Building on its Creator Residencies, BBC Studios TalentWorks has teamed up with Meta’s Facebook Creator Collective and Instagram Diverse Voices to offer four creators the chance to gain TV experience and skills, create original IP, and help accelerate their careers.

Funded by Meta, the residencies will see up-and-coming creators invited on to placements with BBC Studios, to gain first-hand experience and mentoring, as well as the opportunity to develop their own projects.

The four selected creators are:

  • Shahira Allen – a black beauty content creator who champions the power of natural hair. With a strong focus on black Britishness, she invites everyone to learn and share through her experiences as a young black British woman. Her pitch focusses on exploring the modern-day history of “blackness” in cities and towns outside of London.

  • Bea Dux – a queer sex worker and content creator from Lancashire. During her placement with BBC Studios ScriptWorks, she will focus on a scripted comedy-drama loosely based on her own experiences entering the adult nightlife scene in London.

  • Irish presenter and media commentator Paddy Smyth, who is also a disability and rights activist. Having previously won the 2019 series The Circle on Channel 4, and presented The Fitting Room for RTE2, his pitch ‘Do I Need to be Fixed?’ speaks to people living with disabilities such as himself (Paddy has cerebral palsy) and looks at medical advances since their childhood, asking whether these people could/should be “fixed”.

  • Shu Shi Lin – a British born Chinese food and travel content creator who uses her platform to share a positive outlook on cultural lifestyle content and bringing representation for the East and South East Asian community in the UK. Her pitch uses food and people-driven storytelling as vehicles to talk about heritage, identity, history, and body image, as well as introducing the home and history of dishes and their cultural importance.

Shahira, Shu and Paddy will spend six months in residence with BBC Studios Productions Digital Originals team and Bea will spend six months in residence with BBC Studios ScriptWorks.

Helen O’Donnell, Head of BBC Studios TalentWorks said: “Shahira, Bea, Paddy and Shu are exciting emerging creators from a wide range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds with innovative original ideas. BBC Studios TalentWorks is delighted to be able to team up with Meta to offer these young creators the opportunity to craft their skills, and we can’t wait to see their pitches come to life.”

Louise Holmes, Director of Creator Partnerships, EMEA, from Meta said: “We’re so proud that Shahira, Bea, Paddy and Shu have been selected by BBC Studios to gain new experiences doing what they love. In partnering with BBC Studios, we’ve been able to bolster our long-running Diverse Voices Programme in the UK, as we continue to look for opportunities that amplify the voices of creators who speak for underrepresented communities. We look forward to seeing the results and continuing our partnership with these creators as they embark on this exciting new residence.”

Meta’s Diverse Voices Programme was launched in 2021 and headed up by Georgie Maltby, Meta’s Creator Partner Solutions Lead, to support creators from underrepresented communities across the EMEA region. As part of the Programme, Meta worked with c.500 creators, offering a bespoke education program to aid development; audience & community building resources; and strategic product support through consultations with Partner Managers.


Jon Creamer

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