Budding scriptwriters are being invited to apply for a mentorship programme which could see them working closely with writers behind shows such as Line of Duty and Doctor Who. 

The scheme hopes to offer fresh opportunities to those living outside of London and from different economic backgrounds. 

Creator of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, Jed Mercurio OBE, launched the programme on Monday in an effort to help champion diversity and inclusion in television. 

Paisley-born Steven Moffat, the screenwriter behind BBC's hit show Sherlock and Doctor Who, said he was "excited" to be a part of the programme. 

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He said:  "My path into television writing started when Harry Secombe visited my Dad’s primary school for an episode of the Sunday night religious show, Highway. That ended up with me writing a children’s TV show called Press Gang.

"But my Dad has since retired and Harry Secombe is no longer with us (in religious broadcasting terms, he’s been promoted) so it’s all down to Jed Mercurio to provide opportunities of the new generation of mighty talent, wherever it happens to come from.

"I’m very excited to be part of this project.”


Other mentors who have signed up for the project include Marnie Dickens, creator of Thirteen, Emma Frost, who is behind Jamaica Inn as well as writer of His Dark Materials Jack Thorne.

Screenwriter Vinay Patel will also assist successful mentees. 

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Speaking about the programme, Mr Mercurio said: "I'm thrilled to partner with my distinguished fellow mentors to provide TV industry access to emerging writers who are financially and geographically disadvantaged.

"The idea that a working-class kid from a small mining town in the West Midlands could ever work in TV didn't even occur to me, or to anyone I grew up with.

"It was only when a TV production company placed an advert in the British Medical Journal that I was able to contribute to a medical drama. But for that one random chance, I would never have had access to the TV industry.

I'm honoured and grateful to be part of a programme that will pass on the same life-changing opportunity that was given to me at the start of my own career."

The programme will run over a 12-month period and will accept between six and 10 mentees in the first year. 

The application deadline, which includes a 30-page script for either a television or feature film, is on April 21 at 5am.

Find the application HERE.