Press Release


9 December 2016

Directors UK, the professional association for British screen directors, is delighted to be partnering with broadcaster Channel 4 and contributing to their new talent scheme, 4Stories.

Commissioned by Channel 4 and produced by Touchpaper Television, a Banijay Company, 4Stories is a new three-part series of half-hour interconnected films, telling one main story, from three different perspectives, to be broadcast on Channel 4. The initiative aims to encourage the next generation of writing and directing talent from under-represented groups in television drama – such as women, disabled people, BAME and people from disadvantaged backgrounds – and give them the chance to see their work broadcast on national television.

From the same team that created Coming Up - the Channel 4 talent strand for aspiring writers and directors to make an original film for network broadcast – 4Stories similarly aims to help create a bold, original series with a diverse range of new and unique voices.

Supported by Directors UK, as part of our ongoing diversity campaign, this scheme will help address issues raised in our report, Adjusting the Colour Balance, which highlighted the importance of strands that broaden opportunities for diverse directors. We are delighted to be working with Channel 4 and Touchpaper Television to bring on the next generation of stand-out talent.

The figures from the research report also revealed the acute levels of under-employment and under-representation of BAME directors working in UK television, revealing that BAME directors only made up 3.5% of the industry and that only 1.5% of 55,675 programmes made in a 10 year period were made by a BAME director. Additional research from Directors UK found that just 14% of all drama programmes in the UK had been directed by a woman, with some of the country’s most popular dramas and entertainment programmes never having woman director throughout its entire run. The research also identified gender stereotyping trends in factual production.

Directors UK is continuing to work closely with broadcasters and commissioners to help increase visibility and access to work opportunities, for fairer employment and career progression for under-represented groups in UK television.

The 4Stories scheme offers a unique opportunity to make an authored TV drama with a guaranteed network broadcast, and will see trainee directors learn how to hone their skills and deliver their vision under the guidance of experienced drama professionals. Those selected for the scheme will also be mentored by high-profile drama talent, and will take part in a bespoke training programme run alongside and beyond the production of the series, and will include masterclasses, networking sessions, coaching, career development and access to key industry events.

Open to Directors UK members and emerging directors who do not have a TV drama credit (on a single drama or drama series) or directors who have had no more than two hours of broadcast credits on soaps or continuing drama are eligible to apply.

The deadline for directors has been extended to 1pm on Friday 6th January 2017.

Full application details can be found at or on the Touchpaper website at

    • Applications must be sent by post with a DVD full examples of a directors original work. Multiple DVDs from an applicant will not be accepted and the DVD must not be simply a clip show reel.

    • About Directors UK: Directors UK is the professional association of UK screen directors. It is a membership organisation representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 6,400 members - the majority of working TV and film directors in the UK. Directors UK collects and distributes royalty payments and provides a range of services to members including campaigning, commercial negotiations, legal advice, events, training and career development. Directors UK works closely with fellow organisations around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns, promotes excellence in the craft of direction and champions change to the current landscape to create an equal opportunity industry for all.

Download the press release (PDF)

Victoria Morris

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

[email protected]

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