Skip to main content

'Coronation Street' Announces Four Winners For Its Original Voices Writer Diversity Program

Stephenson Ardern-Sodje, Ella Carmen Greenhill, Louisa Hayford and Shazia Rashid
British broadcaster ITV launched an Original Voices initiative in 2012 on its long-running soap opera Emmerdale in an effort to tap into and connect with diverse local writing talent. The aim of the initiative was to "find interesting writers from Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds living in Yorkshire or the North East" to join the show. This fall ITV announced it was rolling out Original Voices to its flagship drama Coronation Street, with submissions open to North West based writers from BAME backgrounds. Four winners have now been selected, and each of the writers will be joining Corrie in the New Year for a 10 week paid internship, which could lead to a place on the writing team.

Applications were accepted from any North West based, BAME writers interested in writing on the show, regardless of previous experience in television. Entrants were asked to send in a sample script of their work (stage, TV, film, radio or any medium that displayed their skills in dramatic writing). Industry professionals were engaged as readers, to assess and respond to each script. Every writer who entered was given a personal script report in order to provide clear feedback.

Taking the judges' comments into account, the scripts were shortlisted to 12 entrants. These 12 writers were invited to a story conference where writers discussed possible storylines in one big group discussion and smaller break out groups. Following this, the shortlisted writers were given a week to write up one story strand across a week of the show and four were selected to go through. Louisa

The winners of Original Voices Coronation Street 2014 were Ella Carmen Greenhill, Shazia Rashid, Stephenson Ardern-Sodje and Louisa Hayford.

In the new year, Ella, Shazia, Stephenson and Louisa will join the Story Department to delve into the working stories on Corrie, while learning about the show from the inside. They will then have four weeks to write a trial script which will be read and considered by producers, for possible progression to the writing team.

ITV plans on Original Voices remaining a priority program that helps the network attract writers from a broad range of backgrounds for its shows.

"Having witnessed first hand the impact this scheme has had at Emmerdale in helping make our story office and writing team more reflective of the real world our drama portrays, I'm extremely pleased that, with support from Creative Skillset, we are able to do the same at Coronation Street," said John Whiston, Creative Director of Serial Dramas, ITV Studio. "It's a great opportunity for talented writers to gain proper experience at the heart of the show with the possibility of progressing onto the writing team in the long term. "

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Complete Story of 'The Doctors' (1963-1973)

Daytime TV covered the world of soap operas for decades before finally folding in the 1990s. In the mid-70s, the magazine did an excellent series titled "The Complete Story of..." recounting the history of a soap opera from its inception. Below is the historical feature on the first 10 years of NBC's The Doctors (1963-1973), which is currently being aired on Retro TV. Some of the interesting tidbits include: * The Doctors did not start as a serial; it began as a "half-hour anthology series of medical dramas, set in the large metropolitan Hope Memorial Hospital, and with the four principals alternating daily in the lead role, according to NBC's original announcement. The roles were Dr. William Scott (played by Jock Gaynor), Dr. Jerry Chandler (portrayed by Richard Roat), Dr. Elizabeth Hayes (played by Margot Moser) and Rev. Samuel Shafer, a hospital chaplain (played by Fred J. Scollay). * Later in the first season, Herb Kenwith and Paul Lammers became

'Days of Our Lives' Livestream Event on September 8 Promotes 'Beyond Salem'

To celebrate the premiere of the Peacock Original limited series, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem , Xfinity and Peacock today announced an exclusive Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem livestream event only for Xfinity Reward Members. The event reunites an all-star cast including Lisa Rinna, Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, James Reynolds, and Eileen Davidson on Wednesday, Sept. 8th at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. Viewers will enjoy a conversation with the stars - giving fans a chance to view exclusive content, hear stories from the set, and even have the chance to ask their favorite stars questions. This special event is only for Xfinity Rewards members and is just one of the many benefits available through the Xfinity Rewards program. If you’re not yet a member of Xfinity Rewards, signing up is free and simple to do through the Xfinity app or online at Xfinity.com/rewards. From there, members can view and redeem all rewards currently available to them. “Xfinity Rewards is all about creating u

Melody Thomas Scott Memoir 'Always Young And Restless' Out This Summer

Emmy Award-nominated Melody Thomas Scott admits she is nothing like her The Young and the Restless role, which has seen it all in her forty-one-year tenure on America’s highest-rated daytime serial. But the high drama, angst, and catastrophes aren’t confined to her character’s plotlines. In her first-ever book, the captivating memoir "Always Young And Restless" (Diversion Books; July 14, 2020, available for pre-order now; $26.99, Hardcover; ISBN 978-1635-766943), Melody reveals the intimate and complicated truths of her upbringing as well as behind-the-scenes tales of her own riveting journey to becoming an icon and searching for “normal.” “Even though I have spent almost my entire life as an actress and performer, I have kept my private life well behind the scenes,” said Scott. “Now, I am ready to share these stories of survival and success that have shaped me into who I am today.” As Nikki Newman went from impoverished stripper to resourceful, vivacious heroine—with m