Free Festival Scheme Seeks Next Generation of Television Talent

Submitted by edg on Wed, 27 Jan '10 6.09pm

Want to be in television? The Edinburgh International Television Festival is looking for participants in its scheme The Network, a free event in Edinburgh taking place over four days in August 2010 (from 26th to 29th).

Successful delegates will have the opportunity to meet the best professionals from behind and in front of the camera, listen to talks from senior industry people, get advice from experts, create and produce television. Attendees will come away with new skills, contacts and advice. Attendees must be over 18 years old. No previous experience is needed, just a keen interest in working in television.

"Getting a camel through the eye of a needle has long been easier than getting a job in television," said Tim Hincks, Chair of the Edinburgh TV Festival Executive Committee and Chief Executive, Endemol UK - sponsors of the Network's Outreach programme. "But the Network is helping to change that. It is about giving a real leg-up to a fresh and diverse range of new talents".

The organisers of the Edinburgh Television Festival say The Network has helped launch hundreds of TV careers. Past delegates include Newsround presenter Ore Oduba; Dominic Bird, Executive Producer, Dragon's Den; Danny Fenton, Managing Director, Zig Zag Productions; the Director of Blue Peter; and broadcaster Danny Wallace.

Comedian Russell Howard opened last year's event, with other highlights including masterclasses with the writer and stars of the Inbetweeners, Simon Bird and James Buckley; Charlie Brooker introducing what it's like to work in television; workshops from EastEnders, Emmerdale and MTV News; and TV forecasts from BBC One Controller, Jay Hunt and Channel Four head, Julian Bellamy.

Past speakers at The Network have ranged from celebrities such as Vernon Kay, Sharon Osbourne, Graham Norton, Simon Amstell and Sir Trevor McDonald as well as leading industry figures including Sky Controller Stuart Murphy, writer Andy Hamilton, Dr Who writer Russell T Davies and BBC Entertainment's Karl Warner.

Previous speaker Sharon Osbourne says of the scheme: "I think The Network is really important so young people can see how there are ways to get into the TV industry, because so many young people want to be in TV but don't quite know how to get a break or what area they really want to work in. Whether it's presenting or producing or editing, The Network will give them a better idea of where they want to go in this industry."

Applicants should apply online for this free event, which this year takes place between 26 and 29 August. No previous experience is necessary; applications are welcome from anyone who has good ideas and an interest in working in television. To find out more about the scheme log on to Applications close on 16 April 2010. 

Apart from travel to/from Edinburgh is totally free to attend. Applications are encouraged from anyone aged 18 plus with a keen interest in television, from any background. No experience is necessary. The Network is funded by the Edinburgh International Television Festival, the delegate fee contributes towards running the talent schemes The Network and Fast Track. It is also supported by industry sponsors and funders.

Delegates who have attended The Network are also given the opportunity to apply for a six month paid work placement at some of the leading TV companies in the UK through The Network at Work programme. Companies taking part include Nickelodeon, Shine, TwoFour Production, Silver River, Endemol and BBC Children's.