ITV and BBC join forces to supersize Dancing Ledge Productions Mentoring Scheme.

“I’m delighted we’re able to partner with Dancing Ledge in creating opportunities for new writing talent following the success of last year’s mentoring scheme. I commissioned Trigger Point as a direct result of the scheme which undoubtedly created an opportunity for Daniel Brierley which might not have existed otherwise. It’s an excellent initiative and one I look forward to supporting.” – Polly Hill, ITV Head of Drama

ITV and the BBC have agreed to jointly fund a new two-year writers and new directors scheme run by Dancing Ledge Productions, to discover and nurture a new generation of TV talent, providing them with a career changing opportunity. ITV will support the new writers’ initiative and the BBC the new directors’ initiative.

The first generation of the scheme, set up for the Screenskills High End TV Writers Fund in 2018, saw Jimmy McGovern, Jack Thorne, Sally Wainwright, Levi David Addai, Kay Mellor, Paul Abbott, Jed Mercurio, Lucy Prebble and Amanda Coe all mentor new writers.

So far two series have been commissioned by Broadcasters that have come out of that programme. Jimmy McGovern mentee Tony Schumacher’s The Responder starring Martin Freeman for BBC Two and Jed Mercurio mentee Daniel Brierley’s Trigger Point for ITV.

With ITV’s investment, eight A list writers will be invited to choose and mentor a new writer whose work they have been impressed by. The new writer will be given a non-refundable bursary and write a pilot episode for their own original TV series. Their mentor will give feedback through the writing process, provide the benefit of their expertise, offer encouragement, and then also help place the project with a production company and broadcaster.

With the BBC’s investment, eight A list directors will be invited to select an outstanding new director whose work they admire. They will be given a bursary that will pay for them to work as a Second Unit director on a production being directed by their mentor and to shadow them.

With second unit work becoming increasingly important in scripted television, the scheme will provide a springboard to help new directors gain valuable experience and credits. Dancing Ledge Productions will also run regular workshops with the mentees and organise Mentor and Broadcaster masterclasses.

“We want to help with assisting new directors to break through in the British drama sector, to help establish a talent pool which is both creatively rich and truly inclusive. We are delighted to be working with Dancing Ledge on a scheme to help address this.” – Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama

Alongside ongoing BBC dramas, The Responder and The Salisbury Poisonings, Dancing Ledge Productions recently developed Netflix Original Delhi Crime, was the UK producer for The New Pope and produced Porters for UKTV channel Dave. Dancing Ledge Productions work internationally with Fremantle which has a minority stake in the company.

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