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Coronation Street and Emmerdale stars join Preston students to create soap drama

Posted on - 28th February, 2016 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, UCLan, University
Camera and sound students shooting Anthony Quinlan and Tisha Merry on the new external television set at the University of Central Lancashire

Camera and sound students shooting Anthony Quinlan and Tisha Merry on the new external television set at the University of Central Lancashire

A one off soap opera including famous faces from Coronation Street and Emmerdale has been created in Preston.

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Shot at the University of Central Lancashire the Soap In A Week project saw students work with TV pros.

Corrie’s Connor McIntyre, Tisha Merry, along with Emmerdale’s Michelle Hardwick and Anthony Quinlan starred alongside drama students.

During the course of a week the students from courses across the university worked to create the show.

19-year-old Sam Green, a TV production student, worked as one of the producers.

He said: It’s been a phenomenal week and I’m delighted it’s gone so well. One of the best things about this whole experience has been getting access to some of the biggest names in the business.

“We’ve been able to speak to everyone from ITV, from the lighting people to the scriptwriters, and I’ve learned so much from them in such a short space of time. I want to work as a TV sports producer in the future so this has given me a great taste of what I can expect.”

Related: University creates street for students to film in

Former students also returned to gain experience, including acting graduate Samantha Allen.

She said: “Having this opportunity to come and work with these industry professionals from ITV and be put in a scenario where you don’t necessarily have the pressure of a full on contracted job, but being able to put that into practice in the same professional environment is amazing.”

Student filming ITV's Michelle Hardwick and Connor McIntyre on the interior set

Student filming ITV’s Michelle Hardwick and Connor McIntyre on the interior set

ITV bigwigs were also in attendance and were impressed with the quality and skills of the students working alongside their crews.

Mark Bickerton, ITV’s Head of Editorial Engagement, added: “I’m delighted UCLan gave us the chance to do this together. It’s been a dream of mine for a while to produce a soap in a week and this has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. The students have been absolutely fantastic from day one; their commitment has been great and the skills they’ve brought are industry standard. I’m really confident they can be the next generation of ITV creatives.”

University bosses said it hoped to encourage more practical opportunities like the Soap In A Week project.

Dr Andrew Ireland, executive dean of the College of Culture and Creative Industries, said: “This is a fantastic initiative and one we believe is crucial to the development of our creative students.

“We are passionate about giving our students the best chance of gaining a job in the media industry once they graduate. Our industry contacts have told us there are skills’ gaps in the television production industry. By having this television set on campus it means our students will work in an environment similar to a television production company and they will develop the required level of technical skills. The University’s motto is innovative thinking for the real-world and this is a prime example of that in action.”

“The College of Culture and the Creative Industries is planning a number of initiatives that use simulations of real world experiences to address skills gaps in graduates wishing to work within broadcast industry. SPARK (Simulation Park) provides opportunities for learning through simulation and we are currently developing a curriculum working closely with industry partners.”

Did you take part in the soap? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below

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