Attracting and developing talent for our future is an essential part of ITV’s business plan. Our presence and investment in the North, in particular around Drama, gives us a strong platform from which we can create long-term sustainability for the creative industry and have a positive impact on the local community.
As part of Emmerdale’s 40th Anniversary celebrations in 2012, we launched a creative initiative to find and invest in new writing talent at grass-roots level who would represent local voices.
The aim was to find interesting writers from Black, Asian or other Minority Ethnic backgrounds living in Yorkshire or the North East, from outside the current network of agents and producers, creating a pipeline into the core writers team.
The initiative started with a targeted search for 15 writers to join a story conference with Emmerdale producers and story team. From storyline submissions, four writers (Nick Ahad, Tabasam Haseen, Dale Phillips and Trish Cooke pictured), were invited to join the Emmerdale story office on a 3 month paid internship and then write a submission script for the show.
The legacy of Original Voices is to consolidate our new links in the region and keep access open for future new talent opportunities.