Is Birmingham the ‘Soap Opera’ capital of England?

A panel of soap opera writers will be giving listeners the inside scoop on why they think Birmingham is the real ‘soap city’ at an event held in the city this week.

The panel will focus on the strong tradition of soaps that have been produced or fictionally set in or around Birmingham, from BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, the world’s longest running radio drama, to BBC One’s Doctors, BBC Asian Network’s Silver Street and ITV’s Crossroads.

Part of Birmingham Literature Festival, ‘Soap City’ will take place at The Library of Birmingham on Friday 10 October from 6pm. 

Dr Gregory Leadbetter, scriptwriter for Silver Street and Reader in Literature and Creative Writing at Birmingham City University, said: 

I think the city’s social diversity, its situation in the heart of the country, and of course the dedication and inventiveness of those employed on working on these shows has contributed to the city’s success in this respect. The Archers is still going strong, as is Doctors, which is made in the BBC Drama Village still present in the city.

The audience can expect to hear about the way these shows are or were run, what it’s like to work on a long-running serial, and the craft of writing drama for TV and radio – all from the writers themselves.

Chaired by Helen Cross, award-winning novelist and Fellow of the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing at Birmingham City University, the panel will feature scriptwriters Mary Cutler (The Archers, Crossroads), Gregory Leadbetter (Silver Street), Tim Stimpson (The Archers/Ambridge Extra) and Claire Bennett (Doctors).

‘Soap City’ is produced in partnership with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. For more details and to book onto the event visit here.  



Maps & Guides

Maps & Guides for your visit.

Read More

Getting around

Getting around Birmingham couldn’t be easier...

Read More

What's on

Search for places, events & accommodation...

Read More

Festivals & events

Take a look at what’s on now and coming up here...

Read More


RT @JQBID: 7 days to go 🎉🎉🎉#JQFestival. This time next week, they’ll be entertainment courtesy of a range of artists including the brillian…

RT @IndependentBham: Saturday is SOLD OUT! Grab your Sunday tickets fast 👉 25 of Brum's very best food/drink trad…

RT @JQBID: If you ❤️the #JewelleryQuarter in #Birmingham, join us for the #JQFestival to discover our #artisans, #museums, #shops, #pubs,…

RT @HGIBirminghamBP: We are showing it at the Hilton Garden Inn Birmingham too with a BBQ on the terrace. @visit_bham we hope to see you al…

Festivals & events

Sporting highlights

All sporting events

There’s always something, or someone, to cheer for here

Read More


Art Galleries

Birmingham’s art collection is as wide as it is impressive. 

Read More

Stage & Screen

From touring West End shows to showcasing local talent.

Read More


A huge arena tour or an intimate gig?  You’ll find it here.

Read More


Multiplexes, the UK’s oldest working cinema or art house cool?

Read More

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

A vibrant museum in the heart of the city with over 40 galleries.

Read More


A diverse range of dance groups and venues.

Read More

See More, Feel More

Come, stay and soak up the culture in one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Read More


Plan the perfect shopping trip with full store, centre and brand directories.

Read More

Shopping centres

From the world-famous, 21st Century Bullring to the Victorian elegance of the Great Western Arcade.

Read More

Vibrant streets

Linking the centres are Birmingham’s bustling shopping streets, packed with major brands and boutique independents.

Read More


Don’t miss Birmingham’s amazing markets – whether it’s the 850-year old Bullring markets or the...

Read More

Jewellery Quarter

Home to more diamond rings, finishing touches and tokens of love than anywhere else in...

Read More

Getting Married in Birmingham

We have everything covered from the rings right up to the venue itself.

Read More