Screenwriters discuss mentoring partnerships in series of interviews

Rose Cartwright, Yero Timi-Biu, Nicôle Lecky, Daniel Brierley, Amanda Coe, Sharma Walfall, Tony Schumacher, Paul Abbott © ScreenSkills/David Sandison

Some of Britain’s most successful writers mentored emerging talent as part of the ScreenSkills New Writers Programme, designed to get new talent commissioned and funded by the High-end TV Skills Fund.

Production company Dancing Ledge, who matched the pairs and delivered the programme for ScreenSkills, has recorded a series of interviews in which some mentoring pairs talk about how it all worked.

In each segment, a mentee interviews their mentor to offer insights into writing across all mediums:

  • Listen here to a conversation between Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio and Daniel Brierley, who won his first TV commission with the ITV drama Trigger Point after they were paired under the scheme. The six-part series – about the Met Police’s bomb-disposal unit – is Brierley’s first TV commission and the first to come out of the scheme.
  • A conversation between Succession writer Lucy Prebble and her mentee Temi Wilkey can be accessed here.
  • Hear emerging writer Sharma Warfall interview mentor Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials, The Virtues)

Previously, the Observer interviewed some of the other mentoring pairs as well. The other writers who have been working together are:

  • Paul Abbott (Cracker, Shameless) mentoring Yero Timi-Biu
  • Jimmy McGovern (Broken, Cracker, The Street) mentoring Tony Schumacher
  • Levi David Addai (Dark Money, Youngers) mentoring Nicôle Lecky
  • Amanda Coe (The Trial of Christine Keeler, Apple Tree Yard) mentoring Rose Cartwright
  • Kay Mellor (Band of Gold, Ring of Lies, In The Club) mentoring Grace Night
  • Sally Wainwright (Gentleman Jack,Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) mentoring Scott Mather

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