Category: TriForce Productions

  • Dead Canny, DAVE – Broadcast

    From Broadcast, 5 September 2022

    Sarah Balfour staring as Kay.

    TriForce’s Fraser Ayres explains how the initiative which created its comedy pilot sought to platform new and underrepresented talent. Dead Canny, which tells the story of a girl from Consett in the North East whose talent for talking to the dead embroils her in a police investigation, was one of four comedy pilots to grace our screens on UKTV’s Dave last week. All four pilots were written by entirely new writers, none of whom had previously had a broadcast credit and all but one were unrepresented. Behind this TX week of giggles was a cavalcade of inclusion across the board, permeating all aspects of the project, from the development process to the crews that delivered them, and it was all achieved in just 12 months. 

    It all started out quite innocently. Pete Thornton, head of unscripted at UKTV, and I were discussing bringing the WriterSlam pathway (a TriForce Creative Network/ initiative) to UKTV. This pathway for writers ends in a guaranteed commission with our partners – a way of ensuring tangible outcomes and avoiding the horrendous trap of ‘schemes’. Pete has supported WriterSlam in the past and has always been an advocate for inclusion in practical forms. But he and I share similar misgivings at some of the solutions our industry has put forward over the last couple of years – the endless dead-end schemes, unsupported talent, mining of trauma for pennies and the resurfacing of databases that do nothing to address the constraints of time and resource that line producers and productions face, to name but a few. Given all this, Pete was keen to ‘supercharge’ the WriterSlam, asking ‘what could we do that’s truly impactful?’. 

    In our position working across the TCN/, we have a unique overview of our entire industry; we have 25,000-strong pool of production talent at all levels from across the UK as part of our recruitment network and are currently working with over 60 production companies and SVOD’s to support them to hire inclusively on everything from Made in Chelsea to Bridgerton. This work, which we have been doing for two decades, allows us to very clearly see the issues around inclusion and, for those in our industry who are serious about it, what the solutions look like. In response to Pete’s question about being truly impactful, my response was that it would require an entirely open and level playing field – so not asking for full scripts but samples, selection based not on previous experience but on people’s fire and passion, and ensuring that the opportunity is spread far and wide. 

    This would mean an enlisting army of readers, processing and filtering to find the gems, but would also ensure access to all, no matter their circumstances. You would then need to take those writers and start paying them. In terms of development, you would need script editors who understand the writers and the worlds they are portraying, ensuring they felt valued and on a very basic level, could pay their bills, focus on their projects and make the best of the opportunity. The writers would also need to receive mentoring, preparing them for their journeys after the pathway, so that they weren’t falling through the cracks once all the noise had subsided. And once you have wonderful projects and writers that have been ‘brought up to speed’, it would be vital to engage key partnership production companies who had a passion for inclusion and for the projects, to ensure they come to screens with as much polish and professionalism as possible. This would be achieved by providing full, not ‘token’ budgets. 

    And Pete Thornton, and UKTV, said: ‘Yes. We should do that’. And this is where we find ourselves in the current climate of diversity and inclusion; where some are saying ‘No, we don’t need more inclusion’, ‘No, the talent isn’t qualified/ready/there’, but there are also those who are saying ‘Yes’. You’re either doing it and benefitting from it, as many currently are, or you’re not. 

    If you’re still talking about the problem, then you simply aren’t engaging with the solutions that are available and are already operating at volume – take the TV Collective’s work with breakthrough leaders and fledgling production companies or Mama Youth’s industry-based training where you’re guaranteed incredible talent. There’s also DANC’s enormous, supported network of talent and their work to make our industry more accessible to disabled talent, and even our work at DANDI, placing talent in their thousands each year and changing the makeup of our production teams. Production companies and broadcasters are very much saying ‘yes’, (and the American SVOD’s are saying ‘YASSS!’) like never before and appreciating that if we are to be truly inclusive, then the work needs to be done with proper funding and support. 

    So, can you find four writers with incredible stories to tell and take them straight into paid development, and have their shows professionally produced and on our screens in 12 months? 

    Turns out if you say ‘yes’, then you can. 

    Anna Costello, writer of Dead Canny 

    Having been a secondary school teacher for the majority of my adult life, I never dreamed that one day I’d have a pilot on the actual telly. As someone from a working-class background in Consett, Co. Durham, the thought of being a professional writer didn’t seem like a possibility for me – it’s something ‘other people do’. 

    When I found out I was a finalist, I was excited, terrified, and overwhelmed by imposter-syndrome. However, Fraser was adamant that the process of creating a script for broadcast should be demystified for writers, and that supporting and protecting writers should be the priority throughout. 

    I was paired with the most incredible script editor, Micheal Jacob, who taught me to do ‘more with less’ – how to take the characters and world I’d created, and make it concise, allowing the story and humour shine through. I learnt that it’s necessary not to hold on to ideas too tightly – sometimes, gags need to be sacrificed for the sake of the story, but you can make it ‘funny’ elsewhere. I gained so much from the re-drafting process. When receiving feedback, I learnt how to identify the ‘note behind the note’, and how to find solutions to issues whilst still remaining true to the characters’ voices. 

    Each finalist was partnered with a production company, and I was partnered with TriForce Productions. I was introduced to Jon MacQueen (producer), and Theresa Varga (director), two insanely talented individuals who brought so much creativity, knowledge, and insight to the pilot. 

    More than anything, I learned that a good script is just the start – what makes a great pilot is an  incredible team of people (production, cast, and crew), who each bring something that could never be captured on the page alone. Someone once told me that the script is the blue-print for a TV show  – working collaboratively with the team is what really brought Dead Canny to life. 

    I’m so, so grateful to Fraser, [Triforce co-chief executive] Minnie Ayres, and UKTV for launching this initiative. The industry needs more people that meaningfully champion diverse voices, and help people have their stories heard and worlds seen. 

  • Sorry, I Didn’t Know is Baaack!

    Sorry I Didn’t Know Season 3

    Good things come in threes! We’re back with a third season of Sorry I Didn’t Know! on your screens every Sunday in October, on ITV.

    What a joy it was to be back in the studio with familiar faces and new ones. Jimmy Akingbola returns as host, while Chizzy Akudulu and Eddie Kadi take to the captains’ chairs with a whole heap of comedic chemistry! Join them and our fantastic guests as we uncover more hidden Black history. You’ll be surprised it’s true and then unsurprised you were never told it!

    Starting Sunday 2 October @ 10.20pm on ITV, and running throughout Black History Month. #BHM

    Introducing our new team leader, Eddie Kadi!

    You can still catch season 1 & 2 on the ITVHub here:

    Join the conversation on social media…

    Instagram: @SIDKTV

    [email protected] @SIDKTelly!


  • Announcing Handle With Care: Jimmy Akingbola

    TriForce Productions first feature documentary will be hitting your screens this Autumn on ITV.

    In this deeply personal film, acclaimed actor Jimmy Akingbola traces his own journey and, in doing so, uncovers the truth about growing up in the care system in England.

    Now a celebrated actor, starring in award-winning, global productions across film, television and theatre including Bel-Air, In The Long Run and Most Dangerous Game, Jimmy reflects on how his upbringing shaped him. 

    Exec Producer Fraser Ayres said “We’re very excited to be working on such a personal story as our first documentary. Not only does this revealing programme explore Jimmy’s upbringing, we also take a wider look at the experiences of those growing up in care in the UK.”


    Triforce Productions is pleased to announce our new sitcom ‘Dead Canny’, premiering Wednesday 24th August 2022 on Dave at 10pm. Dead Canny follows ‘Kay’ (Sarah Balfour), a questionable young psychic from Consett, Co. Durham, whose ability to see dead people earns her a few quid cash-in-hand down the local pub. Unfortunately, it turns out people are just as annoying dead as they were alive.

    Sarah Balfour as Kay

    Our stellar cast stars: newcomer Sarah Balfour, Laoise Sweeney, Denise Welch, Dean Bone, Steph Lacey, Mark Benton, Aryana Ramkhalawon, Rhea Bailey and our very own Fraser Ayres!

    ‘Dead Canny’ is written by the talented Anna Costello, who is one of the finalists from our popular WriterSlam competition which had writers vying for an opportunity to have their project produced and broadcast on Dave in partnership with UKTV.

    WriterSlam is Triforce Creative Networks writers programme to help TV production companies and broadcasters access UK based new writers from diverse backgrounds who represent the society that we live in, and who will offer different perspectives, experiences and opinions. The initiative with UKTV was to encourage writers to tell a story we’ve never seen on TV before, or whether it’s simply a universal story told by a different voice.

    Three other productions will also be shown as part of the season, they include: Holier Than Thou written by Misha Adesanya and produced by Big Deal Films, Perfect written by Laurence Clark and produced by Happy Tramp, and The Other Half written by Kate Reid and Zak Ghazi-Torbati and produced by Ranga Bee.Pete Thornton, Head of Scripted, UKTV, said, “We’re excited to be working with TriForce Creative Network and on this unique UKTV WriterSlam and to be throwing this opportunity open to all underrepresented voices from any background”.

    Fraser Ayres, Executive Producer and CEO of TriForce Creative Network, said “This is what a ‘360° approach’ actually looks like. If we’re going to find more Michaela Cole’s and Tim Renkow’s we need to develop pathways that provide access and then perhaps those much needed voices won’t have to traverse so many obstacles to be heard. This move is unprecedented and kudos to UKTV for taking this tangible and giant step to truly move the dial with us.”

    Minnie Ayres, Executive Producer and CEO, said “By utilising our talent pool, we’re in a unique position to ensure inclusion and open access at all levels” added “From creatives to crew this will be fully inclusive, allowing us to also address the gaps we have identified by levelling up talent that is ready, but yet to be given their shot”.

    Dead Canny’ will premiere on UKTV’s award-winning comedy entertainment channel Dave, at 10pm, Wednesday 24 August 2022!

  • Be in the audience for SIDK Season 3!

    Free tickets are now available to book for the studio recording of Sorry, I Didn’t Know season 3!

    We’re very excited that ‘Sorry, I Didn’t Know…’ the comedy panel show about Black history is returning this year for season 3!

    TriForce needs YOU!

    We’ll be filming the show at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith Sun 12 June – Tues 14 June and once again this year there are FIVE shows.

    The show is a hilarious comedy panel show, unearthing everything you didn’t know about black history. We’ve all heard of Mary Seacole and Martin Luther King, but did you know that the first self-made female millionaire was black? Or that the inspiration for the character Monostatos in Mozart’s The Magic Flute’ was black classical composer Joseph Bologne?

    We’ve got an amazing panel lined up for the show, including our host Jimmy Akingbola, the lovely Chizzy Akudolu and guest appearances from the likes of White Yardie, our favourite Chaser Shaun Wallace, Russell Kane and Verona Rose.

    For more information and to book your ticket, click the button below!

  • Announcing UKTV WriterSlam Finalists!

    Following the initiative announcement earlier this year, UKTV and TriForce Creative Network today announce the four finalists of the UKTV WriterSlam competition for UKTV’s award-winning entertainment channel Dave. As part of UKTV’s commitment to shining a spotlight on diverse and emerging talent, the four single episodes (4×30′) include Dead Canny written by Anna CostelloHolier Than Thou written by Misha AdesanyaPerfect (W/T) written by Laurence Clark, and The Other Half written by Kate Reid and Zak Ghazi-Torbati.

    Fraser Ayres, CEO of TriForce Creative Network said:

    This has been a fantastic opportunity to build on our previous WriterSlam success. The partnership with UKTV has enabled us to offer writers’ not just a paid development commission but the chance to actually get their original scripts filmed and broadcast, fulfilling our ‘bedroom to broadcast’ aims. We are very excited to be taking Anna Costello’s script, Dead Canny, through to production with TriForce Productions and will be working with the other production companies involved to help them crew up in a diverse and inclusive way that reflects their projects through our sister company, 

    Sarah Asante, commissioning editor, comedy said:

    I was delighted to join the UKTV scripted comedy team just as they had launched a search for emerging diverse writers. The added commitment from the Dave team by offering the initiative a transmission target set the bar really high for our search. We have proudly developed shows that organically span the nations and regions, showcasing the breadth of storytelling from across the UK. This initiative has demystified the script to screen process in a unique way and has nurtured enormous growth in confidence and vision from the writers, which has been a pleasure to witness. It’s been heartening for us at UKTV to see what can happen when we invite new writers to share their dreams and talents with us and the wider industry. I also want to thank our impressive production partners for taking this leap and going on this journey with us.

    Each writer will be partnered with a production company to create the single episode for UKTV and filming will start in the new year, with casting underway for diverse and underrepresented talent.

    Dead Canny (Anna Costello) will be produced by TriForce Productions with Fraser and Minnie Ayres as executive producers and Jon Macqueen as producer. It follows a questionable young psychic from Consett, Co. Durham, whose ability to see dead people not only earns her a few quid cash-in-hand down the local pub, but also lands her as the prime suspect in a murder investigation.

    Holier Than Thou (Misha Adesanya) will be produced by Big Deal and executive produced by Thomas Stogdon (Dreaming Whilst Black). Set in contemporary Manchester, it follows the journey of three young adults as they navigate sex, faith, and relationships, while attending the conservative, African Evangelical church they were raised in.

    Perfect (W/T) (Laurence Clark) will be produced by Happy Tramp North and executive produced by Neil Webster. Set in Liverpool, three young disabled people become unexpected friends when they meet on a half-cocked and pointless work preparation scheme. Together they navigate life, dating, and a system that seems designed to only benefit the people who run it.

    The Other Half (Kate Reid and Zak Ghazi-Torbati) will be produced by Ranga Bee Productions with Romesh Ranganathan, Benjamin Green and Michelle Farr-Scott as executive producers. It follows 20-something Navid who is half-Welsh, half-Iranian and 100% that bitch, who gets the chance to escape his small Welsh town when he lands an internship in the big city: Bristol. But as he runs headlong into his new life, shacking up with his best friend and her painfully privileged family, he’s also running away from his old life in the closet, living with his overprotective father. And the more he tries to keep the two halves of his life apart, the more they keep crashing into each other.

    The series of episodes have been written as part of the UKTV WriterSlam, with TriForce Creative Network and The scripts are commissioned by Sarah Asante, UKTV commissioning editor, comedy and ordered by Dave channel director, Cherie Cunningham and Pete Thornton, UKTV’s head of scripted. Richard Watsham is the UKTV’s director of commissioning and Steve North is genre general manager, comedy and entertainment.

  • Be in the audience for SIDK Season 2!

    Free tickets are now available to book for the studio recording of Sorry, I Didn’t Know season 2!

    We’re very excited that ‘Sorry, I Didn’t Know…’ the comedy panel show about Black history that had it’s first season last year is returning this year for season 2!

    TriForce needs YOU!

    We’ll be filming the show at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith Sun 15th August – Tues 17th August and this year there are FIVE shows.

    The show is a hilarious comedy panel show, unearthing everything you didn’t know about black history. We’ve all heard of Mary Seacole and Martin Luther King, but did you know that the first self-made female millionaire was black? Or that the inspiration for the character Monostatos in Mozart’s The Magic Flute’ was black classical composer Joseph Bologne?

    We’ve got an amazing panel lined up for the show, including our host Jimmy Akingbola, team leaders Chizzy Akudolu and Judi Love, as well as guest appearances from the likes of Paul Chowdhry, Russell Kane and Verona Rose.

    For more information and to book your ticket, click the button below!

    Book your free tickets now!

  • Announcing our SIDK Writers!

    We’re very excited to announce our writing team for Sorry, I Didn’t Know S2!

    Joining our showrunner Fraser Ayres and experienced panel show writer Mark Boutros will be two new faces who applied through our open call out. Our two new writers are:

    Shikira Porter – Shikira is a screenwriter and poet who is represented by PBJ Management. She’s recently written and starred in a short film for BBC iplayer. Her jokes made the team laugh out loud and we’re excited to see her in action in the writers room.

    Viv May – Viv was a huge show of the first series and her understanding of the show really stood out to the team. She was part of the 2019 Sound Up programme with Spotify which resulted in her being commissioned to write a pilot episode of a podcast. SIDK will be her first TV broadcast credit.

    We’re really pleased to have both these talented writers on board! A huge thank you to everyone who entered, we had a lot of fun reading all the entries and if we’d have room to do so our writers room could have been a lot bigger!

  • Sorry, I Didn’t Know Returns!

    ITV have recommissioned Sorry, I Didn’t Know, the only comedy panel show about Black history, and we are looking for new writers to join the writers’ room.

    Jimmy Akingbola will return to host the new series which will air in October on ITV and ITV Hub, as part of ITV’s Black History Month celebrations. Chizzy Akudolu and Judi Love will also be back as the team leaders.

    This year we are looking for two new writers to join showrunner Fraser Ayres in the series writing room. The opportunity will be open to anyone in a drive to find a new wave of comedy writers and give them their first broadcast credit.

    “The world of writing for comedy panel shows is incredibly difficult to break into, so we’re opening up the doors to find writing talent that might not usually get this opportunity. We don’t care what you’ve done before, or whether you have an agent – we just want to find people who are funny, passionate and love Black history to go on this exciting journey with us” said Fraser Ayres of TriForce Productions.

    Last year’s series welcomed guests including Colin Salmon, Angie Le Mar, Tom Allen and Russell Kane, and in partnership with, hired a fully inclusive team behind the camera as well.

    Sorry, I Didn’t Know is commissioned by Joe Mace and Gemma John Lewis in ITV Entertainment Commissioning.

    “We’re very excited to have SIDK return for a second series” said Joe Mace, ITV Commissioning Editor, Entertainment. “After last year’s successful debut, we’ve expanded the show to 5 episodes and can’t wait to welcome new writers onto the team.”

    Writers will be able to apply via the TriForce Creative Network website with submissions open from midday on 10 June to 11.59pm 24 June.

    For more details on the competition and how to apply, go to

    Sorry, I Didn’t Know is produced by TriForce Productions and was created by husband and wife team, Mr and Mrs Ayres.

  • Watch Sorry I Didn’t Know on ITV Hub

    Missed the first couple of episodes of Sorry I Didn’t Know? You can now catch up on the series so far on the ITV Hub.

    Click here to watch!



  • Sorry I Didn’t Know on Tues 06 Oct ITV!

    We’re very excited to announce that Sorry, I Didn’t Know has been commissioned for a series!

    You’ll be able to catch the first episode on Tues 6th October at 10.45pm on ITV so make sure you set your telly to record!

    Sorry, I Didn’t Know is a classic panel show with a twist, hosted by Jimmy Akingbola.

    This week, comedians Tom Allen, Angie Le Mar, and Paul Chowdhry alongside actor Colin Salmon, join team leaders, Chizzy Akudolu and Judi Love to take viewers on a tour of Black British history. Other guests over the series include Russell Kane, Shaun Wallace (The Chase’s Dark Destroyer) and presenter AJ Odudu to name but a few!

    Insightful, educational. bold, tongue-in-cheek and above all very funny, the teams will do battle to find out what they really didn’t know!

    History…with a touch of colour.

  • #SIDK nominated for Creative Diversity Network Award!

    Creative Diversity Network bring together organisations who employ and/or make programmes across the UK television industry to promote, celebrate and share good practice around the diversity agenda. They seek to engage and empower the industry to drive change, and understand the business case for wider representation and inclusion.

    Each year the CDN host awards to celebrate game changers in the industry who are striving ahead and making change.

    We’re excited to announce that TriForce Productions ITV2 panel show with a comedy twist ‘Sorry I Didn’t Know’ has been nominated for Best Entertainment Programme. Two teams of comedians (Chizzy Akudolu, Jo Martin, Jimmy James Jones, Toby Williams, Paul Chowdhry, Judi Love) took viewers on a tour of black history across the globe in a laugh out loud 30 minute special.

    Click here to find out more about the awards and the other nominees.

    The winners of the CDN awards will be announced on the 12 June.

    Current members of the CDN are BAFTA, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5/Viacom, Creative Skillset, PACT, ITN, ITV, Media Trust, S4C, Sky and Turner Broadcasting.