Show of the week: Radio Face

Red Arrow International’s major format launch at MIPTV was Radio Face, a project coming out of an increasingly creative format territory, Northern Ireland. The concept was developed by BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Stephen Nolan, who has been branching out into formats.

Nolan had toyed with how to incorporate the loud, extrovert characters who would call in to his radio show into a TV programme. He decided to film them, at home, at the gym or in their cars, for example, to record their opinions on key popular topics as they went about their daily lives. Nolan then hosted the action from a studio.

Harry Gamsu, VP of format acquisitions and sales at Red Arrow Entertainment’s distribution arm, says the show will stand out in a crowded fixed-rig-formats market. “The big USP over the other fixed-rig formats with colourful characters is that this can be about anything, and there is no issue getting rights or clips clearance,” he says.

Topics cover everything from politics to comedy. “Crucially, everything is a topical issue from the week that was,” says Gamsu.

Interest is understood to have been strong in key territories, with Red Arrow keen to place the format with producers and broadcasters that have interests in both television and radio. Some may link the format to a podcast, says Gamsu.

In Northern Ireland, the show was a ratings success, outperforming the slot average.

The show: Radio Face
The producer: Third Street Studios
The distributor: Red Arrow International
The broadcaster: BBC One (Northern Ireland)
The concept: Fixed-rig reality series in which radio call-in regulars comment on current affairs