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The disruption of the coronavirus pandemic has made it more pressing for broadcasters and indies to find and develop the next generation of production talent, according to BBC3 head Fiona Campbell.

“Having been through a year of this people want to move on quickly in the early stages of their career,” Campbell told the Creative Cities Convention.

Bringing young talent to pitching meetings can be an “additive and a selling point,” she added.

 “The ideas that sang recently were the ones where indies got the really young ones in the room to pitch, because they really had the passion, vision and something fresh in their mind to go for.”

Campbell, who is based in Belfast, said reflecting local communities on screen had become more important in lockdown.

“The pandemic has made people love where they come from so much, they’re never going to leave,” she said. “They don’t want to go to London and find a career any more. They want to be happy where they are, where their family is and where they might set up a business.”

BBC3 community-focused programming cited by Campbell included Meet the Khans, filmed in Bolton, salon format Angels of the North and Northern Irish indie Alleycats’ BBC3 tractor competition The Fast and The Farmer (ish) [working title - pictured].

The last of these is made in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen, has been scaled up from a pilot to a seven-parter, earmarked as “a broader BBC and iPlayer priority,” Campbell revealed.

She said that BBC3’s planned return to the linear schedules would help the BBC to “shout as loudly as we can” about the relevant content it commissions for young British audiences.

“Having a channel as well as iPlayer to do that makes complete sense,” she said. “It’s great for the indies and talent behind and in-front of the screen because their content gets more outings and is going to catch more minds.”

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