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.  

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