of students from St Edmund Arrowsmith Catholic High School in Wigan has been
named the inaugural winner of our national Pitch
a Programme competition.
part of their prize, the winners last week visited the set of popular Channel 4
soap, Hollyoaks. In a behind-the-scenes tour, they met several of the hit
show’s cast and production team.
Earlier this year, we invited schools to
‘Pitch a Programme’ to the channel’s judging panel. We asked students aged
11-14 to devise a creative idea around the theme of ‘altogether different’ and
then pitch it with a presentation and a recorded trailer.
The St Edmund Arrowsmith students –
Francesco Foti, George Archer, Jack Stafford, Khaya Maninjwa and Noah Whitlow –
came up with a futuristic comedy called ‘One in Seven Billion’.
Angela Powers, the team’s English teacher,
praised the students for their imagination, vision and determination:
so proud of the boys, not only for coming up with this unique idea but also
beating off stiff competition from schools across the country. I hope it shows
children that a career in the TV and entertainment industry is achievable for
all. Who knows what this win might inspire?”
Khaya Maninjwa, who directed the trailer, explained: “Our idea was all about a world where people
are born clever but lose their intelligence as they get older. Our
antagonist is unique in this future world because he is just an average kid.
“This win is amazing for us. We
can’t find the right words to say how delighted we are.”
Catriona White, Digital
Commissioning Executive at Channel 4, who led the judging panel, said: “We had so many entries, with
teams from Essex, Leeds, London and Wigan making our final shortlist. The
quality of entries we saw blew us away. There were ideas for comedies, dramas,
game shows and even reality TV shows.
“We were amazed by the quality of
thinking and presentation from all the young people who entered. One in 7
Billion was such a fantastic original idea, and honestly, the team’s trailer had us all laughing out
Our initiative also provides in-school and virtual sessions and resources for schools. It is part of Channel 4’s desire to
give young people an understanding of what it is like to work in broadcasting
and the creative industries.
The content of our 4Schools
sessions is designed to support the curriculum and
help schools achieve Gatsby standards by providing contact with employers and labour market
information. Delivery is
supported by social enterprise TheTalentPeople which also operates GetMyFirstJob.co.uk, the UK’s leading jobs site for young people.