BBC Birmingham's new television Drama Village at the
University of Birmingham will be officially opened tomorrow
evening (Tuesday 10 May) by Alan Yentob, BBC Creative
Director, and Professor Michael Sterling, Vice Chancellor,
University of Birmingham.
The television drama village - home to the popular BBC ONE daytime series
Doctors, Dalziel & Pascoe, The Afternoon Play and the new drama shorts
series Brief Encounters - now has its main base at the University's Selly
Doctors has a purpose-built set at Melville Hall, with the production
and post production staff based at Archibald House.
Over 100 staff and artists are based at the village.
The drama village development emphasises the BBC's commitment to invest
in production talent and local and national programme-making in Birmingham.
This is important for the local creative economy and ensures that the
BBC, as a truly national broadcaster, brings the diversity of modern Britain
to life for its audiences.
Alan Yentob, BBC Creative Director, says: "The television drama village
represents a new and exciting venture for the BBC, working in partnership
with the University of Birmingham.
"The move allows us to generate new ways of working, and provides us
with an opportunity to introduce the latest technology for programme making.
"The Selly Oak campus has a fantastic range of locations and the
university will benefit from our presence by their students having access
to hands-on media production.
"The drama village will continue to find and develop new talent from
writers to producers and directors," he adds.
"It's already begun to reap rewards, with the award-winning Afternoon
Play series, and with Brief Encounters, which is giving new writers a
chance to be mentored by established writers and have their drama short
shown on BBC ONE Daytime.
"The BBC is completely committed to regional production and we're genuinely
excited about the future of drama in the city. We intend to build upon
this alliance with the University and continue to explore ways of working
Professor Michael Sterling, Vice Chancellor, University of Birmingham,
adds: "This unique partnership is a landmark opportunity for both the
University and the BBC. With two highly innovative sets of colleagues
involved, there's clear creative potential to feed directly into academic
programme and broadcast content, training and a whole range of other reciprocal
"This means it's a wonderful addition to Birmingham and the region's
talent base as a whole. We're all looking forward to a productive and
BBC Birmingham's television drama unit has an outstanding reputation
for drama production. Established in the Sixties, the unit became renowned
in the Seventies and Eighties for series such as Boys from the Blackstuff,
Howard's Way, All Creatures Great and Small, Preston Front and Edge of
BBC Birmingham Television Drama Village: The Facts
The village consists of Archibald House and Melville Hall at the University's
Selly Oak campus, and three units at Stirchley Trading Estate in Hazelwell
Archibald House: 13,000sq ft drama production and post
Melville Hall: 4,000 sq ft.
Facilities within Archibald House include:
Five edit suites
Two dubbing suites
One finishing suite
One dialogue recording/audio dubbing room
One grading suite
13 dressing rooms
A costume workshop
A hair and make up workshop
Open plan offices
The programmes produced at the television drama village:
Doctors (BBC ONE)
Christopher Timothy leads the cast as senior partner Dr Brendan McGuire,
along with Diane Keen, Corrinne Wicks, Sterling Gallacher and Ben Jones.
Now in its fifth year, Doctors is set in the fictional village of Letherbridge,
and follows the continuing stories of the staff and their patients. In
the series the doctors have just moved to the new Mill Health Centre (signifying
the move from Pebble Mill to the new television drama village).
Dalziel & Pascoe (BBC
This long-running BBC ONE series stars Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan
as detectives Dalziel & Pascoe. The intriguing blend of classic murder
mysteries, compelling characters and down to earth humour has won the
series millions of viewers since it began in 1996.
Warren Clarke is the idiosyncratic, no-nonsense copper, Dalziel, with
penetrating wit and questionable personal habits. Colin Buchanan is the
perfect foil as Pascoe, his cultured side-kick.
The Afternoon Play (BBC
The Afternoon Play made its debut on BBC ONE in January 2003. The superb
quality of the writing has ensured a wealth of popular and well-loved
talent taking part in the plays.
Brief Encounters (BBC
A new series of drama shorts for BBC ONE daytime. Brief Encounters aims
to give new writers an opportunity to develop their scripts with the help
of experienced mentors including: Andrew Davies, Willy Russell, Russell
T Davies and Tony Jordan.
BBC Birmingham's other base is at The Mailbox. The state
of the art broadcasting centre is home to regional and network programmes
for television and radio, and is the headquarters for BBC English Regions.
University of Birmingham: The Facts
The University of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute, part of the Department
of English, is based in Stratford-upon-Avon and is a unique centre for
the postgraduate study of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. The Institute
was founded in 1951 by the theatre historian Allardyce Nicoll, who was
its first Director.
One of the most established British university drama departments, the
Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham enjoys a highly respected
national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research
in the study of Drama. The Birmingham courses provide all students with
a grounding in the arts involved in theatrical performance. Students acquire
an all-round knowledge of the theatre, as well as direct experience of
The University has around 150,000 graduates living across the globe, many
of whom are professionally involved with the media. Some of the well-known
faces include Tamsin Greig (Channel 4's Green Wing, and BBC's The Archers);
Ben Shephard (presenter of GMTV); David Lodge (author of Nice Work, Small
World); Victoria Wood (actress and comedienne); and Chris Tarrant (TV
The University of Birmingham has approximately 31,500 students, 6,000
staff and a turnover of £316 million. Birmingham encompasses not only
the lakeside setting and green landscape of its Edgbaston campus, but
also has bases across Birmingham - including the Selly Oak Campus - as
well as the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, the Ironbridge
Institute at Ironbridge Gorge, and at its outward bound Priestley Centre
on the edge of Lake Coniston in the Lake District.