BBC Comedy has launched the Editors Access Scheme to redress the lack of disability representation in Scripted Comedy editing.

This scheme will allow two candidates who are either deaf, disabled and/or Neurodivergent the opportunity to accelerate their careers in editing for scripted comedy.

The placements consist of two shadowing opportunities: one entry level role for an Edit Assistant (London, Cardiff, Bristol or Manchester based), supported by Picture Shop, and one mid-level role for an Assistant Editor supported by Fifty Fifty and Roughcut TV (London based).

As well as the paid shadowing placements, the chosen candidates will receive mentoring, training and a £5k grant to help develop their careers further.

The pilot scheme is to be used to audit the talent pool in this arena and identify skills gaps and barriers to entry to help shape this scheme and future schemes moving forwards.

The ambition is to incorporate Editors in the BBC Comedy Collective from next year offering more opportunities across the UK for all underrepresented groups in Editing for Scripted Comedy.

Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC says: “Our BBC Comedy Editors Access Scheme is just the start of a wider conversation about how we improve representation within the comedy editing community. We’re grateful to Gareth Heal and all of our commercial supporters for coming along with us on this journey.”

Gareth Heal (People Just Do Nothing, Peacock, Horrible Histories) is the formal mentor and ambassador for the scheme. He announced the launch of the Editors Access Scheme on the Editing Panel at the BBC Comedy Festival taking place in Cardiff.

Gareth Heal says: “I’ve been working in cutting rooms for nearly 30 years, and whilst society has made progress on inclusion my profession is way behind. As the parent of a teenager with a disability I see the progress that schools, sport and culture have made, and whilst there’s a long way to go, we’re in a better place than we were. And then I look around myself at work – I can’t remember ever meeting anyone working in post-production with a disability. I can be working on a production where diversity is on the screen, but when I look round the room, at the people making these shows, the disparity is crystal clear. Change is long overdue. That change won’t come overnight but I know that Jon and his team are intent on shifting the dial.”

Nichola Garde, Creative Diversity, Disability Lead at the BBC says: “We are delighted that BBC Comedy is opening up these roles for deaf, disabled and/or neurodivergent candidates and removing barriers to progression. This will be a great opportunity to further a career in editing for scripted comedy.”

The Independent Post Company says: “The Independent Post Company are very proud to give our full support to the Editors Access Scheme; entry into the industry has historically been much less inclusive than it could and should be. It’s our duty to ensure we champion a television landscape that truly amplifies the voices of underrepresented talent, and reflects a full picture of the fantastic diversity of creatives we have here in the UK.”

JP Dash at Fifty Fifty Post says: “We are so delighted to support the Editors Access Scheme alongside BBC Comedy and Roughcut TV. At Fifty Fifty we work hard to promote equal opportunity and inclusive behaviour. Since becoming a B-Corp earlier this year, we have created a framework internally to measure our progress in this endeavour. We recently opened a second facility site which has been purpose-built with accessibility in mind, the perfect home for our participation in this initiative. We hope to play our part in raising further awareness and inspiration to the Post Production industry to encourage increased representation on all sides of the screen.’’

Cara Sheppard, President, Picture Shop says: “At Picture Shop we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work. We aim to make tangible, positive change and so we are incredibly excited to be a part of the BBC Editor Access Scheme.”

Applications will be open on Monday 12 June at 12pm for four weeks, with applications closing on Monday 10 July at 12pm. Full details on how to apply can be found on the comedy commissioning website.



Jon Creamer

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