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Best Factual Entertainment Format

About this category

Best Factual Entertainment Format


Old People's HomeFactual entertainment is a genre that is key to the international format business, as shown by the ubiquity of fact-ent formats on television and OTT platforms the world over, and also the calibre of some of the previous winners in this category.


Channel 4’s hit formats The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds and Gogglebox alongside ITV’s series What Would Your Kid Do? and This Time Next Year have been among the winners in this category in recent years, so the show that takes the coveted Best Factual Entertainment Format award this year will be in good company.


TherapyAdmittedly, those previous winners were given their awards in the International Format Awards’ usual setting, a sunset beach party in Cannes during MipFormats. This year, however, for reasons we are all familiar with, the awards will be presented online, surrounded by a series of digital initiatives that celebrate the best in creativity from all around the world, held in association with FRAPA, EMC and MipFormats this month.


DinnerIn these awards, factual entertainment has a broader definition than used in the UK, where factual and factual entertainment mean different things. For these awards, factual entertainment formats are formats shot in the field or in studios where there is no competition but rather the exploration of a slice of life, either for elucidation or for entertainment. The topics could be anything from life or death situations to lifestyle.


Finalists in the category this year include six formats from Australia, Belgium, Spain and the UK. In fact, one network in the latter territory – pubcaster Channel 4 – has made such a name for itself in the factual entertainment genre that it is behind no fewer than four of the finalists in the category this year.


Dog HouseBut let’s start with the Australian entry, the ABC’s adaptation of Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds, produced by Endemol Shine Australia and based on the UK format distributed by Red Arrow Studios International. The format debuted on Channel 4 in 2017 and was adapted for ABC in August last year.


From Belgium comes Therapy, a Panenka production for VRT (Eén) that is distributed by LineUp Industries. As more than one in four Europeans has dealt with psychological disorders in the past year, according to the World Health Organisation, this timely show tackles mental health issues by allowing access to the intimate discussions between therapists and their clients. It debuted on VRT-owned channel Canvas in March 2019 and has since been renewed for season two.


TwinsSpain is also represented in this category, in the shape of The Dinner of a Lifetime from The Mediapro Studio and Phileas Productions for Amazon Prime Video. In the show, which debuted on the SVoD platform in Spain and Mexico in December, triple Michelin star chef Quique Dacosta cooks for celebrity guests.


Finalists in the category also include three from the UK’s Channel 4: The Dog House, The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes and The Tribe Next Door. From Five Mile Films and distributed by All3Media International, feel-good format The Dog House follows abandoned canines that are given new homes.


TribeRounding out the finalists in the category are UK formats The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, meanwhile, is from CPL Productions and WPP-owned Motion Content Group and distributed by Red Arrow Studios International. The show follows dementia sufferers who are given the chance to run a restaurant and debuted on C4 in June 2019.


Lastly, The Tribe Next Door, from Voltage TV and Motion Content Group, follows a Western family who are sent to live in an exact replica of their house among a remote nomadic tribe in Namibia. The show debuted in November and the format is distributed by Banijay Rights and Voltage/Motion Content Group.


Watch out for the finalists in the Best Host of a Format category tomorrow on


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