Eight aspiring actors will be welcomed into the world of screen acting by actor and comedian Bill Bailey and casting director Kelly Valentine Hendry.
Although known for his stand-up, Bill Bailey has had his fair share of acting roles, from Black Books to Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang. As host of Bring the Drama he will guide the eight contestants through an acting bootcamp like no other.
Kelly Valentine Hendry, casting director of shows such as Ghosts, Broadchurch, and Bridgerton, will be acting as mentor throughout the series, taking the wannabe actors to the sets from popular dramas Peaky Blinders, EastEnders and Silent Witness.
Once on set they will be greeted by established actors such as Natalie Cassidy (EastEnders), Ed Speelers (You), Genesis Lynea (Champion), Rochenda Sandall (The Rig) and Charles Venn (Casualty), as well as industry experts such as Peaky Blinders’ fight co-ordinator and the intimacy co-ordinator for Sex Education, who will help them recreate scenes from the dramas, facing the real problems and time pressures of screen actors.
The eight contestants were chosen through an open casting call, which asked for actors who didn’t have the opportunity to go to drama school, didn’t have industry connections, or were held back by access issues.
All candidates, after facing the harsh realities of their dream job, will leave with a professionally shot showreel. However, Valentine Hendry will choose only three showreels to present in a major industry showcase at the close of the show.
Bailey says: “It has been a delight to work on Bring The Drama and witness first-hand how the actors have grown in confidence and skills over the weeks. What I particularly liked was the way it shows the whole process of making TV - being on an actual set, with a real crew to help you learn what it’s really like.
“It was great fun but also a brilliant insight into how casting works and a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of some of our most popular TV shows.”
Valentine Hendry says: “Historically it has been much easier to break into the industry if you come from a privileged background and the more we can do to change that, the better.
“This series is a brilliant way to emphasise and celebrate that great talent can come from anywhere. And above all, it’s a real insight into all the hard work that goes into bringing great drama to screen. It’s not easy – in fact, I think people will be surprised by how challenging it is!”
Bring the Drama will air on BBC Two, with no release date currently set.