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Factual Entertainment


The Factual Entertainment team commissions for ITV1, ITVX and digital channels. We look for premium, aspirational, optimistic, entertaining, dramatic, bold, exciting, big-hearted programming with broad appeal that will play in prime time.

We’re currently in full on development mode and the opportunities and priorities are for 21.00 ideas for ITV1 and post watershed for ITVX. These slots are funded and we will fund development for the right idea.

We are currently not looking for Pre-Watershed programmes. 


What's the next big distinctive Returning Fact Ent Series that can land in Primetime and sit alongside Gordon, Gino and Fred, Long Lost Family, Bradley and Barney: Breaking Dad, The Real Full Monty? What can deliver the great shared-viewing pleasure of these shows.

The key areas are: 

Ensemble talent, competition, constructed fact ent formats, event and authored fact ent for ITVX.

Ensemble talent: We want to bring the biggest and the brightest talent together in real world settings like Gordon, Gino and Fred/Bradley and Barney: Breaking Dad. So, think who, what and where? Think of surprising and authentic combinations, what adventures could they have that will produce funny, compelling and noisy entertaining content. 

Competition: We are looking for game changing competition formats. Ideas should be set in the real world with a real-world cast and can unfold over a series arc or in closed episodes. Crucially they need an authentic starting point or premise and scale for a broad audience. 

Constructed fact ent formats: We are a optimistic, uplifting, often escapist, sometimes highly emotional channel. We like big ideas, big characters and strong narratives. Ideas with the drama and emotional draw of Long-Lost Family, the life affirming big heart of First Dates and the laugh out loud humour of Gogglebox.

Event: We want more scaled up ambitious entertaining propositions like Soccer Aid, Harry’s Heroes and The Real Full Monty, events with a real purpose, a whole load of pressure, a big heart and even bigger balls. 

Authored fact ent for ITVX: Olivia Attwood Getting Filthy Rich has been a real success on ITVX and we would like more ideas with talent attached that take us into extraordinary situations where we meet extraordinary people. 


There is real opportunity on ITVX for outstanding feature docs and doc boxsets. We want you to bring us the very best stories of our time that will be told with directorial vision and creative flair, think Long Lost Family Special: Switched at Birth.

We are continuously on the hunt for new high-volume returnable doc series and doc formats for ITV1 with all the drama of real life. We’ve had success with Born without Trace, what other extraordinary, gripping, human interest stories are out there? We want uplifting and redemptive not miserable! 

Possible subject areas

Crime: We are commissioning boxsets and anthologies and standout feature docs for ITVX, from the successful and returning Social Media murders to some of the most extraordinary cons and swindles of our time and singular crimes that play out across episodes

Authored investigative documentaries that take the viewer into the edgy and often criminal underbelly of society. We are open to noisy talent who combines journalism, a real interest in the story and name recognition for an ITVX audience.

Biography: We are interested in only the most exceptional stories of iconic characters whose lives reflect a story of our times. We need unique exclusive material of people who haven’t spoken before and a richly authorial take.

Human Interest: Great stories of our times. What are those where truth is almost stranger than fiction. Where real life is as compelling as drama. 

Event and anniversary pieces: What are the epic events where there is something new to say. 

ITV Factual is open to all conversations with the widest and most diverse range of creatives with passion, ambition and a gift for storytelling. Diversity and inclusion on and off screen is central to our strategy.

How to Pitch to us

In the first instance please email your ideas to us either via a Commissioning Editor you know or like the look of (they are all on the ITV Commissioning website) or via the departmental email address address factual.commissioning@itv.com

We need a killer title and 1- 2 paragraphs about the idea. That's generally enough for us to ascertain if it might be of interest for ITV. It can be a good idea to write the press and the 180-character billing for ITVX on your show. With all the noise and choice out there, we need ideas that can grab our viewers’ attention and draw them in to watch, so if you can draw us in with your title and synopsis, that's a good start. 

If you can stretch to it, it's often a good idea to imagine what the programme would look on an ITV poster/ITVX tile. A cobbled together photoshop will do but it can just be a shorthand for us to understand the tone and attitude you’re striving to achieve. 

Sizzles are useful but not essential. If we like an idea on paper, we often fund sizzles as part of the development. 

Don’t want / Best to avoid:

Straight Blues and Twos, as ubiquitous elsewhere.

Old fashioned Features formats - a/a  Doc formats more welcome both for pre + post watershed. We like our Take-Out embedded in a story.

Singing competitions as ITV already so well-served.

Derivatives of our current output.

Heavily constructed formats. Formats need a light touch + ideally an authentic starting point and/or talent

Anything that feels too much like a Game Show.

Anything too dark/miserable. We like a bit of grit but usually in a bigger human story

Think smart – no dumbed down ideas.

Best to include:

Exciting, surprising, unexpected talent or clever combinations of talent. 

Exclusive access.

A factual sense of purpose or personal motivation at the heart of the idea/ the starting point.

Ideas should feel aspirational, entertaining, possibly emotional and relatable.

Sunny, funny, ITV warmth.

Clever + witty title, which sells the tone of the show.

Key People

Sue Murphy - Head of Factual Entertainment
Kate Teckman - Commissioner, Factual
Jo Clinton-Davis - Controller of Factual
Nicola Lloyd - Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment
Satmohan Panesar - Commissioner, Factual

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