Cambridge Local TV In Development

peter_dawe08:21 Thursday 28th November 2013
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

[P]AUL STAINTON: Earlier this week Estuary TV was launched, a local TV service for, of all places, Grimsby. So grim they put it in the name. It’s the first of fifteen new local TV stations being launched. We tried to put some ideas together yesterday for Cambridgeshire TV, but it turns out that Ofcom have already awarded a licence for Cambridge itself, and it will launch sometime next year. The man behind it is Cambridge entrepreneur Peter Dawe, the man behind Cambridge TV, and many of know you Peter as the man behind .. well tell us what you came up with, for people who don’t know Peter.

PETER DAWE: What? The internet?
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. (THEY LAUGH) Quite important, wasn’t it?
PETER DAWE: Yes. Yes. Quite proud about it, and that Internet Watch is mitigating some of the damage at least.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. But without you we perhaps wouldn’t be using the internet like we are today.
PETER DAWE: It would be different, I’m sure.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. Now we’ve all got our make-up on this morning Peter. We’ve all got our best clobber on, because we came up with an idea quite a while ago, filming what we do every morning. So your Breakfast Show is sorted.
PAUL STAINTON: What do you mean, nice try?
PETER DAWE: We tried that with Red TV. What’s now Star and Red TV were together, and we broadcast the radio station. That was, what, fifteen years ago?
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. So Red TV was essentially what, radio on the telly?
PETER DAWE: Well it was more than that. It was a community TV channel, mainly staffed by volunteers. And it was successful within its terms.
PAUL STAINTON: If you filmed us in the morning you’d be amazed what goes on behind the scenes Peter. It would be a ratings winner. Absolutely.
PETER DAWE: Yes, but we do have this problem of compliance.
PAUL STAINTON: Oh yes. There is that. All the swearing that goes on when the mikes are closed.
PETER DAWE: The swearing’s not the problem. It’s the fact that you don’t wear any clothes in there.
PAUL STAINTON: That’s true Peter. You’ve been stalking me for a while I know. And that’s how you know those things. So what are you going to do then? What’s the format going to be?
PETER DAWE: Well we’re still researching it at the moment. We’ve got some time. But currently our favourite is to broadcast all those lectures and concerts that go on in Cambridge. So what we’re hoping to do is to very intelligent programmes.
PAUL STAINTON: That sounds like a TV station in Norway that broadcasts real fires for six hours to me. How are you going to make that interesting?
PETER DAWE: Well, what you’ve got to bear in mind is Cambridge is probably one of the most intelligent towns in the country, and ITV and BBC don’t serve that audience.
PAUL STAINTON: Right. OK. Do you have any experience in TV Peter?
PETER DAWE: Yes. We ran Red TV. Three years on Cambridgeshire cable, about fifteen years ago.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. This is all part of a big plan, isn’t it, and we’re helping with it effectively, aren’t we? The BBC is involved in this as well, and it’s going to be on what? Freeview?
PETER DAWE: It’s going to be on Freeview, hopefully quite a low number as well. And we’re negotiating with Virgin and Sky as well. So hopefully we can get it at least on cable.
PAUL STAINTON: So it’s all going to be local programmes then. It’s going to be .. local people?
PETER DAWE: The vast majority is going to be local. Yes. Although what we’re looking for is programmes that would have a broader reach. because the lecture on an esoteric bit of string theory will have an audience, so it goes worldwide, be it very narrow.
PAUL STAINTON: Yes. We’ve got a few ideas for programmes here. Our own Dancing Glenn, Strictly Come Dancing with Dancing Glenn, live from Cambridge. I came up with an idea yesterday, I’m a councillor, get me out of here from Shire Hall. That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?
PETER DAWE: (LAUGHS) Well, as I say, what we’re looking to do is shift the emphasis away from doing seven hours of Look East, into looking at what the community of Cambridge produces already, and to bring it to that broader audience.
PAUL STAINTON: OK. When are we going to see you on air?
PETER DAWE: That’s interesting. The earliest we could do is just after Easter, and we’re obliged to be broadcasting by September 2015, a fairly big bracket. My guess is that we’ll be up late Summer. But that could change radically.
PAUL STAINTON: OK. Well listen Peter, we wish you all the best with your launch. If it doesn’t go well, you know where we are. If you’re going to change the format, you know where we are.
PETER DAWE: I know radio people all hope to get on TV some day.
PAUL STAINTON: Well I was once, quite extensively, but let’s not go into that right now. (THEY LAUGH) My team get bored with me talking about it. Peter, thanks very much for that this morning. Peter Dawe, the man behind Cambridge TV, which is launching some time next year. Will you be watching?