This article by Owen Gibson is a good read, not only analysing the potential decline in live viewing figures for football but also the way viewing habits for sport are changing. It touches on the issue of piracy – people watching live via illegal websites – and includes a strong defence from Sky.

You would have thought Leicester’s amazing triumph would have created a surge of interest in the game. But perhaps not and, if ratings do genuinely tumble, those holding the rights may well spontaneously combust.

I’ve only ever worked outside the Sport genre. We entertainment types find the whole thing a bit macho and I’ve never been fond of the smell of stale sweat. So I am taking my softie life in my own hands when I declare that I find TV football productions to be really unimaginative.Beyond the game itself, creative production techniques are not developing fast enough to surprise and entertain jaded viewers.

It can’t be helped if the game is dull; there have been some terrible games in recent seasons and your average producer can’t do much about that.  But they can produce the commentaries. These are often uninspired, frequently dissolving into chats about anything other than events on the pitch. There are also instances where the commentators are so busy talking about some player’s past, or the colour of his hair, that they miss a key moment of action.

Then we have expert chat delivered in the predictably dreary suit and tie method from a small, hot pod in the rafters of the Tunnock’s Arena.  There is nothing quite as dull as watching three men in tight suits aimlessly banter about a penalty decision. We’ve seen this sort of thing for years and, even though Thierry’s quite charming, it’s all a bit old now. In terms of live punterdom, the best they seem to have come up with is to have their experts standing by a dinky plinth at the edge of the pitch. I’ve seen Graeme Souness stare at one of these things as if he’s about to headbutt it.

Yes, despite all the money and hoohah, sports production is very often just terribly naff. It lacks wit or surprise. I think we now expect more from the producers, especially when their work is hyped to the rafters by the promotions teams. What tricks can they come up with to genuinely surprise their viewers? We shall be watching (or maybe not).




There are three remaining SCRIPT EDITING FOR DRAMA TV regional training sessions with Channel 4 Screenwriting guru Philip Shelley.
He is an incredibly well-connected and experienced script editor/consultant. Each HETV funded session features a guest writer. The two days of training will help you understand the politics and practice of working with scripts on high end dramas and films. Incredibly insightful, great fun and terrific value.
Nottingham, Oct 18 & 19
Cardiff Nov 1st & 2nd
Belfast Nov 15 & 16.


Special guest on two of our recent Script Supervisor training courses has been Sharon Mansfield. Like a lot of talented script supervisors, Sharon has worked in both Television & Film. Though our course is primarily aimed at throwing light on the work of script supervisors on High End TV Drama, we also cover some aspects of working on movies. Sharon’s CV is fantastic; she recently spent six months on ‘STAR WARS 8’ and has credits on ‘SKYFALL’ and the Harry Potter movies.

So if you are interested in this kind of work, do come on our London course on the 25th and 26th October at RADA Studios. It’s for people who might like a career in script supervision working in TV Drama and Film and it also provides valuable insight for directors, writers and crew who want to better understand how script supervision works within a TV production.

Grand Scheme’s courses in Drama are supported by the HETV Levy Fund/Creative Skillset.

Calling Cardiff & Wales

Our Television insight course is coming to Cardiff.frost


Two days meeting great writers and learning all the skills needed to create great commercial TV drama scripts. 1/2 November. Our guest is Russell Gascoigne whose credits include ‘A TOUCH OF FROST’.

We’ve heard that there is a new batch of productions coming to Wales in 2017 and there will be a lot of demand for new talent on set. By coming on one of our courses you will learn a lot about the current Drama production industry and we may be able to introduce you to a production company that will provide you with some work experience.

We have discounted places available for low earners and there is also a low rate for early bird bookings. Please check out our courses and contact us if you think you might be eligible for a discounted place. Book on Eventbrite:

Funded by the HETV Levy Fund through Creative Skillset.

Northern Ireland Comedy Shortlist!

In November, six Irish writers will have their work showcased at The Belfast Media Festival. We’re delighted to reveal the writers shortlisted for the 2016 Northern Ireland Comedy Writers Event are:

  • KAREN QUINN                   ‘BAKERSVILLE’
  • DAVE KINGHAN                ‘MOVING FORWARD’
  • JANINE COBAIN                ‘STEPS’

Deciding on the final six scripts was extremely difficult. We had a very large number of entries and the overall quality was incredibly high. Three experienced judges came on board to help us. Assessing the scripts was a real challenge but we finally found our six. We hope people really enjoy seeing them staged at the Belfast Media Festival.

The six shortlisted writers will now be teamed with mentors who will help them adapt their work for the live reading. We’ll be staging abridged versions of the scripts. We can’t wait to start the casting process and bring the scripts to life.

Industry interest is expected to be high. The project and event are funded by the HETV Levy. The BBC Writers Room, BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Comedy are already involved and we are anticipating support from Northern Ireland Screen. The Belfast Comedy Writers group has also been incredibly supportive of the event, encouraging local writers to get involved. Members of the BCW will be helping throughout, as will the BBC Academy.

Apart from the staged readings, Grand Scheme Media and Creative Skillset will be staging two related training events for Irish writers. Mark and Graham will be in Belfast on the 7th and 8th of October running a free to attend two day session on Creating Comedy for the Screen.

Then Drama expert Philip Shelley will host a two day training programme on the art of Script Editing and Developing TV Drama on November 15th and 16th.

We look forward to working with the writers, running our training sessions and seeing the shortlisted scripts on stage. We have a very busy couple of months ahead and would like to thank all our partners for helping get this fantastic project off the ground.



Sign up now for our autumn tour of brilliant insights into making Television Drama. Join highly experienced professionals and enjoy workshops with writers and actors. Terrific value for money and five star rated feedback.
Learn about the key skills needed to become a script supervisor. Help cast and crew to run continuity and timings on a scene. Meet highly experienced script supervisors working in TV and Film and quiz directors about their work.
Channel 4 Screenwriting guru Philip Shelley presents everything you need to know about TV Drama: working with writers and production companies, delivering script reports, analysing scripts and giving notes to writers.
Courses can be booked here:
Discounts available for early bookings!!

Comedy Project 2016

Grand Scheme was delighted to be involved in this year’s showcase for new comedy writing at The Soho Theatre.
‘Conkers’, a mainstream situation comedy, is a script that Grand Scheme’s Mark Robson and co-writer Chris McGuire have been working on for a while. Their ambition is to try and create a show that has echoes of traditional BBC One comedies like ‘Are You Being Served’, albeit with contemporary stories and characters.
“We learnt a hell of a lot”, says Mark. “It was painful, educational and inspirational all at the same time. There is nothing like actually hearing great actors deliver your script to make it a tangible thing. It is exposed to the light and you can see all the flaws”.
Amongst the cast were Lizzie Roper who is a key member of the BBC’s ‘Boy Meets Girl’, JUlian Dutton – who helped wrote and performed in Matt Lucas’s ‘Pompidou’ and Toby Williams, who featured in Ben Wheatley’s ‘High-Rise’.
Mark and Chris knew the script needed more work and the live event confirmed it. “The staged reading energised Chris and I to write a fresh draft. We recommend it to any writer – get your script read by actors in front of an audience. It’s an amazing experience”.
The Soho Project runs annually at The Soho Theatre and more information can be obtained from Hollie Ebdon at Ebdon Management.

They got a job!

Madeline Addy, who attended our Comedy Script Editing course earlier in the year has recently won a position working at David Walliams and Miranda Hart’s KING BERT.
Maddy says: “A huge thank you for putting together such an excellent, helpful and extremely insightful course. The skills and advice you both imparted to us along with Ian Brown and James Hendrie have been incredibly invaluable for a new job I’ve recently started as Head of Comedy Development at King Bert Productions”.

From Drum


“The Grand Scheme team ran a series of incredibly successful, entertaining and educational training sessions for Drum/Omnicom Media Groups leading mid level creatives, account managers, producers and directors. Their style and panache was really engaging, the whole team benefitted hugely from the years of experience they brought to the table. We will be running follow ups for the wider group in the coming months”.