Channel 4’s annual drama talent initiative, Coming Up, which gives emerging writers and directors the opportunity to premiere their work on national TV, returns this summer with seven original half hour dramas. The only scheme of its kind in the UK, this year’s Coming Upwill star a host of recognisable faces in front of the camera, including Joe Gilgun (This is England), Una Stubbs (Sherlock), Celia Imrie (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Jodie Comer(My Mad Fat Diary) and Adeel Akhtar (Utopia).
Now in its twelfth year, Coming Up is renowned for launching the careers of some of the most exciting writers and directors in British TV. Debut television writers this year include former T4 presenter Rick Edwards (Burger Van Champion), Arts Foundation Fellowship award winnerRegina Moriarty (Sammy’s War) and young playwrights E V Crowe (Big Girl) and John Donnelly(Henry).
Coming Up 2013 directors include Luke Snellin (Sink or Swim) who has recently been named one of Screen International’s ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, Scottish BAFTA-winner Andrea Harkin(Sammy’s War) and Leanne Welham (Big Girl) who was nominated for the SXSW Grand Jury prize.
Ben Stoll, Drama Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 says: “Coming Up provides a brilliant and unique platform to nurture and display the talents of rising writers and directors and proudly expose their work on Channel 4. This year’s exceptional line-up looks set to introduce audiences to some superb new British talent.”
Coming Up boasts an impressive catalogue of alumni having accredited the works of writersTom Bidwell (My Mad Fat Diary) and Jack Thorne (Skins, This is England ‘88) and directorsWayne Yip and Alex Garcia (Utopia, Misfits), Tom Harper (This is England ‘86), Yann Demange(Top Boy, 71) and last year’s MJ Delaney, who is lined up to direct upcoming Brit feature film The Powder Room.
The seven dramas will be produced by Touchpaper Television, A Zodiak Media Company, which has partnered Coming Up for the past five years.
Northern Ireland Screen has supported Call It A Night.
The seven dramas and fourteen writers / directors involved in Coming Up 2013 are:
Burger Van Champion
Denise is the “Mega Mouthful Champion” at Mike’s Burger Van. When Tom, her longstanding crush and a regular at the van, suggests that Denise enters an eating competition in America, the reluctant local legend thinks she might be in with a chance of winning his heart.
Writer: Rick Edwards
Director: Iftekhar Gafar
Starring Jessie Cave, Will Merrick, Joanna Scanlan (The Thick Of It), Ricky Grover (Being Human)
Sammy takes drastic action to bring Frances, her war correspondent mother, back from Afghanistan. Frances, however, has no intention of staying. New battle lines are drawn on the the homefront, leaving Gran caught in the crossfire.
Writer: Regina Moriarty
Director: Andrea Harkin
Starring Jessica Lester, Celia Imrie (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street)
Call It A Night
On their nightly neighbourhood patrol of the Kilnamuck estate Van attempts to confess his love for Fiona. However they are stymied by the early release of local gangster, Jackie Junior. When their colleague Tommy is found dead, the gang must solve his murder and restore peace to the estate.
Writer: Bronagh Taggart
Director: Samantha Harrie
Starring Imogen Doel (Misfits) , Des McAleer(The Fear) Eugene O’Hare (Black Mirror)
Sink Or Swim
Former synchronised swimmer Cynthia is looked after by grand-daughter Ellie, but Social Services want to take them both into care. Ellie and her best-friend Cassia forge a desperate escape plan, but life on the run brings its own risks.
Writer: Line Langebek
Director: Luke Snellin
Starring Charlotte Beaumont, (Broadchurch), Una Stubbs (Sherlock) , Sarah Hoare (Pramface)
Karen loves her two year old son, Henry, but feels that he could be better off without her. Under huge pressure she makes a momentous decision. But an act of kindness from a stranger offers her hope for the future.
Writer: John Donnelly
Director: Michael Pearce
Starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, (The Iron Lady), Joe Gilgun (This is England)
Gemma and Hannah used to be best mates. On the eve of her Mum’s wedding, Gemma escapes the pre-nuptials to reconnect with her old friend. However, Hannah is returning to Sierra Leone the next morning and won’t say why.
Writer: E V Crowe
Director: Leanne Welham
Starring Jodie Comer, (My Mad Fat Diary), Letitia Wright (Top Boy) Ruth Gemmell (Utopia)
Baz lives at his parents with his heavily pregnant wife, Roxy. He doesn’t pay rent; he sees his best mate at work every day and at the pub every night; he has an awesome car: He’s sorted. But Roxy is looking for more and Baz doesn’t know if he can deliver.
Writer: Ishy Din
Director: Simon Neal
Starring Adeel Akhtar (Utopia), Wahab Sheikh (Complicit)