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Friday 21 May 2021

Dream position on Emmerdale for UCLan graduate

Screenwriter Luke lands place on ITV scheme

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, who grew up in Salford and now lives in Sheffield, 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.

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 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."

UCLan screenwriting graduate and ITV Editorial Production Trainee Luke Connelly

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.

It has always been Luke’s dream to write for a soap opera and it was this reason he came to study at UCLan.

He commented: “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 knew UCLan did a module specifically on writing continuing drama, so this was the main attraction ... If it wasn’t for UCLan I would never have been offered this opportunity."

UCLan screenwriting graduate and ITV Editorial Production Trainee Luke Connelly

Luke is aiming to soak up everything he can during the scheme and hopes this is the first step in a very long career in continuing drama.

“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” he said.

“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.”

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.”

UCLan screenwriting graduate and ITV Editorial Production Trainee Luke Connelly01 / 01