BBC Studios Showcase Moves from Liverpool to London in 2023

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BBC Studios is migrating its flagship Showcase event in 2023 from Liverpool in the north of England down to London. The event, which returns in person for the first time since February 2020, leaves Liverpool’s iconic waterfront after nine years.

Showcase will take place from Feb. 27-28 — a reduced event from years past, when the confab ran for about four days.

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BBC Studios, the powerhouse U.K. producer and distributor, has said the London Showcase event will have a “fresh focus on upstream creative projects from across its range of production houses, labels and partners.”

The move from Liverpool is not surprising, and has been widely speculated in recent years as the week-long U.K. Screenings event by international distributors in London has grown.

In pre-pandemic years, broadcasters and streamers would fly to the U.K. from all over the world to attend the BBC Studios Showcase, a glamorous multi-day event in Liverpool at the tail end of winter. There, the Beeb offered exclusive previews of its latest shows and formats, served alongside a dinner show featuring such musical guests as Nile Rodgers and Fatboy Slim.

After being wined and dined, these buyers would then travel by train down to London, where they’d have meetings with other international TV distributors, such as Fremantle, ITV Studios and Warner Bros., which over the years began setting up snazzy presentations of their own — a week of activities that became known as U.K. Screenings.

The Screenings have become so big, however, that it’s felt slightly odd to have international buyers head up to Liverpool — a two-hour train journey from London — for just one distributor, only to then return to the capital for the rest of their meetings.

Next year will be the first year that Showcase has been staged in London.

The BBC event began life in the Old Ship in Brighton in 1976 when 25 European buyers convened at the old seafront hotel to watch classic BBC shows like “Fawlty Towers,” “The Good Life” and “Doctor Who.” During the 1980s, the event moved around Sussex, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Bristol, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Harrogate before returning to Brighton and then, in 2012, finding a new home at Liverpool’s ACC.

Of Showcase’s association with Liverpool, Louise McNab, director of content sales at BBC Studios, said the company owes “all at the ACC and the city of Liverpool a huge debt of gratitude for hosting us for many memorable years. The welcome we received was unparalleled and we had some wonderful times that will live long in the memory. I’d like to thank everyone involved for the part they played.”

The 2023 event in London will also feature BBC Studios’ international production and formats teams.

Further details about Showcase will be announced in the forthcoming months.

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