world : Diversity means better TV - Derry Girls writer

world : Diversity means better TV - Derry Girls writer
world : Diversity means better TV - Derry Girls writer

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:50 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Derry girls creator Lisa McGee has said stories will suffer in the future without diversity in the creative industry.

She was speaking at the launch of the Creative Industries New Entrants (CINE) programme - an initiative helping underrepresented people access the screen and creative industries.

People on the programme join industries at entry level on a placement with the hope of being retained by employers or starting freelance careers.

Ms McGee told BBC News NI the industry landscape had changed and people needed access to jobs.

"We just have to find ways to find that talent and make sure they're able to perfect their craft or the stories are going to suffer - the television is really going to suffer," she said.

She said she understood how "tough" it was coming from a working-class background and trying to break through.

"At the very start of my career you would be sent on these wild workshops - all wonderful but what I needed was money to write a script," she said.

"I needed someone to pay me to write a script so I could stop working those other jobs and focus on that - luckily that happened."

The Derry girls writer said it was important the industry pushed new writers and creators to work on their skills.

"That's what people need - they need people to put their money where their mouth is and back this talent."

Ms McGee has taken on some CINE trainees for her shows and said it was a great opportunity not just for them, but for her

"They're going to be the people who are creating the shows of the future, the jobs of the future in this industry - it's important," she said.

"I just want the most exciting, wonderful stories on screen and that's what diversity does."

Funded by the Department for Communities, NI Screen works in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland to deliver the scheme.

Teresa McDonald is a CINE trainee and said the programme had opened doors.

"It's given me so many skills I wouldn't have got, so many people I wouldn't have met, projects I just would never have been a part of, if not for this scheme helping me to get my foot through the door," she said.

Adam O'Connor, who has a disability that affects the use of his right arm, said the camera skills he had gained had given him the confidence to further his career.

"With the disability I have to adapt with everything that I do," he said.

"It's helped me to do things many would have said I might not be able to do and I do it, and it's given me the confidence because I have proved them wrong."

One trainee who is working with Lisa McGee on her upcoming show is Tolu Ogunware.

He said that without CINE, he would not have been had that opportunity.

"It's been a game changer breaking these barriers of the industry," he said.

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