The actor and writer Mark Gatiss, best known for his work on 'Sherlock' and 'Doctor Who', will head a new scheme to bring more LGBT voices to BBC TV, it was announced yesterday among a range of initiatives designed to develop and champion diverse new emerging talent in British TV.
Gatiss has chosen seven upcoming LGBT writers each to write a new short film for BBC Four as part of a project to reflect a century of gay experience in Britain through dramatic monologues. Five of the writers have never written for television before, and Gatiss will write a play himself, bringing the number of new short films up to eight.
The writers include the poetry slam champion Keith Jarrett and the alternative pantomime writer Jon Bradfield. The Old Vic theatre will stage all eight monologues in July, in the run up to the transmission of the films on the BBC later this year.
Gatiss is just one of several high-profile cultural figures currently helping the BBC in their mission to be more diverse. Last night the BBC Director-General Tony Hall joined actor Idris Elba at a London event to unveil various ways in which the BBC plans to reflect modern Britain better on screen – including a programme to develop more TV presenters with disabilities and a bursary to develop high-potential comedy writers from diverse backgrounds.