With hundreds of hours produced annually, soap (or continuing drama, AHEM) is where it’s at if you want to break into television – or is it?
Whether it’s Aunty, ITV or C4; Eastenders, Doctors, Coronation Street, Emmerdale or Hollyoaks; terrestrial or satellite, it seems every channel has its own flagship continuing drama – sometimes there’s more than one! And audiences love them, with literally millions tuning in to see the characters they love (not to mention love to hate) and the latest big storyline come to fruition.
Such shows can be seen as the “way in” to television – don’t forget the likes Jimmy McGovern, Paul Abbott & Russel T Davies started on soaps – but this doesn’t mean working on soaps is the soft option. With the BBC Writers’ Academy and shadow schemes going, competition for those elusive commissions is harder than ever. Writers don’t just have to write; they have to know their shows inside out to be in with a chance. And once on their soap, the hard work doesn’t stop there: writers are turning round notes and drafts in double-quick time to play their part in keeping the show going.
Top script consultant and previous Holby producer Yvonne Grace is joined by Mr Holby City Tony McHale, Hollyoaks writer Tracy Brabin and Corrie Veteran Damon Rochefort to discuss this fascinating area of television writing. Not to be missed.
Appearing in this session
Credits include: Waking The Dead, Silent Witness
Actor turned Writer and Director Tony McHale has written hundreds of hours of iconic british crime television.
Credits include: Shameless, Hollyoaks
Tracy has written on many TV shows including Crossroads, Family Affairs, Tracy Beaker, Heartbeat, Hollyoaks, Doctors and Shameless.
Credits include: Eastenders, Holby City
Credits include: Coronation Street, Birds Of A Feather