Thursday 05 Dec 2013
Four secondary schools from across the North of England have been given the chance to write, star in and film their own mini-episodes of hit BBC One drama, Waterloo Road.
The schools have been working with scriptwriters from Shed Productions, who make Waterloo Road for BBC One, to come up with three to five minute episodes touching on one of the following themes: "The New Kid", "First Day Back", "First Day As Head Boy Or Girl" and "First Day As Teacher".
Pupils will then be working with industry professionals from both the BBC and Shed to film and direct their episodes in the week commencing 27 September.
The project is a collaboration between the BBC, Shed Productions and local schools and is designed to give the Year 10 and 11 students involved an opportunity to have hands on experience working in television production.
The BBC Outreach bus will visit each school individually for a full day of workshops and a shoot where pupils will see their ideas come to life. The episodes will then be edited and shown in a special premiere to be held at the Odeon Cinema in Manchester, close to the Waterloo Road set in Rochdale and a short distance from the BBC's future base at MediaCityUK, Salford Quays.
Peter Salmon, Director BBC North, says: "Waterloo Road is one of the BBC's most popular series and since 2005 has been filmed and produced in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, making it a real northern success story. I'm delighted we are taking such a popular show out to a new generation of talented young people and I hope everyone involved on both sides will be inspired to create some great mini episodes."
Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama, says: "I am really looking forward to seeing what the schools produce. You never know we might even find some undiscovered talent!"
The schools taking part in the Waterloo Road project come from regions across the North of England. The BBC Outreach bus will travel to:
North East – Heworth Grange School, Gateshead. Monday 27 September
East Yorks and Lincolnshire – Whitgift School, Grimsby. Tuesday 28 September
Yorkshire – Meadowhead School, Sheffield. Wednesday 29 September
North West – Fulwood Academy, Preston. Thursday 30 September
Waterloo Road is now in its sixth series, on air from September 2010, with series seven already in production in Rochdale. Since filming began in 2005, Waterloo Road has been based in the North of England and continues to have a huge impact on the broadcasting landscape of the region. Cast members include Amanda Burton, Tina O'Brien and Britain's Got Talent Winner, George Sampson, with Robson Green joining the cast for series seven.
BBC Outreach engages audiences in face-to-face activities which complement our programmes. For more information visit bbc.co.uk/outreach.
Waterloo Road Series 6 is on BBC One and the BBC HD channel, Wednesdays at 8pm.
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