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ITV’s ‘Original Voices’ returns to Coronation Street

ITV’s ‘Original Voices’ returns to Coronation Street

Aspiring drama writers from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic [BAME] backgrounds are being offered an opportunity to work on Britain’s biggest soap opera as ITV today announces its successful writing initiative, Original Voices, is to return. 

The initiative aims to provide workplace training opportunities in ITV Continuing Drama, to develop the writing skills of applicants from BAME backgrounds, while also creatively connecting ITV with diverse talent that is currently under represented on mainstream channels. 

First launched in 2013, ITV has run the Original Voices scheme four times so far with writers gaining the opportunity to join the Story teams and even the Writing teams of both Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

For the current intake, Original Voices, which now returns to Coronation Street, is seeking submissions from talented writers with a view to offering the four considered best-suited to working on Continuing Drama an opportunity to spend a month in the Coronation Street story office. There they can develop their skills at creating gripping story, weaving multiple story strands and writing credible long running story arcs.  They would then spend four weeks in the Script Department with the Script Producer and Script Editors, following an episode through the script process.  They would be mentored in this part of the process by the writer whose episode they were following.

The successful candidates would then be given the opportunity to write a shadow script, which is commissioned at the same time as the script by the current writer, following that process in parallel, to complete the learning of the whole story to script process.

Original Voices offers invaluable story lining and writing experience which can be put to good use on other drama opportunities.  Successful candidates will be paid a fee on a fixed term contract.

John Whiston, Managing Director, MD Continuing Drama & Head of ITV in the North, ITV Studios, said:

“The twin engines of any long running series are the Story Office and the Script Department. They are also a great stepping stone onto a show’s writing team. This scheme, aimed at writers from BAME backgrounds, gives the four successful applicants a unique opportunity to spend time in both those areas, understanding what makes a continuing drama tick and contributing to its creative and editorial process. All in all, it’s a perfect grounding in soap.

“From ITV’s perspective, we need our shows not just to look diverse on screen but to feel diverse in their heart. And that comes from having a diverse editorial team making them.

“This scheme opens us up to brand new diverse talent and introduces us to people who will be story lining, script editing, writing and one day hopefully producing ITV’s two most important shows, Coronation Street and Emmerdale.”

Ade Rawcliffe, Head of Diversity, ITV Commissioning, said:

“We are delighted to support Original Voices and are committed to creating opportunities for ITV to broaden the range of writers we work with. Diversity of voices is the lifeblood of creativity and it is essential that ITV works towards representing the diversity of modern Britain, both on and off screen.”

 

[Editors Notes]

Application Information

Applicants interested in this unique scheme can apply by sending in one sample script (television, film, theatre, radio or similar), accompanied by a short script synopsis and a biography/CV.

Scripts should be between 30-90 minutes, in a standard format and received by midnight on 31st October 2019.

Submissions will be shortlisted to a group of 12.  The successful applicants will be notified in mid November and invited to a one-day Coronation Street storylining workshop in ITV Studios, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester.

Following this, writers will have a week to write up and submit a bespoke story line. On the strength of this story line, pitching skills at the workshop and their original script submission, four writers will be selected to go forward as outlined above.

Applicants can apply by sending the below to originalvoices@itv.com:

- One sample script of 30-90 minutes (television, film, theatre, radio or similar)

- Short script synopsis

- Biography/CV.

- All submissions should be received by 31st October 2019.

To find out more about ITV’s commitment to creating an inclusive workforce click here or go to  http://itvresponsibility.com/people/#section2

About ITV

ITV entertains millions of people and shapes culture. We are a leading media and entertainment company, with the largest commercial television network in the UK and a global production business, with over over 55 labels. Creativity, quality content and engaging audiences in the UK and around the world is at the core of everything we do.

We are More than TV. We reach over 40 million viewers every week with our programmes on ITV's family of channels, as well as the ITV Hub, which is available on 28 platforms and on over 90% of connected televisions sold in the UK. ITV delivers 99% of all commercial audiences in the UK over 5 million viewers and in 2019 is achieving  its highest share of viewing in 11 years, making it a powerful advertising platform, with the best rate of return when compared to other media. 

As advertisers use more targeted advertising as part of their marketing communications, ITV has concluded an agreement with a leading ad tech provider, Amobee, which will enable ITV to deliver programmatic addressable advertising around its  premium video inventory on the ITV Hub from the start of 2020. This, together with the investment in data and analytics, provides advertisers with mass, quality, trusted reach together with targeting ensuring ITV remains a powerful medium for helping companies grow.

ITV as part of its More than TV strategy, has created a scaled Direct to Consumer business in the UK, including recently surpassing 500,000 subscribers to its ad-free catch-up service, Hub+. It will launch BritBox, a streaming service with the BBC in the latter part of 2019, bringing people the best of British talent from the past, present and will commission original content.  

ITV Studios produces 8,900 hours of original programming each year, across 55 production labels. Our global footprint spans 12 countries including the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany, The Nordics, Italy and the Netherlands and our global distribution business sells our catalogue of 45,000+ hours to more than 3000 broadcasters and platforms. 

As the media landscape continues to change rapidly, ITV is focused on building upon its unique combination of creativity and commercial strength, transforming digitally to create a more diversified and structurally sound business.