GETTING INTO THE TV DRAMA INDUSTRY
I started as a freelance script reader\consultant working for many different companies including the BBC, Granada TV, Thames TV, the First Film Foundation, Channel 4 Film, Paramount Pictures and Paines Plough Theatre Company. I even read scripts offered to Sir Anthony Hopkins (before he was ‘Sir’) via his acting agent… I then went on to work as a development script editor, at Granada TV Drama and then at LWT Drama.
Following this I worked as a production script-editor on MEDICS (Granada\ITV), STAYING ALIVE (LWT\ITV) and THE KNOCK (Bronson Knight Productions\LWT\ITV).
I spent 7 years at Carlton TV Drama, as Head of Development, then as Producer. At Carlton I was script editor on the last two INSPECTOR MORSE films, KAVANAGH QC, ANYBODY’S NIGHTMARE, THE WAITING TIME, NOAH’S ARK and many other shows.
At Carlton I produced FIRST SIGN OF MADNESS II ( a series of 4 x 30′ monologues by new writers (Chris Chibnall, Charlotte Jones, Chris Murray, Carol Noble), starring Pam Ferris, James Bolam, Emma Chambers and Martin Hancock) which won awards at the New York Film & TV Festival, Worldfest Houston and the Columbus International Film & Video Festival; MARGERY & GLADYS, a 2 hour film for ITV, written by John Flanagan & Andy McCulloch, directed by Geoffrey Sax; and MAKING WAVES, a 6 x 1 hour series for ITV, about life in the contemporary Royal Navy.
I went on to script-edit:- A GOOD MURDER (Sally Head Productions\ITV) and the last two series of WAKING THE DEAD (BBC TV).
THE CARLTON TV NEW WRITERS COURSE
For 5 years I ran the CARLTON SCREENWRITERS COURSE, an initiative to discover and nurture writers new to TV drama.
Here is a list of some of the success stories we had on the course and some of the shows they have worked on since completing the course:-
• Chris Chibnall (Born & Bred, Torchwood, Broadchurch)
• Charlotte Jones (The Palace)
• Damian Wayling (Waking The Dead, Garrow’s Law, Call The Midwife)
• Alison Hume (The Vice, Rocket To The Moon, The Sparticle Mystery)
• Terry Cafolla (Messiah, Holy Cross, The Whale, The Crash)
• Gurpreet Bhatti (Eastenders, Hollyoaks, Everywhere & Nowhere)
• Sharon Foster (Shoot The Messenger, BabyFather)
These are a few of the other many successful writers I have worked with, and the shows I worked on with them:-
• Simon Ashdown (Staying Alive)
• Malcolm Bradbury (Inspector Morse)
• Declan Croghan (Waking The Dead)
Richard Warlow (Waking The Dead)
• Stephen Churchett (Inspector Morse, Kavanagh QC)
• John Flanagan & Andy McCulloch (Anybody’s Nightmare, Margery & Gladys)
• Peter Flannery (The Mapmaker’s Dream – Carlton TV development project)
• Lucy Gannon (Plain Jane)
• Neil McKay (Medics; Staying Alive)
• David Nicholls ( Carlton development projects)
• Simon Nye (The Railway Children; Goldfingered – Shelley Productions development project)
• Peter Ransley (A Good Murder)
• Ed Whitmore (Waking The Dead)
I also ran two BBC-TV Training Courses for script editors for 10 years and taught on the BBC in-house screenwriting course in 2007.
After leaving Carlton to go freelance, as producer, I developed many projects for film & TV – including two projects in active, paid development – a feature film, THE BASILDON BRAWL, a boxing biopic written by Matthew Broughton and funded by the UK Film Council and a TV project about THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY written by Barrie Keefe.
- Chris Chibnall (Born & Bred, Torchwood, Broadchurch)
- Charlotte Jones (The Palace)
- Damian Wayling (Waking The Dead, Garrow’s Law, Call The Midwife)
- Alison Hume (The Vice, Rocket To The Moon, The Sparticle Mystery)
- Terry Cafolla (Messiah, Holy Cross, The Whale, The Crash)
- Gurpreet Bhatti (Eastenders, Hollyoaks, Everywhere & Nowhere)
- Sharon Foster (Shoot The Messenger, BabyFather)
THE CHANNEL 4 SCREENWRITING COURSE
In 2022 I will be running the Channel 4 screenwriting course for the 12th successive year. This is an initiative I brought to Channel 4, to identify and work with 12 writers new to television and to introduce them to Channel 4 drama. The course lasts for 6 months each year.
Writers from this course have gone onto great success in both TV and Film, working on Channel 4 shows such as COMING UP, SHAMELESS, BANANA, INDIAN SUMMERS, YOUNGERS, HUMANS, ACKLEY BRIDGE, HOLLYOAKS – as well developing their own original projects with Channel 4.
Writers who have done the course include – CHARLIE COVELL (The End Of The F***ing World), VINAY PATEL (Murdered By My Father, Dr Who), ANNA SYMON (Mrs Wilson, Deep Water), NATHANIEL PRICE (Tin Star), THERESA IKOKO (Rocks), CHANDNI LAKHANI (Dublin Murders), CHLOE MI LIN EWART (All Creatures Great & Small).
MY OWN INDEPENDENT COURSES
I also run my own independent screenwriting courses – CREATIVITY FOR SCRIPTWRITERS; a 2 day weekend SCREENWRITING course, a 1 day INTRODUCTION TO SCREENWRITING course and a 4 week WRITING A SHORT FILM SCRIPT course (see TRAINING pages).
I have run a series of 2 day SCRIPT-EDITING courses around the UK for Grand Scheme Media / Creative Skillset; and during 2020 & 2021 have run online courses for SCREENSKILLS, the BFI ACADEMY, BFI FILM HUB NORTH, BBC STUDIOS and several for BBC WRITERS ROOM.
Among many others, I have run screenwriting or script-editing courses for:
- ScreenTraining Ireland
- Northern Ireland Screen
- The Indie Training Fund
- Singapore Media Academy
- BBC / Arab Film Studio
- Guardian Masterclass
- University of the Arts, London/Central St Martins
- Bath Spa University
- De Montfort University, Leicester.
SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT / CONSULTANCY WORK
Other freelance work includes script development\editing work for some of the UK’s leading independent production companies – among others, Kindle Entertainment, Nutopia, Conker Films and Bryncoed Productions.
At Kindle, I worked with writers on two new series ideas, development work funded by broadcasters. At Nutopia, I wrote a proposal for a big-budget drama development idea, and recommended and sourced writers for the project. For Bryncoed and Conker Films, I introduced the companies to new writing talent and ran writers rooms to brainstorm ideas for new projects.
I script-edited BBC Radio drama series UNDERCOVER MUMBAI written by Ayeesha Menon, for Goldhawk productions / BBC; and I developed a feature film with producer Jon Martin.
I am contacted regularly by literary agents, producers and production companies who are looking for screenwriters and script editors.