How to get noticed by the BBC

The BBC is the largest continuously-running employer of broadcast media in the country, so it's not surprising then that nearly every professional actor or production crew member in the country has worked, will work, or been connected with the BBC at some point in their careers. Many people believe the BBC is a secretive organisation - an Ivory Tower… or as I like to call it, it's a bit like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, where everyone seems to go in, but no one seems to come out. It's seen as a tough place to get in to, due to such fierce competition and a highly selective process; and from my experience this is all true. But, once you're in, you're in.

For a budding actor, it's harder than most to work on a BBC drama, event or series. We can't just apply to an acting role on their website, or opt for one of the many work experience placements on offer all year round, like someone wanting to work in production can.

For the discerning actor, the first step to being noticed by the BBC is to make sure he or she has an agent first before they can ever hope to work on a BBC format. After that, it's down to getting familiar with the casting directors who regularly work on these BBC productions. Get to finding out the slate of productions in the pipeline for the channel that year, and try and get your agent to get in touch with the BBC's dedicated Drama departments in the North and South of the country (because there are actually more than two, and each have a slightly different remit). Many BBC productions are period dramas, but recently, the BBC has heavily invested in many other types of drama. Try to model yourself on such formats as an actor; for example, having done some previous work on a period drama or theatre production will really help you get noticed by the casting directors working on the next big BBC reworking of Pride & Prejudice or Oliver Twist. Be one step ahead!

Aside from this, it might be really worth getting involved with the BBC in different areas, like live events or one of their touring projects. Most of these come under the production category, so they're not really acting jobs per say, but most of these opportunities are really good at satisfying a performer's creativity and passion, not least being good ways of getting your foot in the door and keeping it there; after all, it's not what you know, but mostly who you know in this fickle industry of ours!

With all of that done - it's now just a question of some solid luck and determined persistence! And that's how, for now.