Preston graduate who scrubbed as a part time cleaner beats 1000 others for dream soap gig on Emmerdale

A Preston graduate has come out on top after beating more than a thousand other applicants for a gig on a hit UK soap opera.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Luke Connelly on set.

Luke Connelly, 27, originally from Salford, has landed his dream job with ITV and will work behind the scenes at 'Emmerdale'.

Luke completed his screenwriting degree at UCLan last year and was selected from more than 1,500 applicants for a spot on ITV's Editorial Production Trainee Scheme.

Over the next 12 months, the Sheffield resident will help to create episodes for one of the UK’s longest running and most watched continuing dramas.

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Luke, 27, has landed his dream job writing scripts for long-running soap 'Emmerdale'. He was even writing scripts during his time as a part-time cleaner.

Viewers could end up watching episodes that Luke helped to create as he will work on everything from story lines to scripts.

“I am excited and nervous at the same time," Luke said, "I grew up watching Emmerdale and to think I’ll now be part of it is amazing.”

Luke started script writing during his time as a cleaner and continued to pursue his dream.

“I worked part-time as a cleaner during my studies and experimented with my own scripts at the same time, so to finally get to a point where I can write as a career is unbelievable,” he said.

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He followed in dad Paul's footsteps after completing the same degree, a year apart and credits his UCLan experience for landing the role.

“I knew UCLan did a module specifically on writing continuing drama, so this was the main attraction," Luke said.

"It gave me the chance to work in a writers’ room on our own soap opera called Friargate and this experience was invaluable when it came to applying for the ITV scheme.

"If it wasn’t for UCLan I would never have been offered this opportunity.”

A talent for script writing runs in the family as both father and son won the Jack Rosenthal Award for Best Screenplay during their time at the university.

Lecturer Steve Lawson, who taught Luke on the continuing drama module, said Luke was 'a dream to teach'.

"It is brilliant to see his talent and hard work being recognised and rewarded so soon after graduating," he said.

Luke is aiming to soak up everything he can during the scheme and hopes this is the first step in a very long career in continuing drama.

“Continuing drama is what I’m most passionate about and I’d love to develop my career writing it," he said.

"I love the character development and how these characters become part of our everyday lives.

“I’m looking forward to working with experienced script writers and seeing how a soap opera comes together.

"I’m sure I’ll learn a lot and I can’t wait to get started.”

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