Royal Television Society
Formation7 September 1927; 96 years ago (1927-09-07)
TypeTelevision organisation
HeadquartersLondon, EC4
United Kingdom
Region served
United Kingdom and Ireland
5030 (2019)[1]
Official language
Royal Patron
Charles III
Chief executive
Theresa Wise

The Royal Television Society (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 fourteen 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 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 King's 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 "Anatomy of a Hit" events, which gather together the writers, cast and commissioner of some of Britain's most successful TV shows to discuss their qualities. Recent programmes 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 six national award ceremonies annually:

National Awards

Regional Awards

The Royal Television Society hosts fifteen regional award ceremonies annually:

RTS Futures

RTS Futures was launched in 2007[17] to help people in the early stages of their television careers. RTS Futures offers 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. ^ "Annual Report (2019)" (PDF). 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Television, Fame and New Discoveries". Archived from the original on 9 August 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Alexandra Palace | The birthplace of television". BBC.
  4. ^ "Creative Week 2015 partners". Archived from the original on 27 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Prince of Wales Patronages; Prince of Wales". Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  6. ^ "RTS Conferences". 10 October 2018.
  7. ^ Bell, Matthew (5 March 2014). "Sherlock: Anatomy of a Hit event report". Royal Television Society.
  8. ^ Bell, Matthew (12 November 2014). "Doctor Who: Anatomy of a Hit event report". Royal Television Society.
  9. ^ Clarke, Steve (28 October 2015). "Humans: Anatomy of a Hit event report". Royal Television Society.
  10. ^ "RTS Programme Awards".
  11. ^ "RTS Craft & Design Awards".
  12. ^ "RTS Television Journalism Awards".
  13. ^ "RTS Student Television Awards".
  14. ^ "RTS Young Technologist Award".
  15. ^ "RTS Pilgrim Awards".
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "RTS in my Area Royal Television Society". Royal Television Society. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  17. ^ Parker, Robin (6 September 2007). "Duncan to lead RTS drive for young talent". Broadcast.
  18. ^ Forgan, Liz (22 December 2009). "Sir Bob Phillis obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2016.