This year Bjorn Hering was invited to be part of the jury given the task of assessing the entries in the ‘Best Reality & Factual Entertainment’ category of the 2013 Rose d’Or awards.
Still fresh-faced after over a decade in the television entertainment industry, Bjorn has managed to squeeze in a lot during that time, winning the coveted Rose d’Or in 2002 for his interactive television show ‘Joya Rennt,’ (Joya Runs), being selected by Swiss Magazine as one of the most important Swiss citizens in 2006 and winning the Swiss TV prize for his latest show ‘Homerun,’ in 2012.
Currently producing and hosting ‘Homerun,’ he appreciates that the ‘running’ theme has continued since being nominated for a Rose d’Or. “Running towards finding a blind date for contestants worked back then, but now my interests have shifted towards travel and adventure, with participants being dropped into the wilderness with only water and a knife to help them.”
He is quick to assure Rose d’Or contestants that the jury members were given slightly more creature comforts in order to review the entries and whittle the finalists down to three. “I was lucky enough to be able to watch the shows in the comfort of my office at home and was eventually joined by my wife who is heavily pregnant and unable to sleep. It was very difficult to narrow it down to just three. She responded to the programmes in a different way which allowed me to see how they affected other viewers. I also sought the opinion of some valued colleagues as well.”
The three finalists in the Best Reality & Factual Entertainment category include ‘Make Bradford British.’ “This was a particularly impressive programme as it presentes a unique way to portray a very important social theme but does it in an entertaining way. I know how hard it is to walk that very fine edge between respect for a serious topic and making it interesting.”
Belgian series ‘Jobs Without Frontiers’ was another outstanding example of a programme that provided some education and insight without losing the importance of retaining the interest of the viewer. “This is more than just entertainment and it’s vital to support the people who are making such noteworthy television.”
‘Derren Brown: Apocalypse Part 1’ was selected as the third finalist due to its clever interplay between fiction and reality. “It’s a new way of entertainment, something not seen before that sees pure innovation encouraging the viewer to get immersed in an entirely created world.”
Secrecy is paramount when it comes to revealing the winner of the prized Rose d’Or, but Bjorn does have advice for future finalists. “Creating something new is often difficult, but don’t just follow a trend or what the current market dictates. Use the ingredients that you like; themes that genuinely interest you and that you have a passion for.”
And who knows what his next big television project will be? “Perhaps something to do with babies and surviving parenthood,” he laughs. “And the word ‘run’ in it too?”