The Future of UK Television Writing

The future will be televised. And someone has to write it. The question is, who?

The TV drama landscape is changing. The influence of on-demand services Netflix and Amazon are transforming how we watch television. But are they changing how television is being written? Do longer series mean that the US writers’ room system is coming to the UK? And does that mean there will be more opportunities for new writers? Will that system provide an actual career structure for those writers?

Or do bigger budgets and higher stakes mean that production companies are more risk adverse? Are they only now interested in established names? And if this is the case, how can writers break through and prove themselves to be a ‘safe pair of hands’?

WGGB and the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University held an exciting and vital discussion about the future of television writing in the UK on Tuesday 26 September at Leeds Beckett University.

Speakers were:

Dominic Minghella

Writer, producer, showrunner

Robin Hood, The Scapegoat, Doc Martin, Knightfall

Sophie Petzal


Riviera, The Last Kingdom, Wolfblood, Medici: Masters of Florence

Vinay Patel


Murdered by my Father, Good Karma Hospital

Amy Roberts

Writer and script editor

Cold Feet, Gap Year, The White Princess, Mount Pleasant

The discussion was chaired by Lisa Holdsworth

Writer//WGGB Deputy Co-Chair

Emmerdale, New Tricks, Robin Hood, Midsomer Murders

This event brought together experienced writers to discuss what the future may hold for up-and coming-television writers, including those currently studying at the Northern Film School, who hosted the event.

There were also discussions about how WGGB can best secure fair minimum terms and working practices for all writers at all stages of their career, and an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

Photos: Paul Harness Photography