Wednesday 19 November 2014, 16:33Mackenzie Crook as Andy in Detectorists (BBC/Lola Entertainment/Channel X)
What is your writing background? Have you always written alongside acting?
I started out doing character comedy on the stand up and cabaret circuit. Over the first couple of years I wrote material and cobbled together a five-minute open spot, then ten minutes and eventually the tried and tested twenty minute routine needed to get proper paid gigs in the clubs.
Soon after I’d managed that I got a regular compère spot at a cabaret club in Deptford. It was quite a popular club for a few years and attracted a good audience. But among them were a lot of regulars who came every Sunday so I was forced to come up with new material every week.
I have always had little bits and pieces of writing on the go. There is a shelf of notebooks in my office full of half thought out ideas stretching back years. They are great to dip into for inspiration and sometimes I’ll use a bit of dialogue that I originally scribbled down a decade earlier.
About the only times I’ve been able to see a writing project through to completion have been when deadlines are involved. I would love to be able to take my time privately...
Thursday 13 November 2014, 14:06Harry and Jack Williams
How did you both get into writing – was it something you both had an interest in growing up?
[Harry] Our father is a writer and would make up stories when we were younger, and so it’s something we just grew up with. [Jack] I’ve always wanted to write since I was five and started out doing bad short stories.
What path have you taken to where you are now?
[Jack] I worked at a TV production company as a script editor for a while, where I read a lot of scripts and decided maybe writing TV would be better than the novels I couldn’t sell. When I was 25 I wrote a comedy-drama for the company I was at, which was turned into a BBC sitcom. It wasn’t good, but it’s how I got started.
[Harry] I was an actor for a while and in my early 20’s wrote a sitcom about a recent break-up, which was eventually made into BBC2’s Roman’s Empire. As Jack and I worked on sitcoms separately we increasingly found ourselves asking each other’s opinion and advice, and ended up writing Roman’s Empire together.
[Jack] We’d been in a band together when we were younger and we argued far more about writing songs than we ever have about writing TV shows.The Missing -...
Monday 10 November 2014, 15:06
There is an adage/idiom/saying "you can't get a job without experience, and you can't get experience without a job" and I'm sure this particular 'Catch 22' is true of most careers but it's certainly true of 'meedja'.InSecurity - cast members Luke Bailey, Roberta Kerr, Peter Slater and Gary Damer.
At BBC Writersroom we are always looking for ways to square this particular circle. Although we work with writers at any stage of their career we often meet very talented writers who haven't yet written for broadcast. It occurred to us how much talent and access to equipment and manpower the country's universities have, but the films that come out of their courses tend to be single short films. Short films are great, I've produced several myself, but they are seen as a director's medium and they don't really reflect what the BBC does. The majority of BBC output is series and serials, episodic drama, be that shows with continuing serial story lines or repeating formats. It's very hard for writers and crews to have experience of this without actually doing it - which brings me back to the opening 'Catch 22'…InSecurity - filming on location
So last year we decided...
Wednesday 5 November 2014, 15:51Michael (Jack Lowden), Thomas (Paddy Gibson) Image: BBC/Red Planet/Ola Grochowska
What attracted you to writing the series?
I was interested in telling the stories of the young men who were sent to war, the really young men who lied about their age to be able to go. It meant something to me because I’ve got sons, and although they’re in their early twenties now I can certainly remember them in their late teens. I wanted to tell a story from their perspective, to show what it must have been like for a boy to be sent to the other side of Europe to fight in the most terrible war that has...
Friday 31 October 2014, 11:02Charlie Perkins and Arnab Chanda
Wednesday 29 October 2014, 13:13
Monday 27 October 2014, 15:50
“We are delighted to be able to share some news about three initiatives being run by BBC in-house Drama to develop new writing talent. Vital to our work at the BBC Writersroom is the partnerships we have with internal departments, where we champion and promote talent. We have worked closely with BBC Drama to support these exciting developments and acted as consultants on all three schemes. They are targeted at writers who have already made the first important steps in their careers and have an existing body of exciting and innovative work. All three demonstrate how the BBC aims to support...
Friday 24 October 2014, 11:40
Editor's Note: Following Olly Perkin's recent blog on the Casualty Writers Shadow Scheme, Laura Turner blogs for us about her experience so far on the equivalent scheme for Holby City. Shadow Schemes are run for writers on all the BBC's Continuing Drama shows: EastEnders, Doctors, Casualty and Holby City.
Filming Holby City
Writers write. Simple. Except writers also wait. And wait. For the phone to ring, their emails to refresh – and the past couple of months have been full of nervous excitement after applying for the Holby City shadow scheme. I’ve watched the show since its inception...
Monday 20 October 2014, 16:40Room to Write
So here I am, somehow, in the BBC, the home of most of the comedy I’ve loved since I was only yay high (imagine I am positioning my hand to indicate a low height, perhaps the height of a twelve-year old or a particularly ashamed man).
I’m one of the people lucky enough to have won a place on the BBC’s Room to Write scheme. Masterminded by Steven Canny and Laura Marks (BBC Comedy), Room to Write is setting out to find and develop the next wave of Scottish comedy writers. Twenty-two of us have made it this far, and as the scheme continues we must kill each other off with a...
Wednesday 15 October 2014, 16:28
Editor's Note: Writers Shadow Schemes are run for all the BBC's Continuing Drama shows - EastEnders, Doctors, Casualty and Holby City. They mirror the show's writing process by developing and producing an episode from which the writer will be assessed for a commission. Training includes workshops, lectures and exercises on storytelling and the show's format together with a formal induction and set tour. There are eight writers on this year's Casualty Shadow Scheme including Olly Perkin who blogs about his experience so far.
The Casualty Writers Shadow Scheme has been a great learning...