Posted on 6 February 2003
His lecture, ‘57 channels and nothing on', will take place on Tuesday 11 February at 5.15pm in the Dixon Theatre Studio in Wentworth College.
After graduating from the University in 1973 with a degree in English and Philosophy, Tom became a BBC News Trainee, and later the producer of current affairs programmes such as Nationwide, Panorama and Tonight.
An award-winning director, he left the BBC in 1985 as an Executive Producer and founded Mentorn, which soon became Britain's largest independent production company. Mentorn makes programmes which range from entertainment shows like Robot Wars and Star for a Night, and factual series such as the BBC flagship programme Question Time, to popular factual shows like Britain's Worst Driver and Shops, Robbers and Videotape, and landmark documentaries such as Queen & Country and The Valley, which won the Prix Italia.
Tom has an array of international awards, including an Emmy for the drama The Bullion Boys, and several BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards and nominations.
In his lecture, Tom will look at the future of television programming, addressing a number of questions about the way in which television is progressing as a medium.
In an effort to attract viewers who, through their remote controls, now appear to be in charge of the schedules, are television producers now rewriting the grammar of television? Interactive television now permeates the airwaves: from Pop Idol to Big Brother, is this a sign of viewer empowerment, or are producers ruthlessly exploiting the public to fill more and more channels with ‘wallpaper programming'? And is the emergence of ‘constructed reality' programmes, like Big Brother and Wife Swap, which Tom Gutteridge calls ‘car crash television', a positive new addition to popular culture, or an indication of a lack of creative energy on the part of producers and broadcasters?