Birmingham TV company Maverick has picked up the first BAFTA for Interactivity for their website Embarrassing Bodies Online.
Director of Digital Media for Maverick Jonnie Turpie was delighted to receive the award on behalf of the new media team at the Digbeth-based company.
“I think it’s fantastic for a Birmingham company to be recognised in the TV media awards in the UK,” Mr Turpie said. “The team represent Birmingham and Maverick on a ground-breaking public service site. Some people claimed it changed their lives.”
The website wowed over judges as it encouraged users who had seen the Channel 4 programme, now in its second series on Wednesdays at 8pm, to visit the site if they were worried about an embarrassing medical problem.
“People use the site to download videos and can check themselves while the TV is on in the privacy of their own home,” he added. “It is an extremely innovative site and it’s what we’d like to be known for.”
More than 2.5 million videos have been viewed on the site which is the most-viewed area of www.channel4.com. The service features actors demonstrating how to perform simple self-checks on the body and Doctor Christian Jessen tells users what symptoms to look for. Users could also upload their results on to the site – giving a unique picture of the nation’s health. The website has been running for 18 months and continues to attract thousands of hits from people who want professional online health advice before they visit their doctor.
The service also featured a questionnaire for STD diagnosis, taken by more than 250,000 people, a health calculator and doctor responses to embarrassing body questions.
“I think there are opportunities in health and other services to use digital media for patients and customers,” Mr Turpie said. “People are demanding that sort of service because they use their mobiles and go online more than watching TV now – if you can do it in an exciting innovative way like we have in Embarrassing Bodies.”
Mr Turpie said Channel 4’s chief executive, Andy Duncan, had called him after the event to congratulate the new media team on winning the award. “There are experts in media and technology in Birmingham city and we are very proud of that and there are many more opportunities in the city for more companies to be producing digital media success,” Mr Turpie said.
Maverick has offices in London and Birmingham. They have produced hit Channel 4 shows such as How to Look Good Naked and Ten Years Younger.
The company worked in conjunction with Birmingham company Made Media Ltd based in the Jewellery Quarter in 2007 to develop the website and allow more video integration.