PRESS RELEASE published on 11 Sep 2013 • Department / Unit Media

Public service broadcasters recognize winning TV formats

Winners for the 7 Best Formats (Photo: Harry Schnitger)


Creative excellence was rewarded last night (10 September) when senior TV executives from public service media (PSM) voted for the 7 Best Formats at the seventh Eurovision Creative Forum in Berlin.

Since its launch in 2006, the annual event has recognized outstanding formats in the 'Factual & Entertainment' genres. In all, 25 submissions from Active and Associate Members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) were rated by Forum participants and members of the Eurovision Formats Core Group*. To qualify, formats must have been aired in the country of origin during the previous 12 months.

The winners of this year's 7 Best Formats are: 

First: At war (Belgium, VRT)
Arnout Hauben, Director
One hundred years after the First World War, three Belgian friends set out on a journey walking the European Frontline from the coastal town of Nieuwpoort to the legendary battlefields of Gallipoli in Turkey. Along the way, they record personal tales from then and now, and leave behind markers in memory of the soldiers and medical staff who served a century ago.

At war (VRT Belgium) director Arnout Hauben accepts the 7 Best Formats award (Photo: Harry Schnitger)

Second: It happened right here (Sweden, SVT)

Markus Sterky, Programming & Commissioning Strategist
What’s the dullest town you can name? Three historians have just three days to uncover unique historical facts about a town of modest reputation for local residents to commemorate.

Third: Let’s have dinner in my ghetto (France, France 4)

Sandrine Roustan, Director Programmes, France 4
Listen in as guests from contrasting social, economic, political and generational backgrounds come together in the suburbs to share an exotic dinner.

Best four runners up:

  • Instrumental (Ireland, RTÉ One)
    Brian Graham, Producer and Managing director, Adare Productions
    ‘Instrumental’ joins six novice musicians, three celebrities and three members of the public on a journey to learn a musical instrument from scratch.
  • The coffin (Netherlands, NPO/EO)
    Ellen Danhof, TV Editor, NPO and Anne Christine Giradot, Nachtzon Media
    A series of ideological conversations with celebrities about mortality, as they journey into the past and speculate about the future in an old yellow Fiat 500, complete with coffin.
  • Pissed off (Finland, YLE TV1)
    Mike Beale, Director of International Formats, ITV Studios
    Five well known participants with a particular talent for short-tempered reactions, reveal how everyday setbacks get them so… pissed off! They appeal to the nation to join them in an eight-week coaching session to reduce stress and live longer.
  • Figure it out (The Netherlands, Netherlands 3)
    Benthe Forrer, Creative Director Dahl/Blazhoffski
    During a period of financial difficulty, a team of reporters investigates what we actually pay for, and why - applying calculations and making abstract comparisons which produce some unexpected and amusing results.


Eurovision Head of TV Bettina Brinkmann says two new categories – Fiction and Children's formats – will be contested in 2014. Time has been set aside to screen examples of both genres during the annual three-day Eurovision TV Meetings (9-11 September).

Ms Brinkmann recognized the contribution of all the participating broadcasters.  "The focus for tonight may have been the 7 Best Formats, but our congratulations extend to everyone who has been through the development process, resulting in some fine examples of fresh television formats."

She added: "The Eurovision Creative Forum exists for Members to pool, exchange and adapt tried and tested formats. This can produce considerable savings for Members. It makes sense to replicate the Forum's success in other genres – to pool the creative potential of the Eurovision Community."

The Forum is also open to PSM outside Europe, including Asia, Canada and the USA and is organized by the EBU in cooperation with ZDF, Germany.

Related Links:

Eurovision TV Meetings: Berlin 2013

Eurovision Creative Forum

*Eurovision Formats Core Group


Anne Brochot
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Sue Neilen
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