TV with a local flavour
PUBLISHED: 07:47 24 March 2014 | UPDATED: 07:53 24 March 2014
"By and for the people of Greater Norwich" - that's the ethos of the new Mustard TV service as it prepares to launch this month.
The local TV station, which is one of the very first of its kind in the UK, will broadcast every evening to homes across Norwich and potentially as far across the county as Cromer and Attleborough.
Managing director Fiona Ryder explains: “It’s coming from people who know and love the area, making totally local TV covering people, places, entertainment and local issues. There will be interviews, local news, sports, food, drink, travel and more.”
The flagship show of each weekday evening will be The Mustard Show, with former footballer Darren Eadie and a range of great presenters with a passion for everything from sport to music.
“It’s going to be a warm and welcoming magazine show that will get viewers talking and will showcase some of Norfolk’s great people and places,” says Fiona. She led the bid to win the local TV licence for Mustard, which is owned by Archant, publisher of the Eastern Daily Press and the EDP Norfolk magazine among its wide range of community media.
The idea of enabling communities to launch their own local TV channels was put forward by the then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt who invited bids for licences. “He had a vision for local TV and freed up Channel Eight to make sure that it had a profile that it had never had before in this country,” explains Fiona. “We did a lot of research into what people wanted and wrote the bid.”
It was successful and the licence was awarded in September 2013. There have been 25 stations licensed so far, and Mustard will be the first of these to begin broadcasting completely from scratch. Since last January, Mustard Online has been providing web video news and features from around the county, and working closely with the newspaper and magazine teams.
“We are a very specialised team about to produce local TV in an extremely well established media business,” says Fiona. “We are also working closely with Norwich University of Art and City College Norwich, as well as the East Anglia Film Archive who we are working with on some beautiful archive material that I am sure will be really popular with our viewers.”
The team is also linking with programme-makers around the area, and commercials will be around 90pc local, with some programmes sponsored by Norfolk-based businesses.
“There will also be two 15-minute slots for community programming that people who don’t usually have a voice in broadcasting will be able to access, such as charities wanting to raise awareness of what they do in the Norwich area, or perhaps for the Portuguese or Romanian communities here.”
Broadcasting will be based at Prospect House, home of the Eastern Daily Press and EDP Norfolk magazine, in the heart of Norwich.
“We have built a studio with a green screen and the latest technology,” Fiona explains. “We can bring Skype and telephone conversations straight into the studio too so that we can connect with people and stories – that’s something many of the much more established TV studios can’t do yet. I am very keen to make sure that we preserve very high production standards wherever possible.”
Jeremiah Colman, of Colman’s Mustard fame, was one of the original founders of Archant. But the title was also chosen for the connotations of the word mustard – spicy, tasty, sharp and definitely not bland. It’s also slang for something fantastic!
A taste of Mustard
Find Mustard TV from Monday, March 24, on your Freeview Channel Eight (between BBC3 and BBC4 – you will be able to retune your set if you need to from March 17). It will be on air from 5.30pm to 10.30pm each evening.
Mustard TV will be broadcasting to the greater Norwich area, covering some 320,000 people.
Cutting the mustard
Fiona led Archant’s bid for the local TV licence and is now managing director of Mustard TV. She has more than 20 years experience in music, film, TV and technology, having studied film and photography at university and worked for a special effects company on programmes such as The Bill and London’s Burning. She launched her own company in the mid-1990s working on high-profile music events. Fiona’s Cube Group went on to create in-store video entertainment for stores like Topshop and Topman and worked with Toni and Guy, Burberry and on the award-winning Body Craze with Rankin at Selfridges. After selling her company, she moved to Norfolk to bring up her family and set up a digital video communications agency.
Featuring the features team
Putting together and presenting features for Mustard TV and The Mustard Show will be a team headed up by senior features producer Kiernan O’Shea. Kiernan went to Wymondham College and Norwich has been the place he’s called home ever since. He has worked on the Trisha programme, been deputy editor on The Jeremy Kyle Show, and worked on development of BBC current affairs programmes before returning to ITV Anglia. “We are proving that Norwich can be a creative production hub,” he says of Mustard TV.
Joining Kiernan and Darren Eadie on the team are Beth Davison, Kate Wincup, Tom Vince, Dan Bancroft, Rachel Stringer, Phil Armes, Chris Bailey and Cara Macdonald with sports journalist Michael Bailey.
Presenting the news presenters
Rob Setchell, editor of TV news
Originally from Cambridgeshire, Rob was The Guardian’s Student Broadcast Journalist of the Year in 2010. He was a reporter for Archant titles in Fenland, before joining Mustard TV. Rob is a cricket fan, and also enjoys reading, comedy and struggling around a Sunday League football pitch.
Also from Cambridgeshire, Mark trained in broadcast and print journalism in Newcastle before moving to Norwich to join Mustard TV. When not standing either side of a camera, he enjoys the countryside and is a big American football fan, supporting the Minnesota Vikings.
Ruth was born and raised in Norwich. After university in Leicester, she worked in London and Peterborough before returning to Norwich to join Mustard TV. Ruth enjoys creative writing, reading and looking after her guinea pigs.
With them, as head of commercial, is Mel Wilcockson, who has previously worked in radio at Broadland, Vibe FM, Kiss FM and Kiss 100. She says of Mustard TV: “This is such a great opportunity for Norwich and it is going to be huge – I’m so pleased to be part of it.”