Development Consultancy

Having run the Channel 4 screenwriting course for 14 years and the Greenlight Screenwriting Lab for Irish screenwriters for 2 years, having worked with over 2000 writers through my script consultancy over the last 15 years; and before that having worked as head of development for a major ITV company and having developed, script-edited and produced numerous TV shows, I feel that I am in a unique position as a freelancer, someone completely independent, to introduce the best writing talent in the UK and Ireland to those in the industry – production companies, broadcasters, literary agents, etc.

I think it is probably true to say that I have read more screenplays than anyone in the UK in the last 15 years (!). And I would back my judgment in terms of taste, considering the track records of many of the writers who have come through the initiatives that I’ve run.

I can be of enormous value in matching producers / literary agents / productions with writers – not just identifying the right writers for particular projects – but also making those introductions, putting writers and producers in touch with each other as a trusted, independent person.

I have strong working contacts with very many of the UK’s leading drama-producing companies – built up over a 25 year career.

So I am formalising this work I have been doing as an informal side-line for many years, working with production companies and literary agents in particular.

How I Can Help

Initial 1 hour consultation / briefing meeting on zoom or in person – £200.00

Follow-up list of recommendations / introductions – £200.00

Please e-mail me if you have any queries


Philip has an incredible eye for talent. He has been in the business for years and through his Channel 4 Screenwriting Course, he has helped start the careers of many writers, who have gone on to be highly respected and established talent in the industry. We would always trust his judgement and put any script he sent us to the top of our pile. Likewise we would trust his judgement on production personnel, knowing how many productions he has been across in his career. He’s an invaluable contributor to the industry.
Camilla Campbell,
Joint MD, Noho Film & TV
At Witchery, we're always very eager to read the scripts of the writers that Philip has chosen to be on both the C4 Screenwriting scheme and his Greenlight course for emerging Irish writers. We totally trust his judgement - he's got impeccable taste! Over the last few years we've been lucky enough to work with some of the writers that have benefitted from his guidance and they are a brilliant addition to our slate. Philip is so generous with his knowledge and experience and has a brilliant capacity to match writers to production companies. If Philip recommends any writers, script editors or development execs to us, we always want to meet them.
Siobhan Finnigan
Co-Founder, Witchery Pictures
I have known Philip Shelley for a number of years and he has been brilliant at finding and supporting emerging scripted talent. The success of the C4 Screenwriting course, its longevity and home for rising stars is testament to Philip’s dedication and eye for talent both in his writers and his development team of readers and script editors. He has been a great person to contact when seeking advice on scripted talent and I have no doubt that this service of a Development Consultancy will be another invaluable resource for the industry.
Lola Oliyide
Head of Development, Neal Street Productions.
Philip has a wealth of industry knowledge, so when we needed some advice on forging connections in the UK, Philip was the obvious choice. We discussed the type of companies we were looking to connect with, and Philip was able to point us in the right direction, and introduce us to producers in the UK. Not only that, but Philip has also recommended writers to us, even sent on some exciting spec scripts. A great person to know, I would highly recommend connecting with Philip.
Nadine Flynn
Development Executive for Danú Media
Philip is a fantastic source of information within the TV industry - he knows (and is well liked) by absolutely everyone and is a passionate champion and all-round ally of writers, script editors and execs. He has a great instinct for discovering and connecting talent, cares enormously about good writing and has decades of industry experience.
Harriet Davis
Script Editor, Pulse Films
It’s testament to Philip’s skill in recognising new writing talent, and finding the personnel to help nurture that talent (through key script editing partnerships), that the 4Screenwriting Course Philip runs is so highly respected in the UK TV industry. I am always excited to read scripts by new writers recommended by Philip.
Frances Arnold
literary agent, Rochelle Stevens & Co.
Have worked with Philip many times and have come to rely on his artistic instinct, insight and forensic knowledge of structure and story. His notes always offer new perspectives and are grounded in supporting the writer to find their way and trust their instincts. He doesn’t impose solutions but poses questions. He’s the best there is.
Frances Du Pille
As a script editor/consultant Philip brings a vast amount of experience as a drama writer and of working with writers which is why we asked him to act as script consultant on Ayeesha Menon’s UNDERCOVER MUMBAI for BBC Radio 4. Philip is brilliant at nurturing an idea and cleverly draws out of a writer their vision without imposing his own. He is a pleasure to work with and cares deeply about good writing.
John Dryden
Writer/Director/Executive Producer, Goldhawk Productions.
I had a pilot script I was really pleased with, and I was going back-and-forth (unpaid) with the development people at a production company. Their notes were good, but I was getting to the point where I wasn’t sure where to go next. It was stick or twist, my version or theirs, and I needed to canvas some more opinions. It was my wife who suggested I get some unbiased advice from an industry expert. I was initially resistant because A) I’m a skinflint and B) I’m sure the subconscious ego in me was scared that the industry pro would laugh in my face. I cannot tell you how glad I am I followed my wife’s advice. (I’m sure that’s not the last time I’ll write that sentence). As an aspiring writer, getting my work seen by the people that make the decisions was a bridge I knew I’d have to cross one day. But, when my friends asked me how I’d do it, I’d always shrug. From the outside, the film and TV industries are frustratingly opaque and famously oversubscribed (the most recent BBC Open Call received “4,643 eligible scripts” - citation: my rejection email from Wednesday). Philip gave me specific, targeted notes that would shape my script into the most industry-ready version of what it was, without asking me to change its essence to suit his tastes. He gave me his time, and he was open and generous with his address book. He proactively connected me with the sort of people who could, in theory, get this script off the ground, and who can certainly help me continue my development as a writer. He has allowed me to move forwards. If you looked at the TV and film industries and asked yourself what was missing, access for the uninitiated and talent-centred development would probably be top of the list. Philip is that thing.
Rhys Bevan
Philip has been a big help in trying to take my career to the next level. With no industry contacts; I sent VIOLENT RHYTHM, a script that I had been working on for years to him. Within two weeks he got back to me, guided me on preparing the script & my CV to production companies and helped me to draw up a list of potential suitors for the script. He then sent my script on to several prominent production companies. Within a week, I had my first meeting with Nadine Flynn from Danu Media & am awaiting feedback from several others. Philip has helped me to open up doors that I would never have been able to open myself & he's always been pleasant & professional at each step in guiding me through the process. I highly recommend his development consultancy service.
Andrew Barnes
Please e-mail me if you have any queries