BOLTON could soon have yet another star comedy writer.
Christiana Brockbank, aged 26, from Harwood, has won a nationwide Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) competition to find the UK’s most promising television comedy writers.
The former Canon Slade School pupil impressed judges, including Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous and Jessica Hynes, from Twenty Twelve and Spaced, to be named one of the top five out of almost 500 entries in the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum.
Now she will see her script, Binwomen, performed live in front of high profile industry bosses at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival (GEITF) in August.
Christiana, who would watch episodes of Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights while at university to ward off homesickness, said: “It’s a bit overwhelming. I’m really excited but I’m quite nervous.
“I’m new to this. I’ve spent a lot of time writing but not a lot of time talking to people who are really well-respected.”
Comedian John Bishop and Shane Allen, controller of comedy at the BBC, are among those who will be at the event, for entrants without a television commission.
Christiana, who works part-time at clothes shop Monsoon while devoting the rest of her time to writing, said: “I’ve been writing scripts ever since I started university in 2005. I’ve always written short stories, ever since I was really young.
“Ultimately, I would love to see what I have written get made.
“I’ve always watched different types of comedy. I’m a big fan of Spaced.
“My script is set in a town fairly similar to Bolton. It’s about two bin women. The main character is a hoarder and she picks up stuff on her bin round. The other is cynical and angry about life.”
Christiana, who now lives in London but whose family still lives in Bolton, completed a film and TV studies degree at the University of Warwick before a Master’s degree in scriptwriting at Bournemouth University.
Farah Abushwesha, founder of Rocliffe, said: “It was incredible to see such a diverse group of comedy writers and writing.
“It was particularly exciting to read entries from those who had never written before — everyone loves to discover new talent, especially us.”
The BAFTA Rocliffe Sitcom Showcase, at the Guardian Edinburgh International TV Festival, takes place on August 22.