BBC Studios revives academy in bid to find next generation of drama writers

Former EastEnders producer John Yorke will lead the scheme.

A former EastEnders producer who commissioned hit BBC shows including Shameless, Life On Mars and The Street will head up a revived academy for up-and-coming scriptwriters.

The BBC Studios Writers’ Academy will give successful applicants a chance to work under John Yorke as they undertake a year-long TV drama scheme.

Following 13 weeks of classroom work they will spend three months writing scripts for BBC soaps such as Casualty, Holby City and EastEnders.

The original academy was created in 2005 to provide support, help and paid training to burgeoning scriptwriters.

The revamped scheme will additionally allow graduates to work with BBC Studios Productions.

Yorke said: “Writers are at the very heart of TV drama and it’s brilliant that BBC Studios – and now the wider independent community – have come on board to invest in the next generation of talent.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be bringing a new version of the Academy back to the BBC.”

It comes as part of a drive led by Mark Linsey, chief creative officer at BBC Studios.

He said: “I’m thrilled that John Yorke has agreed to lead the scheme as his passion for cultivating new writers is intoxicating – and there’s nobody as qualified as him to find the very best candidates and ultimately develop hit-making graduates.”

Applications for the BBC Studios Writers Academy open on April 8.

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