Press Release


26 May 2017

Trainees selected for this year’s Continuing Drama Directors’ Training Scheme will be placed on BBC Studios’ key dramas Doctors, Holby City, Casualty and, for the first time, River City. 
BBC Writersroom, Creative Skillset and Directors UK are delighted to announce the names of this year’s trainee directors for the Continuing Drama Directors’ Training Scheme.  
Now in its second year, the scheme is building on its successful debut year and expanding its regional reach, and for the first time, trainees will be placed in BBC Studios’ River City; the remaining trainees will be placed on Doctors, Holby City, and Casualty.  All dramas are produced by BBC Studios.  
Doctors:  Isher Sahota, Jennie Padden, Miranda Howard-Davies; 
Holby City: Christiana Ebohon-Green, Samantha Harrie; 
Casualty:Imogen Murphy, Karen Kelly; 
River City: Sacha Kyle, Robin Haig.   
As part of their training, each director will spend time on one of the BBC’s continuing drama shows, observing and participating in the entire production process of an episode, from pre to post production. The candidate will complete their training by directing a full episode of the show they’re training on.   
The scheme attracted over 300 applications from some of the country’s most exciting and innovative emerging directors.  Their work was rigorously viewed and assessed by Drama directors and Producers, including Anne Edyvean (Head of BBC Writersroom), Simon Nelson (Development Producer, BBC Writersroom), and a team of experienced TV directors and BBC Executives, who are today, delighted to announce the names of successful candidates.
Oliver Kent, BBC Studios’ Head of Continuing Drama said “The Continuing Drama Directors scheme is a superb way for us to nurture and guide the great directing talent of the future and I am delighted that such an exciting and talented group of directors will be working on the BBC’s most popular dramas.”
Andrea Corbett, Training and Career Development Manager at Directors UK, said: “Directors UK is pleased to be working with BBC Writersroom and Creative Skillset again on this initiative to develop the careers of directing talent. Projects like this are vital if we are to achieve a workforce that is truly representative of our talent and experience.Our new programme aims to inspire and provide members with better access into networks and opportunities, through shared the knowledge and experience. ”
Kaye Elliott, High End TV Lead, Creative Skillset added, “Ensuring a talented and skilled pipeline of drama directors is vital for the future of the industry and maintaining the UK’s position in providing a highly skilled workforce for domestic and international productions to access.  This initiative demonstrates the positive and exciting outcomes from aligned partnerships with broadcasters and training providers and we are delighted to engage and support the Continuing Drama Directors’ Training Scheme.”  
This scheme is funded by the BBC, Directors UK and the High End TV Levy, administered by Creative Skillset, and is run by BBC Writersroom in co-operation with BBC Studios.   


    Notes to Editors: 
    ·             DIRECTORS UK is the single voice of British screen directors representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 6,400 members – the overwhelming majority of working film and television directors in the UK. Directors UK campaigns for the rights, working conditions and status of directors in the industry and works closely with fellow organisations in the UK, Europe and around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns.  It also promotes excellence in the craft of direction both nationally and internationally, and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all. 
    ·             BBC WRITERSROOM is a department within BBC Drama Commissioning with responsibility for developing and promoting new writers and directors across the whole of BBC Drama, Children’s & Comedy.  We have offices across the UK dealing with several thousand scripts per year.  BBC Writersroom has a mission to promote new talent to meet the creative needs of the future.  
    ·             CREATIVE SKILLSET works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.  We support high quality professional development across TV, film and related sectors – identifying skills needs, targeting skills investment, developing key skills and growing diverse talent networks.  Through our industry partnerships Creative Skillset helps to improve productivity, creativity and employability across the UK’s screen-based creative media industries.   
    ·             BBC STUDIOS  is the BBC’s main TV production arm, producing bold, British, creative content across a range of genres and specialisms. From Planet Earth II, Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who to Stargazing Live, Horizon and Murdered by My Father, its programmes are renowned for their quality and loved by audiences in the UK and around the world. With bases all over the country, BBC Studios reflects and represents diverse voices and creative talent from across the UK. BBC Studios launched as a commercial business in April 2017, able to make programmes for other broadcasters as well as the BBC, supporting the BBC’s public service mission and generating financial returns for licence fee payers. 
Download the press release (PDF)

Andrew Chowns

Chief Executive

[email protected]

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