Creating university soap-er stars

By November 23, 2015Media

Creative students at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston are teaming up with TV industry professionals to bring a soap opera to life in the heart of the city.

And the team at Portergate’s fast-emerging £18million Friargate development would just love to see the bustling building site captured on camera as a backdrop to one of the scenes.

ITV Studios and the university have announced their plans to partner up to produce ‘Soap in a Week’.

Aimed to inspire students, share skills and source future talent, the university says that the ambitious project will see all aspects of an original ‘continuing drama’ brought to life in just one week.

Cast and crew from hit ITV soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street will work with students from a host of courses at the Preston campus to brainstorm ideas, storyline the first episode, script, rehearse, shoot and show it – all in five days.

ITV will be there for guidance only and the idea and execution will be done entirely by the students, according to university chiefs.

Leading the project is John Whiston, ITV’s Creative Director for Continuing Drama. He told the university’s website: “At ITV in the North we really believe in helping a whole new generation of potential programme makers understand what we do and hopefully make them want to join our industry.

“So what better way than throwing them all in at the deep end! But don’t worry, we’ll be there to equip them all with suitable water wings and other assorted flotation devices.”

Dr Andrew Ireland, Executive Dean of UCLan’s College of Culture and the Creative Industries, added: “This is a really exciting and ground-breaking opportunity for UCLan students to get really strong, high-profile hands-on media industry experience.

“To become the first and only university to work with ITV on such a fantastic project is amazing and I know our students are really looking forward to the challenge.”

Soap in a Week will take place on the week of 22 to 27 February 2016 at UCLan’s Preston campus.

Portergate’s Friargate development sits nearby the campus in the University Quarter and has already attracted media attention as its construction continues to gather pace, with local radio featuring the building project and a series of on-site videos filmed for Portergate’s own website.



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