Holby City

Casualty and BBC Writersroom launch writing contest for frontline medics

In celebration of its 35th year on air, the team have planned a competition to find a new writer with first hand medical experience.

Applicants will be tasked with writing part of a Casualty episode based on a brief about clinical Lead Dylan Keogh having a hellish day in the emergency department.

How Casualty is breaking all medical records

Casualty’s current series, its 36th (Credit: BBC)

On a mild autumnal Saturday on 6 September 1986, the first week after the summer holidays, the nation collectively sat down in front of the telly. Viewers may have flicked between the four channels available, but most were curious about BBC One’s big new drama, Casualty.

Since the familiar, high-intensity theme tune played out that evening, those 1980s-tastic opening credits may have evolved into something more contemporary but, at its core, Casualty remains the same.

Holby City to end in 2022

The Casualty spin-off medical drama has aired weekly since 1999, following the lives of the fictional Holby City Hospital staff.

"We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to make room for new opportunities,” said the BBC in a statement, “and as part of the BBC's commitment to make more programmes across the UK, we have taken the difficult decision to bring the show to a close in order to reshape the BBC's drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.”

RTS Futures Careers Fair open its doors to emerging TV talent

More than 40 broadcasters, production companies and industry bodies set up home for the day in the Business Design Centre, London, to dispense advice to 1,300 young people hoping to break into TV. A series of sessions – featuring expert panels from across the industry – cast light on television genres, skills and opportunities.

BBC continuing drama head of production Nikki Saunders revealed there was a huge number of entry-level jobs across her department, including runners, camera assistants and make-up artists.

BBC open up A Question of Sport and Songs of Praise for competitive tender

Matt Dawson, Sue Barker, Phil Tufnell the regular panelists on A Question of Sport (Credit: BBC/Stephen Brooks)

In accordance with the Charter, the corporation has agreed to remove the ‘in-house guarantee’ which the majority of its programming falls under, and open up the making of new and existing programmes to outside production companies.

A Question of Sport, Songs of Praise and Holby City will be tendered in the next few weeks.

“These programmes have been chosen because they are approaching recommissioning decisions and their production schedules allow them to be put out to tender quickly,” said a BBC spokesperson.

Single writer or showrunner: what's the best way to succeed in drama?

Hugo Blick and Gina Moriarty

It is the question that British writers and commissioners perennially ask: which system works best – the UK’s single voice or the US’s showrunner model?

Former head of BBC Worldwide Productions turned independent producer Jane Tranter tried to answer this key question with a panel of writers, who outlined their experiences to see how they compared.

She pointed out that, during her seven years in the US, it was not a subject the industry there generally debated openly.

ITV’s big drama: Television speaks to drama boss Steve November

Steve November

On 18 September 2016, Steve November has a problem. At 9:00pm that night, the slot arrives in ITV’s schedule that would normally be filled by the season premiere of Downton Abbey.

As Director of Drama for the ITV network, November has to find a replacement – Downton is ending, with the last ever episode to air this coming Christmas Day. And, given Downton’s blockbuster ratings performance, it’s going to be a fiendishly difficult act to follow.

Hill sweeps to the top

Polly Hill

In a smooth transition, the personable Polly Hill has become the BBC’s new Controller of Drama Commissioning. She takes over without so much as dropping a script from LA-bound Ben Stephenson.

Her new job is one of the most coveted and powerful positions in UK television. Hill is responsible for the wide range of drama across BBC One and BBC Two, an estimated budget of £200m annually, spiced with the challenge of devising a new online policy, principally for BBC Three. She also has oversight of EastEnders, Casualty and Holby City.