Media Parents

Media Parents IWD Celebration of Women Filmmakers in the Regions

February 19, 2020 @ 3:57 pm Posted in News Comments

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), Media Parents is sponsoring a celebration of women’s filmmaking on Sunday March 8th, and we’d love you to join us. As part of the event, Media Parents Director Amy Walker will be interviewing BBC England’s Head of TV Commissioning, Aisling O’Connor.

BBC England's Head of TV Commissioning, Aisling O'Connor (picture EdTVFest 2019)

Aisling is Commissioner for all BBC England-funded non-news TV which includes regional current affairs, and a slate of network and online content for the four BBC channels (see biog below). Aisling will be discussing both her BBC England brief, and, as it’s IWD, we’ll cover flexible working and the impact of motherhood on career.

The event, which features 10 shorts by regional women directors, has been curated by Writer / Actor Lisa Harmer. To download the full programme click here IWD Media Parents Event Film Programmeclick here for tickets.

If you would like to join us for lunch at Kino-Teatr in St. Leonard’s on Sea before the film programme, please email Please purchase your tickets for the cinema event separately.

Aisling O’Connor

Head of TV Commissioning, BBC England

Aisling O’Connor is the recently appointed Head of TV Commissioning for a newly re-structured BBC England, with a brief to re-invent the TV offer for the BBC England audience. She is based in Birmingham but works across England.

Aisling oversees BBC England’s non-news TV portfolio including long-running current affairs programme Inside Out. She will also develop opportunities to commission more TV and online content for English audiences by working with other parts of the BBC.

BBC England includes all the BBC’s regional and local services in the English regions such as local radio and regional TV.

The Head of TV Commissioning role for BBC England was created to develop a new approach to content commissioning for TV and online and to deliver content across other genres. Currently the BBC only broadcasts current affairs or light factual programmes aimed specifically at audiences in the English regions.

Aisling O’Connor, who began her career at LWT, has worked at every level of TV production including a stint as a presenter of consumer affairs programme Watchdog.

Aisling says: “I’m looking forward to working across England, delivering content which reflects the lives and stories of our diverse audience, from Hull to Hastings, Newcastle to Newquay.”

Helen Thomas, Director of BBC England, says: “We’ve created this role to work within the BBC to find opportunities to create more content for people in England across a broader range of genres.

“With her huge network of contacts, and excellent relationships with senior people across the industry, Aisling brings a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and innovation that will help deliver content that appeals to English audiences and reflects communities right across the country.”

Aisling started her career in television 25 years ago at London Weekend Television and has worked at all levels of production. She has been a BBC Daytime Commissioner, a Music and Arts Commissioning Executive for BBC Two and BBC Four, an Executive Producer on the BBC’s flagship investigative current affairs programme Panorama and a Senior News and Current Affairs Adviser in BBC Editorial Policy.

While a BBC Daytime Commissioner, Aisling looked after 17 series concurrently including The Housing Enforcers, Great British Menu, Wanted Down Under, Heir Hunters and Bargain Hunt. As a Music and Arts Commissioning Executive she looked after programmes as diverse as The Secret of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for BBC Two and The Quizeum with Griff Rhys Jones for BBC Four.

The two highlights of her career to date were executive producing U2 Innocence and Experience Live in Paris and flying to Chile (economy) to make a speech about public service broadcasting. Aisling is from Dublin and lives in Hastings.

click here for tickets

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by Amy Walker

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