Showcomotion Children's Media Conference Has Been Rebranded
The Children’s Media Conference

For a number of years this was the website for the Showcomotion Children's Media Conference in the UK for everyone involved in developing, producing and distributing content to kids on all platforms. The Showcomotion Children’s Media Conference was originally organised as part of the Sheffield-based Showcomotion Young People’s Film Festival.
Content is from the site's 2006-2009 archived pages.

2010 NOTE:

After six happy years as Showcomotion, the Conference was re-branded in 2010 under the auspices of a new not-for-profit organisation. The organisation and conference is now called The Children’s Media Conference. The new organisation is charged with supporting children’s media and the industry sectors which provide it, in a variety of ways, now and in the future.

The current website for the The Children’s Media Conference is found at


The Showcomotion Children's Media Conference is the UK's premier conference for the children's television, film, radio and interactive media industry.

It's the only time in the UK when independent broadcasters, film makers, producers, commissioners and freelancers can get together for a full two days of discussions, screenings, workshops and intensive sessions which focus on all the new and future developments in children's media.

The Showcomotion Children's Media Conference is the only UK conference organised by the children's media industry for the children's media industry. It is your opportunity to hear from those in the know and help shape debates for the future.

Our annual get together in early July will continue to offer all the aspects delegates like: great content, great networking opportunities and practical information on how to help businesses survive and thrive.

Who attends?

  • Directors
  • Producers & APs
  • Writers
  • Commissioning Editors
  • Channel Controllers
  • Acquisition Managers
  • Programme Distributors and Sales Agents
  • Production Managers and Researchers
  • Animators
  • Editors
  • Theatrical Distributors & Exhibitors
  • Brand Licensing Companies
  • Academics & Students



2008 Showcomotion Conference


From TV to the Internet, from toys to video games, and all the connections in between, Showcomotion is the perfect setting to explore the increasingly complex landscape of children‚ media experience. Jonathan Smith, TT Games

The Showcomotion Children’s Media Conferencereturns for its fifth year from 2nd – 4th July 2008.

With over 80 contributing speakers from practically every sector of children’s’ media – how can anyone afford to miss this year’s Conference?  Over 300 delegates are already signed up and they also represent every corner of the kids’ content industries.  

Programming something for everyone has been a challenge. But the solution was to focus on Showco’s strengths:

  • Understanding the kids and teens audience
  • Focusing on the future
  • Bringing people together in a collaborative atmosphere
  • And responding to the he feedback from our delegates, the advice of our committee and relying on the insight and enthusiasm of the army of volunteer producers who make it all happen

What we’re building in these few days in Sheffield is a unique forum where people and companies can learn from and partner with each other to better engage with the kids’ audience.  Kids’ media use is changing rapidly and Showcomotion has always tried to address that.  But as the pace speeds up, Showco has to change to match it. Bringing everyone together, whether we are in movies, TV, online, toys or games, and whether we make, fund, commission or exploit media brands recognises that we’re all in the same space now – “TheirSpace” - where play meets media consumption , education meets entertainment, and community meets content. 

Our perspectives will be commercial, strategic, creative and political – take a look at our programme to explore that.  And with such a broad range of contributors we really do have something for everyone.  Come to Showco to learn something new, meet new collaborators and gain new inspiration.  Join us in Sheffield from the 2nd to the 4th July. 

Greg Childs
Showcomotion Conference Executive Producer.  

Registration is still open for Showcomotion 2008! 

The theme of this year’s conference is TheirSpace – who fills it, with what, and how? 


Our very first Conference theme in 2004 was ‘World Without Schedules’. Things have moved so fast that we can say that for children at least, forget schedules – it’s a ‘World Without Platforms.’

We all know that children are the first ‘converged audience’; they blend play and media consumption, on a wide array of devices, and expect their content when, where and how they want it.

And those of us in children’s content creation need to keep up with the constantly moving environment that today’s kids inhabit: it’s their space but who’s going to fill it, with what and how?

The one thing we do know for sure is that ‘it’s all about the kids’. We have to meet young people in their space and provide them with imaginative content and creative inspiration in whatever way they demand, whether it’s a toy, console game, mobisode, TV show, magazine. Alongside this growth in personalisation comes the rise of brands like Dr Who and High School Musical.

That’s why Showcomotion 2008 is bringing together all the children’s industries – from TV to Toycos, from Interactive Media to Radio, from Games to Licensing and Merchandising – while still maintaining our traditional focus on the audience experience. It’s the place where we can all learn from each other, explore potential partnerships and work together. Showcomotion offers a unique opportunity to share good practice and great ideas for communicating
with kids. 
The Byron Report on interactive media and games and the Ofcom Report on children’s television have exposed some of the key ways in which children themselves are re-inventing the media landscape. Showcomotion will help us all explore further how they experience brands, and content, in a multi-platform environment, and how media and play interact in their busy lives, and how content owners, content creators and content distributors can come together in new relationships to meet children’s needs.

Be a part of re-inventing the future... Join us at Showcomotion 2008 for a truly cross-media conversation, as we bring together all the key players who care about content and kids.

Anne Home OBE
Showcomotion Conference Chair

Opening Keynote 
Conservative Spokesperson to address Showco

Ed Vaizey MP, Shadow Minister for Culture and Broadcasting has agreed to give the Opening Keynote at the Showcomotion Conference this year, on the evening of Wednesday 2nd July at 7pm. 

“This is the first major political figure to attend Showcomotion, and it couldn’t be more timely given the support the children’s media industry needs now” said  Anna Home, Chair of the Showcomotion Advisory Committee.  “It’s proving to be another challenging year in kids’ content and distribution. Showcomotion is here to help children’s media professionals  meet new partners and gain a wide range of business intelligence and creative inspiration. The perspective of how political thinking will impact on the industry is an invaluable addition to this year’s conference line-up.”

Why not arrive in time for the  keynote by joining the opening drinks from 6pm?


2008 Conference Timetable

4–8.30pm Registration Open

6 – 7pm Welcome Drinks

7 - 8pm Keynote by the Shadow Minster for Culture and Media Ed Vaizey MP - “Providing the Best in Their Space”

8 - 9pm Reception

8.30am–7pm Registration Open

9.30–10.30am Who's Space is it Anyway?
The industry, the regulators, or the kids?
Host: Jake Humphries, Presenter 
Panel guests: Michael Carrington, Controller CBeebies; Catherine Marshall, student Tapton Comprehensive School; Adrian Mills, CEO Myriad Learning; Nigel Pickard, Director of Family Entertainment RDF Television; Faizah Sabir, student Brinsworth Comprehensive School; Alison Warner, VP Distribution UK Cookie Jar Entertainment.

11–12.30am Thinking Out of the Box
Creative companies finding new ways to fund ideas and reach audiences.
Moderator: Dominic Mason, Director Model Interaction
Speakers: David Miller, Director of Marketing & Business Development Europe, Double Fusion; Michael Smith, CEO Mind Candy; Warren Tomlin, Chief Creative Officer Fuel Industries; Maurice Wheeler, Founder and Planning Director, Digital Outlook.
Produced by: Adam Khwaja, Development Producer, BBC Children’s Interactive

11.00am–12.30pm Prix Jeunesse Suitcase
The best from the world’s premier international programme showcase.
Introduced by: Frank Klasen, Head of Editorial, Children’s Department, Super RTL, Germany.
Presented by: David Kleeman, President, American Centre for Children and Media
(Repeated on Friday at same time)

11.00am–12.30pm Crossover Kids Workshop 
Find out more about and test out a unique development opportunity.
Crossover Labs are supported by the BBC, Channel 4, Nesta, Screen Yorkshire & Skillset.
Speakers: Frank Boyd, Director, Unexpected Media; Heather Croall, Director Doc/Fest & Co-Director Crossover Labs; Marc Goodchild, Head of Interactive and On-demand, BBC Children’s
Produced by: Frank Boyd

12.45-1.45pm Let’s Do Lunch

Lunch with the commissioners and buyers – find out their plans and priorities.
Moderator: Estelle Hughes, MD 3Line Media
Speakers: Kate Dean, Head of Television, BT Vision; Sheila DeCourcy, Commissioning Editor Young People’s Programmes, RTE; Sian Eirian, Head of Children’s Services, S4C
Produced by: Estelle Hughes
Sponsored by Millimages

12.45-1.45pm Audience Insight Briefings
Insights from Showcomotion commissioned research.
Speakers: Shazia Ali Associate Director, Qmedia, Catherine Ellis, Research Manager, Quaestor Research and Marketing Strategists; Laura McLarty, Head of Research, Dubit Ltd.
Produced by: Claire Tonks, Director Kids Industries
Sponsored by Dubit and QMedia 

2–3pm The Future of Kids’ PSB
Question Time: quiz the broadcasters, regulators and campaigners about the future.
Moderator: Kate Bulkley, Journalist
Speakers: Anne Brogan, Director, Kindle Entertainment & Executive Committee Member, Save Kids’ TV;
Richard Deverell, Controller BBC Children’s; Adam Minns, Head of Policy Development PACT; Huw Rossiter, Director of Communications, S4C; James Thickett, Director of Research, Ofcom: Janey Walker Head of Education and Managing Editor Commissioning, Channel 4
Produced by: Greg Childs, Director, Childseye Consulting

2–3pm Inspiration vs. Insight
The role of audience research in the creative process.
Moderator: Joe Mace, Head of Format Development, BBC Entertainment
Speakers: Dr Laura Brown, Supervising Director of Research and Curriculum, Little Airplane Productions;
Marie Laver, Insight and Strategy Manager, BBC Children’s Worldwide; Josh Selig, Founder and President, Little Airplane Productions; Jeanette Steemers, Professor of Media & Communications, CAMRI, University of
Produced by: Melissa Hardinge, Executive Producer CBBC Commissioning
Sponsored by Ragdoll

3.30–4.30pm Licensed to Thrill
Is it only terrestrial broadcast that can create a licensing hit?
Moderator: Richard Hollis, Head of UK Licensing, BBC Worldwide;
Speakers: Alan Fenwick, Vice President Cartoon Network Enterprises EMEA; Helen Howells, Global Brand Director Target Entertainment; Debbie MacDonald, Programming Director, Nickelodeon UK; Fiona MacMillan, Children’s Colour Publisher, Random Children’s Books; Jane Rumble, Senior Associate Ofcom
Produced by: Oliver Ellis, Director of Children’s and Family Programming Target Entertainment
Sponsored by the Animex International Festival of Animation and Computer Games

3.30–4.30pm Welcome to my World
What do we know about kids’ lives in virtual worlds?
Moderator: Lizzie Jackson, AHRC Researcher, School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster
Speakers: Joe Elliot, Director of Learning and Children's Media, Magic Lantern Productions; Marc Goodchild, Head of Children’s Interactive and On-demand, BBC; Sophie Patrikios, Consumer Services Director, The Lego Company
Produced by: Sioned Roberts, Freelance Producer

3.30–4.30pmTalk to the Trust
Make your views known to the BBC Trust Children’s Genre Review.
Moderator: Adrian Mills, CEO Myriad Learning
Speaker: Mark Wakefield, Head of Performance, BBC Trust.

5–6pm Farewell Fully-funded, Hello Co-pro
The joys and horrors of “collaboration” as co-pro becomes the norm in every genre.
Moderator: Julian Scott, Head of Programming, Coolabi Productions
Speakers: Nia Ceidiog, Director, Ceidiog Creations; Sian Eirian, Head of Children’s Services, S4C; Mahmoud Orfali, Al Jazeera Children’s Channel; Nigel Pickard, Director of Family Entertainment, RDF Television; Kim Shillinglaw, Commissioning Executive, CBBC.
Produced by: Linda Ross, Head of Development, Athena Films

5–6pm Get Shorty
Killers - not fillers. Short form shows, how they’re made, used and appreciated.
Moderator: Sheila DeCourcy, Commissioning Editor, Young People’s Programmes, RTE
Speakers: Jonathan Boseley, VP Programming, Disney Channel UK; Phil Cooper, Producer, BBC Children’s; Peter Drake, Creative Director, Nickelodeon UK; Greg McLeod, Animator/ Director & Miles McLeod, Writer/ Director, The Brothers McLeod Ltd; Jason Krogh, Founder/ Director, zinc Roe Inc.; Denise Winterburn, Creative Director, CITV
Produced by: Tim Dann, Voice Artist and Writer
Sponsored by Aardman

5–6pm Innovation Showcase

What's new? What's hot? What's breaking new ground?
Moderator: Rebecca Shallcross, Multi-platform Commissioning Executive, BBC Children’s
Speakers: Tom McDonnell, Co-founder & Producer, Monterosa; Cuan MacConghail, Director On the Block, RTE

6.15–7pm Creative Keynote - Food for Thought
Animating Ratatouille with Mark Walsh (Pixar Animation Studios).
Introduced by: Steve Aranguren, VP Global Original Programming, Disney Channel Worldwide
Speaker: Mark Walsh, Supervising Animator, Pixar Animation Studios
Produced by: Lorna Partington, Freelance Youth & Community Media Consultant
Sponsored by BAFTA

7 - 8.45pm Drinks reception at the Millenium Galleries




4-6 July 2007 Sheffield UK

Ally And Aspire

This time last year who could have thought we’d be facing an unprecedented industry crisis by the time the Showcomotion conference happened? Since then, many of the predictions made about the new regulatory climate and the changes in the way kids consume media have become daily realities for producers and distributors, as they struggle to find commissions, and funding becomes ever more squeezed.

Broadcasters are making new relationships with their audience, and finding new partners and platforms in order to reach them. New entrants into the children’s marketplace promise a range of possible futures, but how much can they deliver? Producers need to know where their opportunities lie, while networks – traditional and newcomers – need a clear understanding of how the market and industry is re-shaping. And where does creativity, and the aspiration to provide the very best for kids, find a place in this brave new world?

Showcomotion 2007 provided an A-Z of information and inspiration in a changing media landscape. People in the know revealed their understanding and delegates debated the issues affecting funding, the realisation of new ideas and the pursuit of quality.

Future-focused, but realistic; business-oriented, but with creativity at its heart; once again, this premier event in the children’s media calendar provided a mix of ideas, analysis, research, discussion and debate to capture the enduring spirit of the kids’ industry and explore its new routes to market.

2007 Showcomotion Conference RoundUp


A mix of emotions might be the best way to sum up the mood of delegates at the fourth Showcomotion Children's Media Conference which came to an end on the 6 July 2007. Whilst the mood was less sombre than in 2006, there was still much to concern industry execs in the months ahead.

The event began with a keynote by Jana Bennett, click here for her speech. 

James Thickett from Ofcom was present for the full conference period and was left in no doubt of delegates’ feelings about the seriousness of the situation; he outlined the timetable for the conclusions of the review. See his speech here.

John McVay, the PACT CEO, announced PACT's plan to lobby for tax breaks for children’s content and are preparing to lobby the new ministers including James Purnell who as the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is overseeing Broadcasting as part of his personal remit.

The Save Kids’ TV Campaign was born at Showcomotion in 2006. The 2007conference saw the launch of the campaign’s first viral video and the announcement of an initiative to prepare a comprehensive plan for a funded destination for public service kids’ media content which could be proposed to the government once the Ofcom Children’s PSB Review is completed. To keep up with SKTV activities and show support – you can join the campaign e-list at

The conference opened its doors to new allies from around the world and from other media sectors.  International commissioners and buyers attended from Al Jazeera Children’s Channel, Super RTL Germany, KRO Netherlands, and producers from as far afield as the USA, Israel and Jamaica. There were contributions to sessions from the advertising, games, film and online sectors. In all, 335 delegates attended from 10 countries, and there were 21 sessions, exploring a variety of solutions to the crises facing kids‘TV by looking at new partnerships and new ideas.

Showcomotion returns in the summer of 2008. Dates have been announced as Wednesday 2nd - Friday 4th July 2008.

Greg Childs
Executive Producer 
Showcomotion Children's Media Conference






Showcomotion Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield, England, on 7-8 July 2006.


Thursday 6 July 2006


4:00 –8.30 pm Registration open
6.00 - 7.30 pm Pre-Conference Drinks


Friday 7 July 2006


9am – 7 pm Registration open
9.30 – 11am
The New Gatekeepers
How can the kids’ industry renew itself as audience habits change and loyalties shift?

How will broadcasters react? How should producers adapt? Which new players might emerge? And will the audience themselves new ways of engaging with content as they discover the new routes to find it?

Dominic Schreiber, Journalist

Tess Alps, CEO, Thinkbox
Richard Deverell, Controller BBC Children's, BBC


11.30am – 1pm

The Alternative Commissioners

Who are the new kids on the block and what are their content strategies? What does IP and mobile TV promise for producers of kids’ content? And with stresses on conventional funding and revenue from merchandising growing in importance are the big international distributors or even the toy companies the new gatekeepers to kids’ content?


John Bullivant, Managing Director, Kickback Media


  • Jens Bachem, Managing Director, Digital Outlook
  • Lenora Hume, Executive Vice President, Production and Programming, HIT Entertainment Lt
  • Anthony Lilley, Chief Executive, Magic Lantern Productions
  • Trish Magee, Editor On-screen TV Product, Homechoice
  • Simon Philips, Managing Director, 4Kids Entertainment International Ltd



11.30am - 1pm

Live-action Drama: Endangered Species?

In spite of the proliferation of dedicated kids’ channels around the world, funding drama is harder than ever. Why is it such a struggle for international producers to combine limited resources? A simulated meeting spotlights stumbling blocks and emerging opportunities, as producers, broadcasters and distributors try to launch a new drama series.


Nigel Pickard, Director of Family and Children's Programming at RDF Media, has a rich history that includes a stint as an executive for a company specializing in cutting-edge software solutions, particularly in the realm of hospitality data management. He is renowned for his strategic role in phasing out obsolete data management software, championing the widespread adoption of modernization practices. For example, advocating for software that could act as an Access replacement. His transition from streamlining data systems to orchestrating kids' entertainment might seem a leap, yet he humorously suggests that managing software lifecycle transitions isn't too different from navigating the whimsical world of children's programming. Nigel often credits his time in the software industry, with its rigorous demands for patience, tolerance, and systematic thinking, as pivotal in shaping his ability to reorganize and revitalize a once chaotic sector of the entertainment industry.


  • Anne Brogan, Controller, Granada Kids
  • Jenny Buckland, CEO, Australian Children's Television Foundation
  • Neil Court, Partner, Decode Entertainment
  • Jon East, Head of Drama, BBC Children's
  • Oliver Ellis, Director of Kids and Family Programming, Target Entertainment
  • Debbie Macdonald, VP,Programming Director, Nickelodeon UK
  • Julian Scott, Head of Children's Drama & Animation, Zenith Entertainment Ltd


1:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch

Sponsored by: 2080Kids

2 :00- 3.30 pm

Food, Funding And Frontiers
Dealing with the issues currently facing PACT and canvassing the views of producers.

Billy Macqueen, Managing Director, Darrall Macqueen


  • Tony Collingwood, Director, Collingwood O'Hare Entertainment
  • Marion Edwards, Consultant Producer, Consortium of Gentlemen
  • Mike Watts, Managing Director, Novel Entertainment


2 - 3.30pm

Mobile Kids

Kids’ broadcasters regularly target their audience with mobile games, while Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network are already broadcasting through Vodaphone's 3G service. With the coming explosion in new mobile technology how soon will mobile TV become a reality for Britain's pre-teens?

Nigel Mitchell, Presenter


  • Shazia Ali, Qualitative Research Manager, Quaestor Research and Marketing Strategists
  • Finn Arnesen, Senior Vice President and General Manager Original Animation and International Development, Cartoon Network, Boomerang & Toonami
  • Gavin McGarry, Development Creative Interactive, Initial / Victoria Real Endemol UK

4 - 4.45pm
Keynote By Claire Fox: Policy Placement = Product Placement

As policy makers spin more and more “pro-social” content into programmes – especially children’s programmes – are editorial independence, depth of understanding and plurality of thought compromised?

Sue Nott, Head of Education, BBC Children's, BBC

Claire Fox, The Institute of Ideas


5.15 - 6.15pm

Screening: That Summer Day

CBBC Drama featuring the events of 7/7 as seen through the experiences in one North London School on the day of the London bombings

Introduced By:  Jon East, Head of Drama, BBC Children's


6.15 - 7.30pm

Happy Hour Drinks


Saturday 8 July 2006

9.30 - 11am


A chance to discover the latest media and communications kit that’ll be in kids’ hands now and before too long – to help

survive the techno-tot revolution!


Tim Dann, Producer, CITV
Simon Fell, ITV
Presented By:
Rupert Britton, Senior Consultant, Decipher


9.30 - 11am

Prix Jeunesse Suitcase

Highlights from the 2006 Prix Jeunesse winners and innovators.

Introduced By:
Josh Selig, President, Little Airplane Productions Inc.

David Kleeman, President, American Center for Children and Media

Sponsored by:


9.30 - 11am

Cross-media Case Studies

A look at innovative projects which use a multi-platform approach.


Sarah Baynes, Managing Director, The Creative Garden

Louise O'Toole, Taffy Entertainment UK
John Rice, CEO, Jam Media


11.30am - 1pm

Writers As Gatecrashers
Exploring the advantages of the team writing system and the role of the Head Writer in ensuring quality and consistency. Giving writers more power over their content - freeing producers to produce - and creating more valuable properties.

Jocelyn Stevenson, Writer

Bennet Arron, Writer

Mellie Buse, Writer
Grant Cathro, Screenwriter, I Love Television / Freelance
Nick Fisher, Writer
Jamie Rix, Writer
Josh Selig, President, Little Airplane Productions Inc.
Barbara Slade, Screenwriter


11.30am - 1pm


How will user generated content and networks affect the roles of broadcasters and producers in the future?

Tim Riches, Director, SynergyTV

Sheila de Courcy, Commissioning Editor, Young People's Programming, RTÉ
Pip Eldridge, Chief Executive, First Light Movies Ltd
Cliff Manning, Social Software Manager, Radiowaves, & Videowaves

Sponsored by:Film Street



Creative Workshop

A personal view from someone who has made an outstanding contribution to children’s media

Andrzej Maleszka takes us on a creative journey through his method of working with children.


Andrzej Maleszka, Director, The Magic Tree

Presented By: Beryl Richards, Director, Porcupine Films

Sponsored by: Tattiemoon



2 - 3.30pm

So Farewell Then, TV...

Did broadcast TV die in 2006? Will the new gatekeepers take control of kids’ media consumption – or will the kids themselves exercise choice, seek out quality, and create their own media experiences?

What are the prospects for quality TV for kids in the UK under the new regulatory, financial; and structural regimes?

Kate Bulkley, Journalist

Jonathan Boseley, Executive Director of Programmes, Disney Channels and ABC 1
Anne Gilchrist, Creative Director, CBBC
Howard Litton, SVP, General Manager & Director of Channels, Nickelodeon UK

Sponsored by: Cosgrove Hall Films


2006 Showcomotion Conference RoundUp

Inevitably, the 2006 conference weekend was dominated by the debate over Ofcom's proposed restrictions on advertising food to kids. The sale or closure of Granada Kids by ITV had been announced just before the conference and this was seen by many delegates as the first 'fall-out' from the impending ban. The Ofcom proposals sparked impassioned discussion in many sessions with TV execs and advertisers claiming the regulator should stop passing the childhood obesity buck to the media industry. It was argued that while commercial broadcasters, the indie sector and distributors all stand to be affected by a ban, the biggest losers will be children themselves as high quality UK-centred programmes will be cut back. A new sense of realism also gripped the conference as delegates explored the potential for new commissioners of kids' content to emerge and sought new approaches to funding.

At the end of the conference Anna Home OBE Chair of Showcomotion Children's Media Conference was mandated by delegates to approach the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport and Ofcom to outline the concerns of delegates. It was also agreed that interested delegates and members of the Showcomotion Children's Media Conference Advisory Committee would meet to decide how to progress a campaign to save UK produced quality children's television.