Media Release: Stevenson College students create storyline for BBC Radio drama

A STORYLINE, created by a class of Entry to Employment (E2E) students at Stevenson College Edinburgh, was chosen by BBC Radio 7 as the penultimate episode of Chain Gang – a mysterious and spooky drama aired online during December.

Over the last three months BBC 7 has been broadcasting a short drama serial under the umbrella title of Chain Gang.

The digital radio station, which specialises in offering comedy, drama and archive BBC programmes, asked the man who brought the Daleks back to Dr Who, award–winning writer, Robert Shearman, to write the first episode and from there the listeners took over the task of creating the story.

Each week, one storyline was selected and the two-minute drama was dramatised by Robert Shearman, recorded and broadcast.

As part of their Radio class with Jo Whelan, Media and Audio Visual lecturer at Stevenson, some of the College’s E2E students started contributing storylines from Episode 1 of Chain Gang.

Each week, they faithfully listened as the mysterious and spooky drama unfolded, and each week they decided what they thought should happen next.

Sometimes, the tale took on strange twists and turns, but the students rose to the challenge with ever more imaginative plot lines.

Finally, their hard work and patience paid off and their story for the penultimate episode of Chain Gang was chosen by the producer, Paul Arnold, and his production team.

Jo Whelan heard the news when Michaela Strachan phoned her out of the blue and recorded an interview about the class’s ideas.

Both the interview and the finished episode are available on the BBC iplayer until the end of December.

The final episode of the series was broadcast on 19th December.

Jo Whelan said: “I am very proud of the students as they were competing against listeners to Radio 7 from all over the country especially as some of the students were special needs.

“I’m delighted to say the station didn’t mention it either; they just picked the best story. The BBC 7 people were also thrilled. They aired a celebratory show and the students’ picture is up on the website together with vox pops of them.”

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Contact: Ann Robb