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Broadcast industry leaders announced for inaugural media convention

Kamal Ahmed

The inaugural Creative Cities Convention, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Kirsty Wark, has announced that Channel 4 Chief Executive Alex Mahon will headline at the conference, explaining her plan for moving hundreds of jobs out of London.

She will be joined by a top-class line-up of leading industry figures that also includes BBC Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed, ITV Chair Sir Peter Bazalgette, Director of Programmes for Channel 5 Ben Frow, Matthew Gould the Government’s first Director-General for Digital and Media (Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), screenwriters Lisa Holdsworth (New Tricks, Midsomer Murders, Ackley Bridge) and Kay Mellor (Girlfriends, Love, Lies and Records, The Syndicate), RTS Programme Awards presenter of the year Anita Rani (The One Show, Countryfile), 2018 and Endemol Shine CCO Peter Salmon.

Coronation Street actor turned Labour MP Tracy Brabin will consider gender inequality, Ofcom Director of Standards and Audience Protection Vikki Cook will wrestle with the thorny issue of regulating for social mobility, campaigner Ruth Ibegbuna will discuss opportunities for young people from working class backgrounds, Nia Thomas, MD of independent producer Boom Cymru, will join a debate on building global production in Britain’s big cities and Callum Tulley, 21 year old winner of a recent RTS investigative journalism award, will tell his remarkable story.

Taking place in Leeds on the evening of 25 and all day on 26 April, the Convention is jointly funded by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Pact and will provide a new opportunity to review content production and distribution across the UK.

Delegates and speakers will ponder the creative and commercial growth of the digital media industry and think how to improve inclusivity at a time of great opportunity across the UK.

Director of the Creative Cities Convention Ruth Pitt said: “At a time when our industry is in the spotlight for its lack of diversity, regional imbalance and gender inequality, it is imperative that we create a forum for these issues to be confronted and solutions sought.

“It’s clear from the fantastic line-up of backers and industry leaders we’ve secured that there’s a genuine appetite for working out how we can be more inclusive off screen and more representative of audiences on screen. But producers across the UK also want to know how the industry can create a climate for global creative growth.

“More names are still to be announced and I’m looking forward to a packed agenda and some heated discussions about the future of content in a world of digital distribution, social media muscle and change across Europe.” 

Tickets are available now from


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