Exclusive: BBC Studios TalentWorks announces new Creators in Residence and shares the secrets to its success

Posted by Abby Oldroyd in News

4 weeks ago

BBC Studios TalentWorks has revealed its four new Creators in Residence, announced exclusively with CORQ.

Launched in July 2020, the programme was designed to offer tangible opportunities to emerging talent within production business areas. The aim? To gain on-the-job training with experienced leaders and hone their craft.

Helen O’Donnell, head of development at BBC Studios TalentWorks, told CORQ: “Our work is to seek and develop the next generation of creative talent. Our team partners with some of the most exciting up-and-coming names.”

As part of the programme, the creators are given paid placements with a BBC Studios Production Unit or a BBC Studios Label, an independent production company in which BBC Studios has a majority stake. But the key focus is on harnessing “long-standing relationships” with the creators in order to “hone and develop their career in the broadcast space”.

BBC Studios TalentWorks’ new creators

First to be announced on 31 October as joining the programme is comedy writer and performer Verona Rose. Best known for co-creating and starring in BBC Three’s comedy shorts Fully Blown, brands might recognise the creator from the E4 series The Real Dirty Dancing and Netflix’s crime drama Top Boy, as well as being the host of ITV2’s dating show Secret Crush. O’Donnell revealed Rose will undertake her placement with BBC Studios Productions Factual Entertainment to develop its reality shows.

Also in the spotlight is screenwriter Kate Wickens who is joining BBC Studios Productions Kids & Family. Wickens has already seen some success since showing her first short film, The Fishdance Kid, as part of the London Film Festival’s Best of UK Shorts and graduating from the BBC Writersroom Writers’ Access Group in 2021. Brands can expect big results from her placement as she continues to work on her own script.

Next is broadcaster Daisy Maskell who fronted Channel 4’s UNTOLD: Cheat Detectives, In Too Deep: Selling My Virginity and UNTOLD: The Truth About Spiking, hosts a KISS FM show and has collaborated with brands such as Morphe. Joining the BBC Studios unscripted label, Voltage TV, Maskell plans to develop her ideas for factual programming.

Also making the cut is director and writer Alvin Yu who will join BBC Studios’ scripted label, Clerkenwell Films. An accomplished creator already, Yu has directed several short films and TV pilots – one of which was selected for development with BBC Writersroom and long-listed for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. New scripts are on the horizon for Yu.

Most recently, BBC Studios TalentWorks collaborated with filmmaker and presenter Max Tobin, who undertook his residency with the BBC Studios Factual Podcast team, and award-winning presenter and documentary filmmaker Layla Wright. She landed a placement with journalist Louis Theroux’s award-winning production company, Mindhouse, as a result. Other successful alumni include filmmaker Basma Khalifa, presenter and author Ajay Tegala and founder of the recently closed media publication gal-dem, Liv Little.

“It’s a lot about match-making to find the right person and partnership,” says O’Donnell. “As a team we have strong relationships with talent, platforms and their management.” Due to its unique position – being based within a global TV content company – TalentWorks has a good understanding of the industry and the creator’s needs, which results in engaging partnerships that deliver successful results.

With a mission to nurture burgeoning talent, BBC Studios also recently collaborated with Pinterest, which saw self-taught DIY expert Emma Downer and stylist Seun Ogunsola commissioned to create original video content. The pair received presenter training sessions, networking opportunities and mentorship, according to BBC Studios’ press release. In the same statement, Katrina Bell, senior development producer at BBC Studios TalentWorks, praised Pinterest as an ideal platform for discovering factual entertainment creators, as the “home of inspiring content”.

Given the success of its previous creators in residence, brands would do well to keep an eye on BBC Studios’ latest intake of emerging talent as they continue to carve out a space in the creative and digital landscape and build their already engaged audience.

By Abby Oldroyd, CORQ news and features writer. Picture credit: BBC Studios TalentWorks