Entertainment & Arts

ITV, ScreenSkills & ‘The Responder’ Producer Dancing Ledge Unveil Next Generation Of Writing Talent; Former ‘Skins’ Star Makes Mentor Scheme

EXCLUSIVE: A former Skins star, a Criminal Defence Solicitor and a TV writer have been selected for ITV, training body ScreenSkills and The Responder producer Dancing Ledge Productions’ third New Writers Programme.

Larissa Hope, Abigail Rolling and Jess Jackson will be paired with New Girl writer Camilla Blackett, Unforgotten scribe Chris Lang and The Long Song’s Sarah Williams respectively, with a fourth unannounced awardee set to link up with Giri/Haji’s Joe Barton.

The scheme has been running for three years and the 2022 edition will be fully funded by ScreenSkills’ High-end TV Skills Fund.

The budding writers are given a non-refundable bursary to write a pilot episode for their own original TV series. The mentor will give feedback through the writing process, provide the benefit of their expertise, offer encouragement and help place the project with a production company and/or broadcaster.

Hope played Jal in the first two seasons of hit UK series Skins in the late-noughties and has since studied psychology and creative writing and moved into filmmaking. Rolling has worked in a Magistrates Court for more than 25 years, doing stand-up comedy in her spare time, and Jackson has several TV projects in development with indies, with pilot The Drip making the 2019 Brit List of best unmade scripts.

The news comes in a week that two major shows from previous New Writers Programme alumni aired on BBC One and ITV respectively, with Tony Schumacher’s The Responder and Daniel Brierley’s Trigger Point both launching above 4M viewers. The pair were mentored by Jimmy McGovern and Jed Mercurio respectively.

ScreenSkills Director of High-end Television Kaye Elliott said:”We are really proud that the original investment of the High-end TV Skills Fund – entirely supported by industry contributions – into talents such as Tony Schumacher and Daniel Brierley has proved so successful and we are really excited to see what great shows emerge from the new round of mentoring partnerships.”

Dancing Ledge CEO Laurence Bowen added:“Nurturing emerging talent is absolutely at the core of what we do at Dancing Ledge and it so exciting to see the real impact this scheme is having with the support of ITV and ScreenSkills.”

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