UKTV’s Helen Nightingale

After seven seasons on Channel 4, the show Find It, Fix It, Flog It has been revived by UKTV to air in a peak-time slot in 2024 on Yesterday. It joins a raft of original factual and fact-ent programming that includes Bangers & Cash, among others. Helen Nightingale, head of factual and factual entertainment, talks to TV Formats about the commissioning strategy across the UKTV bouquet for those genres and what the team is currently on the lookout for.

***Image***TV FORMATS: What’s guiding UKTV’s factual and fact-ent strategy at present?
NIGHTINGALE: We’re a broad entertainment network and commission for Dave, W, Yesterday and Gold. We’re always looking for noisy, funny factual and fact-ent formats. On Dave, we have the second season of the new World’s Most Dangerous Roads coming soon, which has a great roster of funny talent embarking on a dangerous trip of a lifetime. On W, we have continuing programs like Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over, and this year, we’ve had great success with Gemma & Gorka: Life Behind the Lens, which aired in the summer. We’re also stepping into the true-crime space for the first time on W with Red Flag. On Yesterday, we focus on passionate experts and have enjoyed success with precinct-based factual with great characters, e.g., Hornby: A Model World and Bangers & Cash.

TV FORMATS: What led to the decision to bring back Find It, Fix It, Flog It?
NIGHTINGALE: When Yesterday channel director Gerald Casey spotted the article in Broadcast announcing that Channel 4 wouldn’t be recommissioning Find It, Fix It, Flog It, he told me, and I immediately contacted the producers to ask whether they would want to bring the show to Yesterday. We love [presenters] Henry [Cole] and Simon [O’Brien], and this kind of content feels very Yesterday while also broadening our offering for the audience. We did the same with Canal Boat Diaries recently from BBC Four, and we know our audience is enjoying this content.

TV FORMATS: Tell me about some of the other original format commissions that have come through recently.
NIGHTINGALE: On W, we have upcoming the Katherine Ryan-fronted format Parental Guidance, which will see Katherine explore a whole host of extreme parenting techniques and evaluate whether they might benefit her own family life. Katherine’s hilarious, unfiltered take on these different parenting styles will be complemented by special access to Katherine’s family life and give W viewers a new insight into how she juggles parenthood with the glamorous lifestyle of being a top comedian. On Yesterday, we have a new car-renovation precinct, Classic Car Hunters (w.t.), which follows the work of mechanic Sheldon Nichols and bodywork specialist Peter Harriott as they source, restore and upgrade classic cars. We know Yesterday viewers will love this format and enjoy Sheldon and Peter’s insights from their decades of experience and their great dynamic on screen.

TV FORMATS: What are you currently on the lookout for now?
NIGHTINGALE: We are always looking for great talent-led factual and factual entertainment series that don’t feel derivative. In particular, talent exploring and following their passion projects and going on authentic journeys works for us.

TV FORMATS: As you look across the wider U.K. landscape, what are the types of factual and factual entertainment formats that are working best nowadays?
NIGHTINGALE: As a viewer, I really loved The Traitors, and I’m also looking forward to sitting down with my family over the Christmas break and binging Squid Game: The Challenge—it’s fascinating to see how a scripted show can be reimagined as an entertainment format. At UKTV, we’re still interested in top talent doing passion projects like Emma Willis: Delivering Babies on W, showing household-name talent exploring a totally new area to them and taking the W audience along with them on their journey.