This week, the BBC invited Culture Commons Director, Trevor MacFarlane FRSA to an event in the UK Parliament to speak with parliamentarians and industry leaders about the economic impacts of the BBC One hit show 'Waterloo Road'.
Before moving into policy, Trevor had a successful career as an actor and theatre director, working on flagship productions from ITV and many leading theatre companies. Back in 2006, Trevor auditioned for 'Waterloo Road'...
"I'll never forget heading into that audition for 'Waterloo Road'. The experience totally changed my feelings about my ability to develop a career in TV as a working class young person based in Manchester. It was probably walking into the familiar setting of a school in Rochdale, surrounded by people who looked and sounded like me, that made me start thinking that securing jobs on my own doorstep that would not necessitate me having to take daunting train rides down to London was actually possible. It also felt significant that a BBC executive and casting director was here, in my city region, giving me 45 minutes of their time to show them what I had. Now, I didn't get that role (robbed!) but I did head into another audition with Yorkshire Television in Leeds just a few weeks later, able to talk with confidence about my experience with the BCC, and landed a sold role in a flagship primetime show."
“Waterloo Road is now very deeply embedded in Greater Manchester and plays a significant role in nurturing local talent to this day. And the requirements placed on our Public Sector Broadcasters, including the BBC via Royal Charter, means we know who’s working where and on what - & who’s watching where & on what too. It's this comprehensive level of transparency, which we don’t necessarily get from the private sector, that enables policy and decision makers to work together and take action in key areas. For example, Waterloo Road is demonstrably helping people from underrepresented groups get in, and get on, in the creative and cultural sectors, and this is going to go some way to addressing the issue of the circa 250,000 people from working backgrounds missing from sector to this day."