Drama

Julian Bellamy on the need to build talent pools across the UK

Line of Duty (Credit: BBC/World Productions)

ITV Studios’ Managing Director, Julian Bellamy, wants people to know that he is open for business for creative talent and great ideas – wherever they may come from.

“We’re in a world now where creative talent has never been more in demand, more diverse, more commercial, more mobile – and if you don’t embrace that as a producer, you won’t survive and prosper,” he said. 

Bellamy already has a large talent pool to choose from. ITV’s strategy of acquiring independent production companies means that it owns 23 labels in the UK alone, with investment in a further five.

Filming begins on Julian Fellowes football drama The English Game

Julian Fellowes (Credit: ITV/Kieron McCarron)

The six-part series will tell the story of the origins of football, and how the people behind the game’s beginnings overcame class divides to make it the world’s most popular sport.

Also starring in the series, which is currently shooting in the UK, are Line of Duty’s Craig Parkinson, James Harkness (The Victim), and Henry Lloyd-Hughes (Indian Summers).

Sky's Chernobyl: the disaster story that needed to be told

Chernobyl (Credit: Sky/HBO)

“I wanted to make a drama unlike anything else, because Chernobyl was unlike anything else. I wanted it to be as unique as the event itself.” That was the ambitious goal set by writer and producer Craig Mazin for his epic mini-series about the Soviet power plant that caught fire on 26 April 1986, triggering the most disastrous nuclear accident in history. And Mazin has succeeded.

Alibi commissions original drama We Hunt Together

We Hunt Together (Credit: UKTV)

We Hunt Together is the second joint commission between BBC Studios and UKTV.

Former child soldier, Babeni (Baba) struggles to suppress his violent urges but when his friend Freddy is attacked following a date gone wrong, Baba is forced to take drastic action, setting the pair on a murderous rampage.

DI Lola Franks and DCI Jackson Reid try to outsmart the duo, but their ethics will be tested with their conflicting views on the culpability of the criminal mind.

Hugh Skinner and Nina Sosanya join the cast of Sky's Little Birds

The new cast members will join previously announced Juno Temple (Dirty John), Yumna Marwan (The Valley) and Raphael Acloque (24: Legacy) in the six-part drama.

Set in Tangier in 1955, Little Birds follows American Lucy Savage (Juno Temple) as she wishes to break free from the society she has been confined to and searches for independence in Morocco. Her fiancé Hugo Cavendish-Smyth (Hugh Skinner), an aristocratic English Lord, is torn between his love for Lucy and his lover, the smart and sharp Adham Abaza (Raphael Acloque).

BBC Studios launches Writers' Academy

Participants will write for shows including EastEnders (Credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Led by former BBC and Channel 4 Head of Drama John Yorke, the Writers’ Academy will offer writers in the early stage of their careers the chance to develop their skills on some of the BBC’s long-running drama series.

The paid scheme will see successful applicants complete an intensive 13-week classroom period, followed by three months scripting episodes of Casualty, Holby City and EastEnders.

Participants will graduate with up to four scripts to their name, and will have their services optioned by BBC Studios for the next two years.