Media experts warn David Miliband of potential 'minefield' of TV production

David Miliband's reported attempts to break into the television world have been greeted with surprise by top entertainment PROs.

Attempting to launch a TV career? David Miliband
Attempting to launch a TV career? David Miliband

Miliband, brother of Labour leader Ed Miliband and one-time favourite to become leader himself, is said to have approached the BBC among ‘a range of organisations’ to pitch ideas for new television programmes, most likely around foreign affairs or environmental issues.

The BBC News website was among the many media outlets to cover the story this weekend.

Phil Hall, chairman of PHA Media, said: ‘I’m quite surprised to hear this and I’m quite surprised the BBC wrote the story. Maybe they are trying to test the water to find out what the public reaction would be.

‘It’s true Michael Portillo was able to move into the media and he was successful – his politics background didn’t hold him back. David Miliband will definitely have strong political knowledge and can get the inside stories, but any programme he is involved with will have to work from a viewer's perspective.

‘A lot of politicians think they can convert their skills into celebrity and fail. Unless Miliband gets a production company behind him, I don’t think he has a chance.'

James Herring, director at Taylor Herring PR, commented: 'BBC online is not the voice of the BBC so it is independent from the commissioning department. But I think this story is interesting on a number of levels. I think TV has worked to change the profile of Nick Clegg and Boris Johnson, and Piers Morgan was able to launch a very successful celebrity career in TV after he left The Mirror.

'But TV can also be a minefield. Politicians face scrutiny but this is not the same as the scrutiny faced by celebrities and what someone does as a political figure can come back and haunt them. TV could be cruel, so this is not a decision Miliband should take lightly.'

A statement from the BBC confirmed Miliband had put forward programme suggestions, adding that the channel does receive suggestions from a ‘wide variety of sources’.

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