Tuesday, November 20, 2007

BBC to expand writers' academy?

This has been rumoured for some time, but may slowly be coming to pass - an expansion of the BBC Writers' Academy. Speaking to the Royal Television Society last night, Vision Productions chief creative officer Peter Salmon said the BBC was examining way to extend the scheme beyond its London base and into other genres beyond drama. 'It's a really imaginative and successful scheme,' Salmon says in a report published by Broadcast this morning. 'At present it only covers England – but I'd like to find a way to spread coverage to the rest of the UK, and also other programme areas.'

Anybody in the UK can apply for the BBC writers' academy at present, but the cost implications for those who don't already live within commuting distance of London are verging on the prohibitive. So it would be great if the BBC could extend or expand the scheme to other areas, such as Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the north of England. There was talk of an expansion to the scheme at the TAPS continuing drama workshop in Cardiff earlier this year, but no official word at the time. Now that Salmon has broken cover on the subject, perhaps there'll be some action.

3 comments:

Jon Peacey said...

Quite right in suggesting expanding it to more than just the London commutable area: I'd include the South West of England in your list... anywhere West of the Cotteswolds becomes quite a trek to London.

Lucy said...

I disagree. Devon is only 2hrs by train - First Great Western however have ensured the cost is ridiculous. Buy your ticket on the day? That'll be £110 SECOND CLASS the thieving bastards. Bournemouth to London on the day? £34, thanks SW Trains.

Jon Peacey said...

I haven't been a train for quite some time: I was put off by high cost, unreliability and the shouty, beery, angry people I always seemed to be stuck in with. And it took over 2 hours to get from Gloucestershire to London: maybe the service is less direct...

By this token you needn't hold a Writer's Academy in the major cities of the North, for example, Manchester or Leeds because they too are about 2 hours from London. I can drive Leeds to London in a bit over 2 hours!!! ;-)