28th June 2018
Jimmy McGovern (Broken, Cracker, The Street, The Accused, Hillsborough), Paul Abbott (Coronation Street, Cracker, Shameless), Kay Mellor (Band of Gold, Ring of Lies, In The Club, Fanny and Elvis), Jed Mercurio (Line of Duty, Cardiac Arrest, Bodies) and Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax,Scott & Bailey) are the first industry-leading screenwriters to have signed up to nominate and mentor an outstanding new talent of their choice in a new television drama writers scheme commissioned by ScreenSkills' high-end TV drama writers working group.
The aim of the programme is to provide bursaries and introductions to eight up and coming writers across the UK to help progress their careers to becoming established high-end TV drama writers.
What I look for in a writer is hunger. Talent, yes. Humour, yes. Anger, yes. but above all, hunger. And you don't get hunger in old farts like me. You get it in writers who've never seen their names on screenJimmy McGovern
UK-based scripted production company, Dancing Ledge Productions will work side by side with the established writers, as they support the bursary winners to take their projects from idea and concept all the way through to providing second draft scripts. In addition, the established writer will strive to provide industry introductions, including to the production companies they are associated with, to help further the scripts’ development.
Award-winning screenwriter and producer Jimmy McGovern said: "What I look for in a writer is hunger. Talent, yes. Humour, yes. Anger, yes. But, above all, hunger. And you don't get hunger in old farts like me. You get it in writers who've never seen their names on the screen. That's why this initiative is so important: it will discover hungry writers and give them some mentoring and a helping hand."
Kaye Elliott, Director of High-end TV at ScreenSkills' said: "The High-end TV Levy Fund is delighted to be supporting this important initiative to help the development of the UK’s up-and-coming writing talent. Dancing Ledge have pulled together a stellar line-up of TV writers who will be able to pass on invaluable advice, introductions and support to their selected mentees.”
Laurence Bowen, CEO, at Dancing Ledge Productions added: "Dancing Ledge is thrilled to have been commissioned to run this scheme. We’re a company founded on our relationship with writers and have made it part of our DNA to support new talent with our Writer in Residence scheme. The fact that all the writing luminaries we’ve approached to mentor have agreed to so quickly is a real testament to both their personal commitment and their awareness of how incredibly difficult it is to break in.”
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