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Lyle ambushed with Gold Award

MIPTV: National Geographic Channel CEO and Frapa founder David Lyle was the surprise recipient of this year’s C21/Frapa Gold Award, which was awarded at MipFormats yesterday.

Lyle was ambushed by C21 and Frapa staff and handed the award for his services to the global format industry, having been kept in the dark about this year’s recipient until the last minute.

The former Fox Reality and FremantleMedia chief joins previous Gold Award recipients such as Reg Grundy, Peter Bazalgette, Merv Griffin and, last year, Deal or No Deal creator Dick de Rijk.

Introducing Lyle at an award ceremony yesterday, Frapa board member and former Distraction Formats boss Michel Rodrigue said Lyle had made a “major contribution to what is now a US$5bn dollar industry.”

Delegates at MipFormats were then treated to a video reel summing up Lyle’s career to date, including his stint as host of a quaint show from the 1980s on Nine Network in Australia called The Golden Years of Television.

Speaking at the award event yesterday, Lyle said: “When we set up Frapa in April 2000, the aim was to have TV formats recognised and protected as intellectual property. Getting them recognised, we’ve done; getting them protected, we’ve still a way to go.”

He added: “Frapa works to protect all you guys out there scribbling down ideas on backs of envelopes and trying to turn them into TV shows. Formats, whether they’re for TV or digital, deserve to be protected and, let’s face it, rewarded.”

Accepting the gong, Lyle concluded: “On a personal level, I feel humbled to join the ranks of Merv Griffin and Dick de Rijk as a recipient of the C21/Frapa Gold Award; and those who know me well will tell you that happens so rarely.”

Elsewhere during MipFormats, the winner of the third MipFormats Pitch was Stuart Coxe (Wipeout Canada) of Toronto’s Antica Productions. He successfully pitched his new dating format Looking For Love, beating four other pitches to win €25,000 in development funding from sponsor Warner Bros International TV Production.

The studio will now work with Coxe developing the format for local production via its production arms around the world. The format uses web algorithms to match people with potential dates.


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