With viewing figures approaching three million, BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen is one of the most successful Saturday morning television shows of the past decade. Recently its production company, Cactus TV, started working with Prolink Television Facilities, who in turn brought the many benefits of a DiGiCo SD10B mixing console to the show.
Established in 1989, Prolink supplies equipment and staff to many of the world’s highest profile broadcasters, including the BBC and ITV, and a large portfolio of production companies. When leading Production Company Cactus TV was looking to move both to new premises and into High Definition broadcasting, the company took the opportunity to consider potential new partners and chose Prolink.
“We provide anything from a single man and single camera through to OB trucks, permanent installations as per Saturday Kitchen and some ‘flyaway’ type systems. Our key aim is to provide a personal service, focusing on individual contracts and delivering the very best we can,” says Prolink director Michael Dugard. “We were delighted when
Cactus chose us to partner them. We went in with a lot of new, high quality equipment – including the DiGiCo SD10B – which they are pleased with.”
Prolink invested in the SD10B as the company’s first digital console and it has proved the ideal solution for the challenges of Saturday Kitchen.
“We looked at all the options and sought the opinion of our regular sound team, who between them have more years of experience and expertise than they’d probably care to admit to, but that’s all extremely valuable so we always seek their input to design and acquisition decisions,” says Michael. “Collectively we thought the SD10B provided a lot of bang for the buck and the functionality it offered was exactly what we needed. Overall it was a perfect marriage with the size of the facility we had.
“It also has a very easy to use interface, which is important because we have three or four supervisors who mix the sound on Saturday Kitchen. If they haven’t done it for a few weeks they can come in, be familiar with the console and load up their preferred configuration”. Going forward we clearly hope the studios will host other shows and events, so the combination of the power and flexibility offered by the DiGiCo SD10B will serve us well.“
Michael also has praise for DiGiCo’s technical backup, which is comprehensive and, as he highlights, very approachable. “As a company we like to work with people we know by their first names, building a relationship, sharing experiences and highlighting areas that present development opportunities. At DiGiCo, we have people we can contact who know exactly what they are talking about. We can phone Tim (Shaxson, DiGiCo technical sales manager) any time and James (Gordon, managing director) came up for a couple of days at the start of the Saturday Kitchen run. I think that having the manufacturer’s MD prepared to come on site is pretty good and I would have no problem with calling him up and asking a question or a favour.”
“We have found that responsiveness to user requests is another very positive factor in buying a DiGiCo console. We didn’t know that would be the case when choosing the SD10B, it has been one of those unexpected, pleasant surprises in life,” Michael adds.
“We’re happy with the way the console is performing and the sound quality – overall the experience has been very good.
“We’re now talking about getting another console from them for a different application. I think it’s a sign of a good relationship when you want to go back and buy more.”