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Emerging Directors To Join Hollyoaks Crew

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Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks has concluded its search for new directing talent to join its team.

Having received an "unprecedented number" of entrants, two emerging directors have been chosen to receive a nine-week paid placement on the Liverpool-based Hollyoaks set. The placements will commence this month.

Charlotte George and Claire Tailyore were selected to join the crew. During their placement, they will be responsible – under guidance from one of the Hollyoaks and Lime Studios female mentor directors – for one broadcast episode, from prep all the way through to the edit.

The scheme, open to women directors under the positive actions provisions of the Equality Act 2010, was held to identify new female directing talent to the show.

Currently, Hollyoaks has six female directors out of 22 working on the continuing drama. Applicants were also encouraged from groups that are currently under-represented in TV drama, including BAME and disabled talent.

As part of the application process, the candidates shortlisted were invited to attend a workshop to prepare them for shooting single-camera continuing drama. As part of the workshop, they spent time working with cast and crew on the Hollyoaks set before blocking through and shooting a scene. The final candidates shortlisted had varying backgrounds and experiences, in short film and documentaries.

Bryan Kirkwood, Executive Producer, Hollyoaks, said: "From the very first Directors UK workshop, we found two brilliant emerging female directors able to capture Hollyoaks' bold and unique visual style while bringing their own flair and creative vision. This is a testament to the wealth of female directing talent out there waiting to be given an opportunity."

Andrew Chowns, Chief Executive, Directors UK, added: "Directors UK is delighted to be working with Lime Pictures and Channel 4 on this initiative to develop the careers of female and BAME directing talent. The quality and number of applicants applying to the scheme shows that there is no lack of diverse talent out there – we just need to create the opportunities for them to work and to show their talent."

Nina Bhagwat, Off Screen Diversity Executive, Channel 4, commented: "Last year we launched our 360° Diversity Charter, which aims to address diversity at all levels, both onscreen and behind the camera. Increasing the numbers of women drama directors via mentoring and shadowing was one of our Charter commitments. We are delighted to be delivering on this in partnership with Directors UK and Hollyoaks. As directors play such an important creative role, developing the careers of diverse directors who we hope will ultimately work on Channel 4 shows, is an absolute priority."

A video of the original training workshop, featuring directors Charlotte George, Claire Tailyore and Christine Lalla working on set, can be viewed via the Directors UK website here.

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