BBC Studios Launches Writers’ Academy


BBC Studios has established a paid training program that will offer up-and-coming writers the opportunity to gain the skills needed to pen drama series for TV.

John Yorke—who commissioned such iconic shows as Shameless, Life on Mars and The Street—is leading the year-long scheme for aspiring new TV-writing talent. Following an intensive 13-week classroom period, the selected applicants will spend three months scripting broadcast episodes of Casualty, Holby City and EastEnders alongside other BBC continuing dramas. Graduates will leave with up to four scripts under their belt and have their services optioned by BBC Studios over the following two years.

Yorke, who created and designed the original BBC training course (The Writers Academy) that ran from 2005 to 2013, will oversee the new BBC Studios Writers’ Academy as its head, supported by BBC Studios Chief Creative Officer Mark Linsey.

Linsey said: “I’m excited that we’ve been able to resource and fund this unique venture. Nurturing new British talent will really help deliver on our promise to create new IP—the lifeblood of our business and our creative industry. I’m thrilled that John Yorke has agreed to lead the scheme as his passion for cultivating new writers is intoxicating—and there’s nobody as qualified as him to find the very best candidates and ultimately develop hit-making graduates.”

Yorke commented: “Writers are at the very heart of TV drama, and it’s brilliant that BBC Studios—and now the wider independent community—have come on board to invest in the next generation of talent. I’m absolutely thrilled to be bringing a new version of the Academy back to the BBC.”