BBC Studios Productions has launched its third successive Assistant Producer Accelerator Program and offered 12 researchers one-year contracts.
Across the three cohorts in 2021, 2022 and now 2023, 41 people have been offered one-year contracts to work within BBC Studios’ factual entertainment, natural history, entertainment and music, documentaries, specialist factual, podcast and science units. All receive training to help develop their practical skills in scripting, storytelling, pitching, development and self-shooting.
The program receives over 700 applications each year, and those who are selected receive a masterclass every month with senior program-makers, commissioners and other industry experts. There is also a dedicated director of the Assistant Producer Accelerator Program, who curates it and is in regular contact with all of the past and present assistant producers.
“I’m really pleased that we can commit to supporting an industry-leading third year of this unique initiative that continues to develop talent from across the nation, representing a broad range of backgrounds,” said Ralph Lee, CEO of BBC Studios Productions. “The [program] is one of the most sought-after opportunities in content creation in the U.K., and its alumni are destined to become trailblazers across our industry.”
Melissa Clay-Peters, senior head of talent at BBC Studios Productions, added, “This is a significant investment for BBC Studios, which not only means we benefit from the skills and talents of the program’s graduates who continue to work here, but so do other U.K. production companies who have already employed some of our alumni. The two cohorts are a highly impressive group who are already making their mark in creating outstanding content, and we are confident this latest intake will follow in their now well-trodden footsteps.”
Nathalie Swain-Diaz, a second-year graduate who worked with the Natural History Unit in Bristol, commented, “Comparing where I was at the start of last year (before my time on the Assistant Producer Accelerator Program) to where I’m at now is very much chalk and cheese—I came to the APAP unsure if I should stay in the industry, and now, I cannot imagine doing anything else. My passion for filmmaking was reignited; having a framework to support my learning and growth alongside full-time work was just what I needed. It was completely transformative, and I can’t thank BBC Studios and all those involved with the program enough.”