Press Release


6 April 2017

Directors UK, in partnership with Channel 4 and Lime Pictures, announce their Hollyoaks Emerging Directors Training Scheme: A C4 Spotlight on Directors Initiative.
Following the success of the first collaborative partnership in 2016, Directors UK, Channel 4 and Lime Pictures, will give two emerging drama directors from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to receive paid training and mentoring on Hollyoaks, Channel 4’s successful long-running continuing drama.
The aim of the scheme is to help develop the pool of BAME, Female and Disabled directing talent, for Hollyoaks and the industry as a whole. 
The scheme last year, offered two directors a nine week paid placement on the flagship soap based in Liverpool. During that time, under guidance of directors Tessa Hoffe and Nicky Higgens, each director was able to observe and participate in the entire production process, from pre to post production including the edit, and ultimately took helm for one full broadcast episode to gain a directing credit. 
This year the scheme will adopt the same format and invite two directors to observe and participate in the entire production process of an episode of Hollyoaks and ultimately direct their own episode. 
As part of Channel 4’s Spotlight on Directors Initiative, the Hollyoaks Emerging Directors Training Scheme is open to emerging drama directors and aims to identify and introduce new BAME, Female and Disabled directing talent to the show. 
Andrew Chowns, Directors UK’s Chief Executive said: “Directors UK is pleased to be working with Lime Pictures and Channel 4 again on this initiative to develop the careers of female and BAME directing talent. Projects like this are vital if we are to achieve a workforce that is truly representative of our talent and experience.”
Nina Bhagwat, Off Screen Diversity Executive from Channel 4 says: “We are really delighted to be partnering with Lime Pictures and Directors UK on this scheme, as part of C4’s Spotlight on Directors’ initiative. Our directors have a key editorial voice, and we believe it’s crucial to have diversity represented in this role across all of our genres. Developing the careers of diverse talent, who we hope will ultimately go on to work on Channel 4 shows, is absolutely key for us.”
Hollyoaks’ Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said: “We could not be more pleased at the success of the first joint initiative with Directors UK, which extended beyond mentoring and led to several hugely-gifted female directors joining Hollyoaks’ talent pool. We are very excited to begin the process again, giving the opportunity for training and hands-on experience to more undiscovered directing talent with an eye for the distinctive single-camera look and style of Hollyoaks.”
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. 
More information about the scheme, full requirements and application details are available at 

    Notes to Editors: 
    ·        DIRECTORS UK is the single voice of film and television directors in the UK, with over 6,400 members. Directors UK campaigns for the rights, working conditions and status of directors in the industry, and promotes equal opportunities for all and excellence in the craft of direction. 
    ·        A  short video highlighting the first training scheme in 2016, featuring directors Charlotte George, Claire Tailyore and Christine Lalla, working on the Hollyoaks set, can be found at
    ·        Hollyoaks currently has seven female directors out of 22 working on the continuing drama.  Applicants were also encouraged from groups that are currently under-represented in TV drama (including BAME and disabled talent).
    ·        Directors UK has a number of career development projects and initiatives with a range of broadcasters and producers to help change the industry and address under-representation.
    ·        Further information can be found at
Download the press release (PDF)

Tolu Akisanya

Communications and Campaigns Officer

[email protected]

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