How to find crew and acting jobs for the BBC

Many actors and crew dream about working on a BBC production. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was formed in 1922 and is the world’s largest and oldest national broadcaster. They are behind some of the most-watched programs in TV history. Some of their biggest global television hits include Doctor Who, Top Gear, Sherlock, Line of Duty, Killing Eve, and many more. Even though the BBC is a British broadcast many of its shows get syndicated around the world, and many (like Bodyguard) migrate to Netflix in the US, while others (such as House of Cards) are remakes of BBC originals.

To find work as an actor or crew on a BBC show, you will first need to find out if the specific show is being made by the BBC itself or by an external production company. In the past, the BBC took on the responsibility of producing all of its broadcasts, including long-standing shows like EastEnders and Holby City, as well as revived series such as Doctor Who. However, the broadcaster now also relies on third-party commissions for a significant portion of its drama content. For example, Sid Gentle Films produced Killing Eve on behalf of the BBC, while Line of Duty and Bodyguard were created by World Productions, an ITV-owned company. Two Brothers Pictures and Element Pictures were responsible for making Fleabag and Normal People, respectively. While some of their hit shows are being produced by external companies, the BBC still generates a wide range of programming, including globally distributed 24-hour news services, game shows, nature documentaries, educational content, and more.

If a production is being made by the BBC, you can find information about casting and hiring on their website and on the BBC Casting Twitter account – which also includes call-outs for contestants and contributors for everything from game shows to reality shows. If the show is being made by a production company, you can find information about them in the Mandy employer’s directory. To find out what is the production company behind a BBC show, it’s essential to monitor the industry. If you have an agent, they are a great source of information as they should have good industry contacts. Online research should also reveal who is casting and hiring crew for any existing show.

Once you've identified a show that has been greenlit and discovered who is hiring for it, the next step is to reach out to them. Our friends at Backstage have had insightful discussions with casting directors from numerous highly-rated BBC shows. Based on their expertise, here are a few pieces of advice they offer:

Lauren Evans, casting director for BBC’s Taboo and Gavin & Stacey, says: “You don’t need to write a cover letter with an email. Just be brief, clear, and concise. Something like: ‘This is my name, this is where I’m from, and this is what I’d like to show you, please do keep me in mind...’ I think when your email starts to become a life story, then it’s all a bit much.” And timing can be everything: “If by chance your face fits a brief we have at the moment, then bingo! I keep all my tapes from every actor I’ve ever met because if a name comes up, I look up to see what my note is on them and watch the tape to see if I want to bring them back in.”

Fleabag’s casting director Kelly Valentine Hendry also advised clarity and brevity: “Write a very clear message on the subject line of what you’re applying for and just be as simple as possible. You don’t need to think about it too much.” She also emphasizes the importance of self-tapes, as this is likely to be the first a CD will see of an actor: “People who don’t have agents should be very keen on self-taping. If you get in touch in the correct manner – I just mean politely, at the right time – and you can get your self-tape to a casting director then you’re off!”

Another way to find jobs for the BBC is to browse our Jobs Board. The Mandy team works hard to bring our members the best job opportunities for actors and crew in the UK. You can create a FREE professional profile here and start applying for jobs today!