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RIG and Diversity

RIG supports broad approach to the definition of diversity, to include age, social class and location within the UK, as well as other important elements such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity and disability.

RIG is pleased to work with the BBC on the implementation of its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Find out more about the BBC's strategy by clicking here

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RIG members on twitter

Take a peek at the amazing level of activity from RIG members on this twitter list

Indies on Air this week

Indie programmes are on the radio at home and abroad throughout this week, including these 99, some of which are featured in BBC Radio's highlights of the week from

Somethin’ Else 19, This Is Distorted 10, 7digital 9, Folded Wing 9, Wisebuddah 9, TBI Media 8, We Are Grape 5, Whistledown 5, Reduced Listening 4, The Noisehouse 4, Ping Productions 3, Catherine Bailey Productions 2, Ora et Labora 2, Atlantic Public Media, Avalon TV, Cast Iron Radio, Falcon Picture Group, Giddy Goat, Loftus Media, Made in Manchester, Sparklab Productions, The Foghorn Company  and Wire Free

Click here for more details

RIG Skills Training

RIGtrain is a wide ranging programme of inexpensive specialist training courses and free masterclasses for adults working in Radio and Audio in England*.   It is an initiative of RIG, originally supported by Creative Skillset and partly by HM Government with 'Employer Ownership' grant-aid, now self-funding. More details at or to join the RIGtrain mailing list email


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We are saddened to have to announce that a long-serving member of the RIG Board, Gethin Wyn Thomas, recently died suddenly and his funeral has now taken place.  

Gethin Thomas

BBC Radio Cymru has posted an appreciation of Gethin on its website here -  For those not fluent in Welsh, it translates as follows:

"At 49 the comedian and television and radio producer Gethin Thomas has died.

Born in Bridgend, he was one of a number of leading comedians who started developing stand-up comedy in Welsh during the 1990's, and was a familiar name at comedy evenings throughout Wales.

He started his comedy career in 1991 by holding evenings in Cardiff, and was responsible for writing comedy scripts for radio and television.

Gary Slaymaker was a friend of his. He told BBC Wales: "His influence is great on Welsh comedy. I first met him in the old Dempseys in Cardiff when he said he was beginning to hold Welsh comedy nights.
We went out on our first trip as a crew at the beginning of the 90's in a place – a bit like Welsh comedy Musketeers. Geth’s crusade was to create a new form of Welsh comedy. At that time comedy was old-fashioned and stand-up was breaking through in America and England.  We went on two tours and as a result we got our first series on S4C, 'Make it stand up.' Although we all went to different directions in the end, Geth’s was the voice that kept the stand-up going, and since then we've seen a new wave of comedians breaking through.  We have a debt to pay Geth for his perseverance ... he was one of the best comedy editors I've seen - he understood better than anyone the climate and structure of a joke. He was able to give a better joke structure than the one I already had. "

He had been working recently with a number of comedians on their new material, including the comedian Elis James. As a director of the television company Zeitgeist Entertainment, he was a member of the Independent Television Producers (TAC) council since 2009.

In tribute, Iestyn Garlick, the chairman of TAC, said: "We as a body, and the wider independent production sector, extend intense sympathy to family, colleagues and friends of Gethin on hearing this terrible sadness.  His contribution to the world of comedy in Wales, and his portrayal on radio and television, is a valuable one that we will recall about with affection.  Gethin was an enthusiastic and lively man, and he will be greatly missed."

Gethin Thomas had been a director with the Radio Independents Group, a body that represents independent radio companies, for many years.  RIG founder, Mike Hally, said: "Gethin's death is a huge shock for us all. It was a strong voice on behalf of independent producers in Wales for many years, as a member of the RIG.  He was honored as a comedy performer and producer and also in producing a range of radio and television programs. He did a lot to develop the way in which BBC Wales and Radio Cymru work with independent companies, and there will be many that are grateful for that. "

Recalling his contribution, Elen Rhys, S4C's S4C Entertainment Content Commissioner said: "Gethin's contribution to the world of Welsh comedy was key and innovative, giving a platform to develop talents in the Welsh language for many years. He was passionate and innovative for comedy. We thank him for his valuable contribution and we sympathise with the family."


Tim Blackmore with award

all pictures in this article are copyright Dan Vo 2017

At our party on 29th June, to mark 25 years of independent radio production in the UK, we were delighted to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Tim Blackmore (above).  We were also pleased to have Gemma Cairney (below) as the enthusiastic host of the proceedings.

Gemma Cairney

We particularly welcomed the Director of BBC Radio, Bob Shennan, who gave the following address:

"… I've been a Controller of a number of the BBC's national stations over the years. In fact I spent 15 or 16 years working with many of the people in this room at 5 live and Radio 2 and 6Music and the Asian Network and I know that their success owed a huge amount to the programmes, to the people in independent production and they will continue to owe their success to all the work that you do.

Bob Shennan 
And so we are at a really interesting time for indies, for in-house BBC radio programme makers, and for the BBC as a whole. You all know about the trials and tribulations that we've gone through as we get to a completely different and new commissioning framework at the BBC, which is underway. I know it has been fraught for everybody frankly but I feel that it is fair, it's transparent, it's ambitious and it's a testament to what we know this sector can do for the BBC that we are embracing it fully. And the reason we're doing it is because we want to make the best possible offer to the audience. We want to give them the greatest ideas. And we want to give them best possible service for their licence fee. And just so far in the early days of this process, everybody who has been involved in it is telling me that the creative bar that we thought was very high, just got a little bit higher. They've been hugely impressed with what everybody has been offering us.
And I think it feels like a coming of age time for all of us. We are massively expanding our competitive window because we all believe in BBC Radio and indeed in radio as a whole. Because one thing I would hope for as we go through this change process it is that we all remember that we're all in the same business. That in the UK we make the best radio and audio in the world. We do it because we're an amazing broad church - a fantastic partnership. And in spite of all of the technological and sociological challenges and changes in our way, it will continue to be that. I genuinely believe that with all of you, we will move into a new golden age of radio at the BBC. That is absolutely my intention. We want to reinvent what we offer, we want to grow the impact of radio and experience a new golden age… "

The DCMS has been consulting on regulating local and national commercial radio, in some cases proposing a lighter-touch approach. RIG has suggested provisions to encourage commercial radio to work more with indies, in terms of a wider range of PSB content being required rather than just a pure focus on news.  The full RIG response can be downloaded from our Policy Papers page.


UK independent audio production companies continued their spectacular run of annual successes at the New York International Radio Festival Awards on 19th June.

UK indie TBI Media won no fewer than 17 awards, including ‘Production Company of the Year’ for the fifth year running. The company has now won over 60 New York Festivals awards.

TBI’s production ‘World Cup ‘66 - Live’, celebrating the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup, alone won three gold and four silver awards as well as the Grand Award.

TBI’s BBC Radio 4 documentary series, ‘The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away’ won three Gold awards.

Other UK indie Gold awards included: David Bowie: Verbatim by Des Shaw for BBC Radio 4 and Thelma & Michael. Elsewhere B7 Productions’ I, Robot won both a Gold and Silver trophy for Best Director and Best Drama Special respectively, and a further two Silvers for a total of 4 awards - particularly impressive for a small company. 

Out-of-London companies also registered notable successes, with a Gold for Love in the Cutting Room by Trevor Dann's Company for BBC Radio 4, and in the Audiobooks category, Bafflegab Productions won a Gold for Baker's End: Gobbleknoll Hall.

RIG Managing Director Will Jackson said: “Whilst this level of UK success on the world stage has now become routine, it should never be taken for granted – these awards show just how hard our sector works, year in and year out, to produce original high-quality programmes that capture the imagination across a whole range of genres. With more opportunities to pitch ideas to the BBC and hopefully commercial radio on the way, we look forward to continuing and growing this level of achievement”.



The Radio Independents Group (RIG) is committed to encouraging a diverse workforce in the independent radio production sector and to ensuring that radio in the UK reflects the full diversity of the population, in its programmes and in the people who make them.   

As part of this commitment, RIGtrain is launching a development scheme for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and those who are disabled.    The diversity scheme is being run by Training Specialists Quattrain in association with RIG companies.     It is backed by Creative Skillset England and is designed to encourage those who want to improve their audio skills and support those wishing to develop their careers in radio. 

The Scheme is in two parts - please follow the links for full details:

Diversity Mentoring

Diversity Training 


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