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Preview: Inclusivity Now – Mission Employable – Presenting Popular Shows in BSL

Posted on: Tuesday 30 June 2020 10:25pm by Cecilia Weiss

Cecilia Weiss shares ITV Signpost’s experience in creating ‘Mission Employable’ and ‘Dare Master’, two popular CITV shows – in this video for the CMC 2020 Inclusivity Now strand…

The Children’s Media Conference Facebook Group Chat – Inclusivity Now offers the opportunity for delegates to comment, ask questions and discuss the content of all the Inclusivity Now strand at CMC.

SignPost Productions is ITV’s centre of excellence for multi-platform British Sign Language services. SignPost combines industry-leading expertise and resources with a passion for social mobility and diversity. Gareth Deighan, ITV SignPost Productions’ Head of Content, and Christopher Luke, producer at ITV SignPost Productions and Sign Language Services, insist that making more accessible content with more inclusive teams is not difficult. Speak to people who have done it before, who can advise what’s worked well and what’s worked less well. SignPost Productions actively try to find new and emerging talent from all kinds of diverse backgrounds to allow people the opportunity to reach their potential.

In 2016, SignPost was commissioned to make a mainstream kids’ series that was fully accessible for Deaf children.  Their secret: look through a pool of talented young people whose first language is BSL, select a top presenter and come up with a couple of fantastic programme ideas. The results were ‘Mission Employable and ‘Dare Master‘, which became two of the most popular shows on CITV.

The main aim of both programmes was to be great entertainment – great entertainment presented in British Sign Language.

Viewing figures were good. And when the shows repeated in lockdown, ‘Dare Master’ had a 5.1% average share of child viewers.

Danny Murphy, teenage presenter of both shows, believes it’s so important to have Deaf presenters on TV. He believes BSL needs more recognition as a language and that’s why he and SignPost, wanted it to be shown on mainstream TV. And now children often recognise him.  He says: “People need to know about the Deaf Community and how that’s reflected in our language and culture. When it comes to being a presenter, Deaf people can do it!”

Join Changemaker Lucy Edwards, Rebecca Atkinson from ToyLikeMe, Jessi Parrot from Inclusive Minds and Gareth Deighan from ITV SignPosts’ ‘Daremaster’ between 3 and 4pm BST on Wednesday 8 July in the CMC Facebook Group – Inclusivity Now, to chat about normalising disability. Post your questions beforehand or come in live at 3pm (between SVODs Commissioner Conversation and Cressida Cowell’s Creative Keynote). 

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Cecilia Weiss

About the author

Cecilia Weiss

Digital producer

Cecilia has over 20 years’ experience in children’s television and digital educational media. She worked in BBC Schools TV as PA, director, research, and then became a producer for CBeebies Interactive. After leaving the BBC, she worked on a range of freelance projects, and is currently the editor of iChild.,… Read more

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