Russell T Davies
Writer, Producer, Showrunner
Years and Years began on BBC One on Tuesday 14th May and on BBC iPlayer. The writer Russell T Davies explains why, despite the drama's often dark subject matter, that the real heart of it is about family, and how as humans we're hard-wired to laugh, even in the darkest times.
Watch the trailer for Years and Years
You said you have been thinking of writing Years and Years for over ten years, why now?
It’s been boiling away in my mind for a long time, but over the past few years the world itself seems to have been boiling faster and hotter and wilder than ever. I mean, the age, today, just seems fevered - we’re either more political, or more scornful of politics, than ever. And I think, in the past, politics meant the economy to most people, but now we’re seeing that it’s our identity at stake. So I had to write this fast, before someone else did! And we’re transmitting it as fast as we can before the stuff in the script actually happens!
Why do you think it was important to base this story around one family?
BBC Writersroom Scotland
The team at BBC Writersroom Scotland recently worked with BBC Learning on an exciting new project to develop and produce audio stories for children. Producer, Anne McNaught, explains more:
“Stories, stories and more stories.”
That’s what one primary school teacher said she’d like when BBC Scotland Learning conducted some research into audio for schools recently. “Stories on any topic,” she said. “Real life or fiction, either’s good.” (And someone else reading them would be a bonus, as “they’re sick of the sound of my voice …”!)
This was a pretty universal response from the teachers we asked – more stories please, and make them easy to play. Everyone knows how ear-grabbing a good story can be, and in the Scottish school curriculum, listening skills are considered every bit as important as reading skills. A key difference between listening and reading though is that most classrooms have lots of books, but they don’t have lots of audio resources.
BBC Scotland has been making audio for teachers and children since the original days of school radio, and it all lives online now, so it’s got the potential for a long and useful existence.
At the end of last year, we were in the market for…
Writer and Director
Sally explains the background to the story which is based on the life of Anne Lister as documented in her diaries, part of which were written in a secret code.
The content of the diaries was considered so controversial when the code was cracked in the 1890s by a later inhabitant of Shibden Hall that they were concealed behind a panel in the hall until the 1930s when the hall passed into the ownership of the Halifax Corporation. The diaries were moved to the local archives where historian Helena Whitbread discovered them in the 1980s. In 2011, Lister's diaries were added to the register of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.
Watch the trailer for Gentleman Jack
Who was Anne Lister?
There’s so much to say about Anne Lister - it’s difficult to know where to start.
She inherited Shibden Hall when she…
We are delighted to announce the writers for our Northern Voices development group for 2018/19.
Northern Voices is a scheme for exciting diverse writing talent based in the North of England. The group is made up of ten writers, who are halfway through a 12 month development programme, looking to expand their writing skills and break into writing for broadcast.
These are writers we have been identified through BBC Writersroom schemes and open submission opportunities, talent scouting and by recommendations through our partnerships with new writing groups and theatres in the North of England.
Development Producer, BBC Writersroom Wales
The deadline for script submissions for the inaugural Wales Writer in Residence is edging ever closer (11am on 3rd June – set an alarm now!) In partnership with BBC Cymru Wales and National Theatre of Wales we're looking for writers who have the ability to create outstanding drama – be it for stage, screen or in sound. We’re looking to invest in, develop and shout about the talent we uncover. That’s why the winning script will be commissioned, developed and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and / or BBC Sounds. (That’s in addition to the two consecutive development residencies on offer and £12,000…
Development Producer, BBC Writersroom Scotland
This latest opportunity came off the back of the success of last year’s three radio comedies but now we were funded for four. We kicked it all off with a targeted briefing session for our Scottish Voices Group in November where Gareth and Gavin Smith gave an insight into the BBC Radio Scotland audience and what they were looking for editorially. A few weeks later and a range of very funny radio ideas were being read and after much…
Neil Cross (photo credit: Peta Mazey)
Neil, you’ve said that you’ve been writing…
If six months ago somebody had told me I would be writing for topical comedy shows, my response would have been - “What’s tropical comedy? Some form of new entertainment only to be enjoyed in exotic locations?” However I was fortunate enough after submitting a comedy pilot script to BBC Writersroom to be selected from 2,632 entries (but seriously, who’s counting?) as one of 15 writers to participate in the 2018/19 Comedy Room group. That’s when I caught this topical comedy writing bug.
There are a few people to blame for infecting me with this contagious disease. I’ll start with the…
Our submission window for Comedy scripts (Script Room) is open until 5pm on Monday 29th April.
Watch a short animation below to support your writing which covers The Essentials of Scriptwriting, including Developing Your Idea, Beginnings (and Endings), Dialogue, Characters and Scenes.
(Our Script Room is normally open twice a year, once for drama and once for comedy).
Writer (and Doctor)
Trust Me returns on Tuesday 16th April at 9pm on BBC One. The drama's writer Dan Sefton spoke to us about the premise for this series, which introduces a new storyline and characters, but retains the first series' focus on 'the dark side of medicine'. He also talks about why he thinks doctors can make good screenwriters but why it also feels like "having an exam tomorrow for the rest of your life"!
Watch the trailer for Series 2 of Trust Me