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Bursary Fund

The WFTV Pat Llewellyn Bursary Fund

Pat Llewellyn was an award winning TV producer and businesswoman, renowned for discovering new talent in front of and behind the camera. Pat created BBC2’s Two Fat Ladies, discovered Jamie Oliver and made him in to The Naked Chef, made Gordon Ramsay famous with Channel 4’s Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, introduced Mary Portas in Mary Queen of Shops and ran Optomen, a TV production company with offices in London, New York and LA, which under her leadership grew from a turnover of £5m to £55m. Pat died of metastatic breast cancer in October 2017, and this £150,000 bursary – a unique colloboration between the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV – was created to remember her, and encourage women to follow in her groundbreaking footsteps.

What the Bursary Funds

The WFTV Pat Llewellyn Bursary aims to provide development funding for the boldest, and most creative, factual entertainment or factual TV proposals. The money can be used for any aspect of your project’s development. As long as you have a passion for TV – even if you have never worked in the industry – you can apply, because this award is not about academic qualifications or industry contacts, it’s about the most exciting ideas.

Each year, £30,000 will be split between two or three candidates to help them get their projects off the ground. The bursary will run for a minimum of five years. To celebrate Pat’s Welsh roots, and to encourage other women from Wales to follow in her creative footsteps, one place each year will be held specifically for any woman either born in or living in Wales or with a Welsh parent. The other winner or winners can come from anywhere in the UK. And along with the cash will come a case of fine wine for each woman to help the creative juices flow!

As important as the money awarded will be the unique chance this bursary offers to open doors. Each successful applicant will be allocated a member of the awarding committee who will help guide the candidate and get them in front of key decision makers who can make their ideas happen.

How to Apply

To encourage genuine diversity, we are keeping the application process as simple as possible. So in 250 words or less, we would like you to tell us about yourself and why you should be a recipient of the WFTV Pat Llewellyn Bursary.

We’re less interested in your CV, and more in what makes you tick and why you deserve our backing. We would also like 250 words about your TV proposal, explaining what it is, and why it’s both fresh and bold. Your idea can be for a one-off documentary or a series.

To apply, please use our online form here.

The Bursary Schedule:
1. The closing date for applications has been extended to Sunday 19 August 2018.
2. Shortlisted candidates will be called for interview at the start of September (this is subject to change).
3. All successful candidates will be notified by the middle of October 2018.
4. If you do not hear back from us, sadly, your application has been unsuccessful, but you are very welcome to apply with another idea the following year.
5. Please note that due to the volume of entries we are not able to give individual feedback on unsuccessful applications.



1. To apply, you must be resident in the UK
2. If you are the owner of a production company, your annual turnover must be below £1 million. In certain cases, verification of turnover may be required.



I’ve never worked in television before, can I still submit an idea?
Absolutely! The Bursary Fund is open to everyone, whether you’ve worked in the industry before or not. We’re looking for promising, bold ideas. We will provide successful applicants with a mentor who can guide you through the process.

What is Factual and Factual Entertainment?
Ah, glad you asked. Here are some examples of current or past programmes in Factual and Factual Entertainment. Remember, these are just a taste of what has come before and should not limit your ideas.
Factual Programmes: 24 Hours in A&E, Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, No More Boys and Girls: Can our Kids Go Gender Free?, Horizon, Cutting Edge, Love and Drugs on the Street: Girls Sleeping Rough.
Factual Entertainment Programmes: The Great British Bake Off,  The Island with Bear Grylls, Back in Time For Dinner, Escape to The Chateau

Can I send in a drama idea?
No, this is a development bursary fund for Factual and Factual Entertainment programmes only.

Can I send in more than one idea?
We would advise you to send one idea per applicant and make it the best application you possibly can.

What are you looking for in my 250 words about my idea and myself?
Remember you have 250 words to describe yourself and 250 words to pitch your development idea, so make every word count, be bold, let yourself and your idea shine. You might want to think about who your target audience will be and what the key features your idea encompasses.
We’re really looking forward to reading your application!

Can I make changes to my application after it’s been submitted?
No, your submitted application is final.

I’ve submitted my application, when will I hear if I’ve been successful?
UPDATE: As we’ve now extended the deadline to 19 August this means we’ve had to move the process a little. If you have not heard from us by 19 October 2018, we’re afraid your application has not been successful.


How the Bursary Will Be Run

1. The initial shortlisting of the applications will be done by an awarding committee. The members of the committee are Elaine Bedell (CEO, The Southbank Centre), Jane Root (CEO, Nutopia), Liz Tucker (MD of Verve Productions and Chair of WFTV), Martha Kearney (journalist and broadcaster), Nicola Moody (Executive Producer, Nutopia), Sue Murphy (Head of Factual Entertainment, ITV) and Ben Adler (Pat Llewellyn’s husband and business partner at Optomen).

2. If for any reason, any members of the committee are not available to take part in the shortlisting, as long as at least four members have submitted their recommendations, the committee’s decision will be binding.

3. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by two or three members of the committee to enable them to find out more about each project. The successful candidates will be selected from these interviews.

4. Each successful candidate will then be given a mentor in the genre most suitable for their project. In most cases, this will be a member of the awarding committee, but where appropriate, a mentor outside of the committee may also be chosen.

5. The bursary runs for one year and at the end of the year, successful candidates will be asked to report back to the committee and give an update on their project. Where appropriate, the candidates may be asked to take part in media interviews and talk about how the bursary has helped them.

6. Each year, there is £30,000 to be given out to candidates and the committee reserves the right to divide this money up into more or fewer awards, depending on the project submitted. If there is ever a year, when there is no suitable Welsh candidate, the committee also reserves the right to give the award to another UK candidate.

7. All decisions of the awarding committee are final and no correspondence about applications or the application process will be entered into.