UCLan graduate lands dream job on ITV soap

Posted on - 26th May, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Preston News, TV, UCLan
Luke Connelly at ITV Emmerdale

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate has landed his dream job on ITV soap opera Emmerdale.


Luke Connelly, who completed his screenwriting degree last year, was selected from more than 1,500 applicants to be offered a place on the ITV Editorial Production Trainee Scheme.

The 27-year-old will spend the next 12 months being trained in a variety of roles related to creating episodes for one of the UK’s longest running and most watched continuing dramas.

This includes working on storylines, scripts and with the pre and post-production teams.

Read more: Stay tuned for Preston’s very own soap opera

Luke said: “I am excited and nervous at the same time. I grew up watching Emmerdale and to think I’ll now be part of it is amazing.

“I knew UCLan did a module specifically on writing continuing drama, so this was the main attraction. It gave me the chance to work in a writers’ room on our own soap opera called Friargate and this experience was invaluable when it came to applying for the ITV scheme. If it wasn’t for UCLan I would never have been offered this opportunity.

“I worked part-time as a cleaner during my studies and experimented with my own scripts at the same time, so to finally get to a point where I can write as a career is unbelievable.

“Continuing drama is what I’m most passionate about and I’d love to develop my career writing it. I love the character development and how these characters become part of our everyday lives.

“I’m looking forward to working with experienced script writers and seeing how a soap opera comes together. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot and I can’t wait to get started.”

Read more: Preston barber looking for love on Channel 4’s First Dates

Luke has followed in dad Paul’s footsteps after he also completed the same degree at UCLan a year earlier.

Both father and son won the Jack Rosenthal Award for Best Screenplay during their time at the University.

UCLan screenwriting lecturer Steve Lawson taught Luke on the continuing drama module. He said: “Luke was an absolute dream to teach. It is brilliant to see his talent and hard work being recognised and rewarded so soon after graduating.”

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