the uncertain future of the country.

Elsewhere however, there has been generally positive recruitment news following the result, with the recruitment firm Reed explaining that in the three weeks following the vote they saw an 8 percent increase in jobs added to its website compared to the same period last year. CV-Library also announced that their Q2 2016 data showed an 11% increase in job vacancies and a 13.2% increase in candidate applications compared to Q2 2015. Clearly then, UK employers are remaining optimistic despite the Brexit uncertainty, and these figures should go some way towards allaying fears that the result will cause a recruitment slowdown.

Nevertheless there are certainly changes on the way. It seems inevitable that immigration laws are going to be affected given that this was a major issue in the referendum with many people looking for a greater measure of control. What seems likely at this point is that those EU workers who are already residing in the UK will be permitted to remain so, however Theresa May has refused to make any concrete promises on this since taking office. She has announced that she would like to secure permanent residency rights of EU nationals living in the UK, but that this would be dependent on equivalent rights being given to British expatriates living in EU member states. Given that there are currently 3.3 million EU nationals living in the UK and 1.2 million Brits living in EU member states, the issue here is a major one which May’s party will be hoping to resolve as early as possible.

One possibility following the referendum, albeit unlikely, is that the UK could negotiate to maintain freedom of movement, either with the EU or with particular EU countries. In such a case EU nationals from those countries with which an agreement is made would naturally be able to work in the UK without a visa, whilst those workers from all other member states would most likely be required to apply for visas under UK immigration rules.

One of our close associates, the law firm Lewis Silkin LLP have covered this topic in some depth, and have explained that it is unlikely that low-skilled workers will be eligible for UK work visas, and if this is indeed the case, it is entirely possible that we will encounter a shortage of low-skilled workers after the separation of the UK from the EU is completed. Such an event would result in higher costs for affected employers, who would have to offer greater wages to secure their required workforce.

Despite the significance of some of Brexit’s potential consequences, the response from the media industry to the referendum result has been surprisingly upbeat, with many companies expressing their desire to continue with ‘business as usual’, and a general consensus within London is that the capital will remain a highly desirable destination for businesses, even after Britain completes its separation from the EU.

Those in the events industry are particularly confident in this regard. Tracy Halliwell, director of business tourism and major events at London & Partners suggests that ‘London remains one of the best cities in which to build a global business and to hold an international event’, and goes on to state her belief that ‘there will be ample time to develop and effect plans to ensure continuity of business over the coming years.’

Elsewhere Kevin Jackson, chair of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) said that although the uncertainty of the next two years is a concern,  ‘the event industry is a robust industry and a relationship-based industry’ with ‘strong relationships across Europe and around the world.’

In terms of corporate communications, a major concern is of course that companies will look to halt their big PR campaigns due to the current state of uncertainty. However according to Pete Markey, brand communications and marketing director at Aviva, Brexit may in fact ‘provide a challenge and an opportunity for brands and marketers’ and that with ‘consumer trust declining, the need for strong and confident brands is evident more than ever.’ He goes on to suggest that ‘brands will be looking to focus more on the emotional warmth of storytelling and heritage behind their brands to help build and strengthen confidence and trust – those brands that panic and waver will revert to heavy discounting and promotions which could potentially damage brand value.’

Studies have shown that advertisers who increase their advertising spend during a recession are often more profitable in the long term, and so there may be a number of companies looking to take the opportunity to strengthen their brand during the nation’s Brexit unease.

Overall then the media industry outlook appears positive post-Brexit, and we as a company have not noticed any slowdown in recruitment since the result. A calm approach has been adopted by the majority of companies and as a result the industry appears stable at this moment in time.

Helpfully Lewis Silkin have also released some practical suggestions as to what media companies can do in legal terms in order to navigate Brexit successfully.

Firstly they suggest reviewing which of your workforce are EU migrants, if any, and how many UK nationals are stationed elsewhere in the EU, in order to assist them in applications for citizenship, permanent residency, or (if required) an EU workers’ permit.

They also propose that companies could also consider changing their work council agreements to be based in Ireland under Irish law, and given the currency fluctuations, assess arrangements of employees posted abroad and paid in other currencies. As the current position of EU statutory leave may change or even ultimately be reversed, it makes sense to review considerations concerning making offers on holiday pay beyond basic salary.

Finally they recommend carrying on with existing measures to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, as the UK will not have exited by May 2018 when this comes into effect, and domestic law is also unlikely to change.