‘David Baddiel Tries to Understand . . . ‘ is a BBC Radio 4 series where David Baddiel tries to make sense of some apparently puzzling topics, suggested by members of the public via Twitter. These have ranged from The IMF to The Kardashians to TV Broadcasting.

For this episode, Danny Baker got in touch. Danny may have written and presented widely on TV, but he’s never quite understood how programmes get to his television at home. So he asked David, and David asked Channel 4, for whom he made a documentary in early 2017, if he could come and find out. And Channel 4 asked Red Bee Media if we could help.

So, in September David and Danny visited the Broadcast Centre in White City to see our Playout operations and understand the path a programme takes from being delivered by Production to being seen by viewers.

Antony Dominici, Playout Operations Manager, and Huw Hitchin, Head of Managed Service Delivery, talked to David about where tapes have gone, what happens when things go wrong, how most UK Broadcasters have outsourced their Playout, how you can watch Hollyoaks on your phone, and what the future of broadcasting might hold. David then had to explain this to Danny, and was given a score by us.

Enjoy! It’s helped many of us explain to our family and friends what we actually do for a living.


Huw Hitchin, Head of Managed Service Delivery, Red Bee Media