BBC Writersroom

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  • Writer

    Lorenzaccio, which was broadcast on Radio 3 on Sunday 10 March and is available to listen to now on BBC Sounds, is my 21st script for BBC Radio. Lorenzaccio is an adaptation of a French play by Alfred de Musset from the 1830s that I fell in love with as a student and have wanted to find some way of bringing to wider attention ever since. It is set in the Florence of the Medicis in the 1530s, a place of corruption and wealth, cruelty and revenge. It’s a play from the Romantic movement, which, in French playwriting, meant drawing on the sprawling model of Shakespeare rather than the austere purity of the Greeks. Lorenzo, the anti-hero of Lorenzaccio, is a turbulent, troubled soul who has infiltrated the corrupt Medici court with the secret aim of getting close enough to the Duke to assassinate him; but as he gets close to achieving his goal he realises he has lost any sense of his real self and his exposure to the brutal side of humanity has threatened to tarnish his hopes in liberation. It’s an epic play with a whole city as its landscape, and it’s often referred to as the French Hamlet.

    Lorenzaccio, adapted by Dan Rebellato for BBC Radio 3. Listen now on BBC Sounds.

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  • Script readers

    We received 3634 scripts in our latest open submission window for drama scripts, which closed in January. We asked the newest member of the script reading team for an update on their progress.

    We’re now into the “Full Read” stage of reading for the Drama Script Room 2019, and it’s getting harder and harder to whittle it down to the final scripts. I’ve been so impressed by the huge range of ideas coming through on the scheme, and I’ve had the pleasure of reading some seriously brilliant writing. But of course, not all of the scripts will get taken through to this stage, and even fewer still will be part of the final selection. When the competition is so tight, many of the scripts that don’t make it through are still really good, and it can be hard as a reader to see them go.

    But obviously it will be even harder as a writer to find out that your script, your intimate, heartfelt, creation, that you likely spent months (or even longer!) crafting, has been unsuccessful. I myself have...

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  • Writer

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    Tom Rob Smith is the writer of novels including 'Child 44' and the screenwriter of London Spy and American Crime Story - The Assassination of Gianni Versace (Emmy nomination and winner at the Writers' Guild of America Awards).

    His new drama MotherFatherSon starring Richard Gere, Helen McCrory and Billy Howle begins on BBC Two on Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 9pm and on BBC iPlayer. We caught up with Tom to find out more about MotherFatherSon and his writing life. 

    Watch the trailer for MotherFatherSon

    As well as the big themes of the drama around power, politics and the media, what subjects does it deal with on a more human scale? Why are these important to you?

    This is a story about a young man who suffers a catastrophic stroke and has to learn how to live again. In addition to the practical challenges of learning how to walk and talk again, we explore the question - if we had to start again, would we try to be the same person, or would we try to be someone else? In MotherFatherSon we're watching one of the...

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  • Writer

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    I was selected for the very first BBC Writersroom Comedy Room group way back in 2015 AD, and during that time, there was a lot of emphasis on Children’s TV as a common route in for new writers. I’d never actively pursued writing for kids (“I don't have kids, or hang out with them. Can I still write for them?!” – me, an idiot), so it was really exciting to see the range of shows and possible opportunities.

    The end of the Comedy Room scheme coincided with an approach by The Dumping Ground to BBC Writersroom; they wanted to diversify their writing team and were looking for recommendations. I...

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  • Writer and Actor

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    When I explained to my family that I had been invited to join the BBC Writersroom some thought it was actually a room, somewhere within the BBC, where we would all hang out on sofas eating vegan croissants, drinking tea and discussing characters. If the room did exist, then my idea of it would be a dimly lit bat-cave in the basement with a secret entrance via the Doctor Who Tardis in BBC Broadcasting House reception, (someone should definitely look into making that a thing).

    The 10 writers in the Writers' Access Group including David Proud (top left), Amy Bethan Evans, Rebekah Bowsher, Sophie Woolley, Athena Stevens, Charlie Swinbourne, Michael Southan, Ross Willis, Matilda Ibini, Nicola Werenowska

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  • Writers & Executive Producers

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    Writers and Executive Producers Harry and Jack Williams explain the inspiration behind BBC One's new crime thriller Baptiste, which brings back The Missing's Julien Baptiste (played by Tchéky Karyo) in a new story set in Amsterdam.

    Watch the trailer for Baptiste

    What is Baptiste about?

    Jack: Baptiste follows a case involving an Englishman - Edward Stratton, played by Tom Hollander - whose niece has gone...

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  • Writer

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    Some stories are really difficult for BBC Children in Need to broadcast in documentary form because, in order to safeguard the people involved, those children and young people have to remain anonymous. So recently, through BBC Writersroom Wales, together with another four writers, I was paired with BBC Children in Need funded projects to see if we could translate such stories – that rarely get told – into fiction.

    One of the groups I was paired with was the Roots Foundation. Based in Swansea, Roots aims to support young people in care, carers, and care leavers as they make the transition...

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  • Writer

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    This blog post is about the January 2019 Comedy Room day. Oh… and insecurity.

    My name is Mark Salmon. I’m 37 and I’m not meant to be here. I should be sat at my desk in front of a computer screen at a large investment bank. That’s what I did for eleven years before something in my brain exploded. Imploded. Hmm.

    When I was sixteen, Derek Shelbrooke, our careers advisor at school, asked me what I wanted to do in life. I said "Screen Writer". Both Derek and I did bugger all about it. So twenty years later and two months into a sick leave for depression and anxiety, I began writing TV...

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  • Writer & Teacher

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    I write about things that anger me. I write because I have I have stories nagging me that I need to put down: scenes, words and characters that won’t leave me alone until I’ve written them into existence.

    Some time ago, I submitted a screenplay called 'One More Unfortunate' to the BBC Writersroom. This is the story of how that submission eventually (and I really mean ‘eventually’) led to my first TV commission.

    'One More Unfortunate' examined how having a loved one sectioned under the Mental Health Act changes a relationship. I was fortunate enough to receive a full read and some incisive...

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    We are delighted to announce that writers Fflur Dafydd and Alan Harris have each been awarded with a bursary as part of the new Hartswood West Writers' Scheme, that aims to find and encourage the development of writing talent from Wales.

    Hartswood West, ScreenSkills and BBC Writersroom Wales have joined forces to find two up-and-coming TV writers with a strong connection to Wales....

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