Royal Television Society

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Royal Television Society
Horizontal thumb.jpg
Abbreviation RTS
Formation 1927
Type Television organisation
Headquarters London
  • 3 Dorset Rise, London, EC4Y 8EN
Region served
England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
Approximately 3500
Official language
HRH The Prince of Wales
Sir Peter Bazalgette[1]
Chief executive
Theresa Wise

The Royal Television Society, or RTS, is a British-based educational charity for the discussion, and analysis of television in all its forms, past, present and future. It is the oldest television society in the world. It currently has twelve regional and national centres in the UK, as well as a branch in the Republic of Ireland.


The group was formed as The Television Society on 7 September 1927,[2] a time when television was still very much in its experimental stage. Regular high-definition (then defined as at least 200 lines) broadcasts did not even begin for another nine years until the BBC began its transmissions from Alexandra Palace in 1936.[3]

In addition to serving as a forum for scientists and engineers, the society published regular newsletters charting the development of the new medium. These documents now form important historical records of the early history of television broadcasting.

The society was granted its Royal title in 1966.[4] The Prince of Wales became patron of the Society in November 1997.[5]


The society regularly holds meetings and seminars, attended by members of the public and professionals from various areas of the television industry, and it also publishes the monthly magazine Television, covering a broad range of television topics.

Major events held by the RTS include the biennial RTS Cambridge Convention,[6] a three day event held at Kings College Cambridge. The convention, chaired by one of the UK's major broadcasters, brings together influential figures from the television industry for a series of stimulating talks.

The RTS also hosts popular Anatomy of a Hit events, which gather together the writers, cast and commissioner of some of Britain's favourite TV shows to discuss what makes them so great. Recent programme discussed have included Sherlock,[7] Doctor Who[8] and Humans.[9]

The society also holds a substantial archive of printed, photographic and audio-visual material of value to television historians and scholars.


The Royal Television Society hosts four national award ceremonies annually:

  • Programme Awards[10]
  • Television Journalism Awards[11]
  • Craft & Design Awards[12]
  • Student Television Awards[13]

In addition, the RTS Young Technologist Award[14] is given to this seen as potential future leaders in broadcasting technology. Meanwhile the RTS Pilgrim Awards[15] acknowledge the outstanding work of RTS volunteers.

Regional centres also hold their own award ceremonies.

RTS Futures

RTS Futures was launched in 2007[16] to help people in the early stages of their television careers. It is chaired by media consultant Donna Taberer. Membership to RTS Futures is free. Members have the opportunity to meet with senior industry professionals, such as series producers and commissioners, as well as their peers in the television industry. RTS Futures hosts a wide range of talks and training sessions aimed at helping young people progress in the business. Recent events have included How to be the Best Researcher and the RTS Futures Entry Level Training Fair.

Presidents of the Society


  1. "Arts Council England Council".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Television, Fame and New Discoveries".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The birthplace of television".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Creative Week 2015 partners".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Prince of Wales Patronages; Prince of Wales". Retrieved 16 November 2015. External link in |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "RTS Conferences".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Sherlock: Anatomy of a Hit event report".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Doctor Who: Anatomy of a Hit event report".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Humans: Anatomy of a Hit event report".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "RTS Programme Awards".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "RTS Television Journalism Awards".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "RTS Craft & Design Awards".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "RTS Student Television Awards".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "RTS Young Technologist Award".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "RTS Pilgrim Awards".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Duncan to lead RTS drive for young talent".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Sir Bob Phillis obituary". The Guardian. 22 December 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links