The inaugural Wonder Women TV Conference took place at BAFTA on Saturday 7th October. A day filled with masterclasses, panel discussions and inspirational talks from the industry’s top female leaders.

Our Joint Creative Director, Helen Cooke, took part in the Women at the top in TV panel alongside a line-up of brilliant women working in TV including, Samantha Stewart (Managing Director – 72 Films), Priya Singh (Director of Operations, Commissioning and Content – ITV), Louise Benson (Director of Development – The Film & TV Charity).

The panel, chaired by ITV News’ Lucrezia Millarini, provided attendees with the opportunity to hear about the panellists’ careers, everything they’ve learnt throughout their careers, sharing their proudest moments and how they navigated their biggest challenges. They also discussed their top tips for being a conscious leader in the ever-changing media landscape.

Broadcast has published an article about the event included key discussion points from the panel. See below what Helen had to say about the current commissioning slowdown.

Betty Television’s creative director Helen Cooke agreed that talent needs more support and that indies should be “accountable” for bringing young entry level talent into the industry through networks such as the Mama Youth Project. 

“Irrespective of the cycle of downturns and upturns, you have always got to have grassroots [talent] coming in. You’ve got to believe in the grassroots entry, and you can do something about that,” she said. 

Cooke, who oversees programmes including Naked Education (Channel 4) and Gino’s Italy (ITV1), added that she is trying to boost her development team with people who normally work in production. 

“At the moment, all I can do is pivot people around and try come up with as many ideas as possible and get them sold so that I can keep employing people and retain talent,” she said.


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