soaps

Behind the Scenes of BBC One's Doctors | RTS Midlands Careers Fair

The team behind BBC One's Doctors takes us behind the scenes of the Birmingham set of the continuing drama, sharing who does what, how they do it and all the gossip. Followed by a Q&A with the on-screen talent. Panellists include Producer, Mike Hobson, 1st Assistant Director and Scheduler, Rachel Stacy, and Actors, Bharti Patel and Dex Lee.

Working in continuing drama: Coronation Street and Emmerdale

The four panellists, who are all in the early stages of their careers, discussed their jobs at two of the country’s premier soaps.

Joseph Hart switches between the roles of second and third assistant director (AD) on Emmerdale. “ADs are logistical, organisational roles, but the third AD does have a creative outlet – it’s really good fun,” he explained. “A third AD is based on the floor… and does the background action. You tell the extras when and where to go.”

A TV Christmas Carol: Lord Grade, Kate Phillips, Kate Russell and Anita Singh join the RTS for a seasonal take on Christmas TV

Do you remember waking up to Noel Edmonds on Christmas morning, as you searched for a tangerine in your stocking? The Queen’s SpeechThe Sound of MusicChristmas Celebrity Squares and over 20 million people watching Eric and Ernie?

Or what about today, with Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, The Alternative Queen’s Speech, Coronation Street and EastEnders but also perhaps a box set.

Is the future of Christmas TV a barren land of declining audiences as we all spend Christmas day asking Alexa?

Is older the new younger in television?

Girlfriends (Credit: ITV)

The debate over women working in television has come a long way since 1986 when Coronation Street was an all-male cabal. In those days, all the female characters were written by men. Yet, as recently as 2015, when Red Productions unveiled the latest run of ITV’s trail-blazing cop show Scott and Bailey, the response of male journalists could be relentlessly sexist, revealed actor Lesley Sharp.

Soaps are powerful in changing people's perceptions say Corrie's Daniel Brocklebank

Coronation Street's Daniel Brocklebank (Credit: Richard Kendal)

But, argued the actors, writers and producers on the panel at an RTS event in mid-July – “LGBTQ in soap: job done?” ­– the fight against prejudice is not yet won.

“Soaps are incredibly powerful in terms of being able to get a message out and in changing people’s perceptions,” said Daniel Brocklebank, who plays gay vicar Billy Mayhew in Coronation Street.

The Secret of the Soaps

 At last month's The Secret of the Soaps event, the masterminds behind Coronation Street revealed to RTS audiences the inside secrets of what has made the show last for 55 years

The panel starred actor Tina O'Brien, writer Debbie Oates, producer Stuart Blackburn and ITV's Creative Director of Serial Dramas John Whiston. The session was chaired by former ITV Director of Entertainment and Comedy  Paul Jackson.