Thursday, 20 July 2006

Up and Down

One of those days today.

My script editor at Doctors got back to me with comments on my first draft. He likes it. Lots of small suggestions, and it needs cutting down a bit, but no significant structural changes. Excellent!
2nd draft by the middle of next week. So much for doing the housework this weekend.

Then the independent radio producer I've been working with gets in touch to say the BBC don't want to commission my Afternoon Play. Curses!
The only good aspect to the latter is that I got quite a good write up. Their feedback was "The script is well written, but it isn't quite distinctive enough to cut through as a single in our view. A writer to encourage. "
So, I suppose I should feel "encouraged". Not entirely sure I do.


Dan said...

The ups and downs of writing eh?

I've had a bit of radio work produced by the BBC at regional level (a drama and a series of monologues) but I'm looking to send out some pieces for national broadcast. Is the independent route the best option or have you gone directly to the Beeb?

Paul Campbell said...

Don't ask me! If I knew the right way in, perhaps I wouldn't still be outside knocking on the door.

Actually, Dan, there's a very good BBC website on exactly how they commission for TV and Radio. It's at

Well worth checking out. There's links down the left hand side for National Radio and then for each channel.

Basically, they say that they don't accept offers from any old Tom, Dick or Harry. They only accept offers from in-house departments (in this case, the BBC Radio Drama dept) or from qualified and recognised independent producers (there's a list on the site, together with their contact details).

So, you either have to get to know someone in the Radio Drama department, or you need to approach one of the listed independents.

Radio 4 has two submission rounds a year, the next one being in September or October, I think. So, you need to act in time to persuade your new producer to get the offer to the BBC by the deadline. Otherwise, you have to wait six months for the next round.

David Bishop said...

If you live in Scotland, there's a specific radio drama development producer called David Ian Neville. Among his many tasks is staging radio drama workshops for would-be radio writers. I attended several of these and that, ultimately, led to be getting my first radio play broadcast last month on Radio 4.

Like Paul says, you need to find a friendly in-house producer or an independent producer who's on the BBC list for the slot you're targeting. Then all you have to do is build a relationship, have plenty of talent and patience, and a smidgen of luck.

Talent will out, eventually.

Dan said...

Thanks guys.

Danny Stack said...

Oooh, unlucky Paul. I had a similar experience recently with a radio play that the Beeb were going to commission but eventually said: "we really like it, but we've just done something similar...".

Well done on Docs though.