Friday, 12 February 2016

Corrie writer Ben Tagoe: From selling phones to writing soap

Corrie writer Ben Tagoe with some of the Coronation Street cast
(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2016, reposted to this blog with permission.)

There's a good interview with Coronation Street writer Ben Tagoe today. 

Ben, from Perth, was working in the sales industry a decade ago — including a stint selling mobile phones in Dundee — when a chance stranding in Leeds saw him spend a night out with people involved in the music and arts industry. Within a couple of months he had sold his flat in Edinburgh and signed up for a creative writing course.

Ben said of his rise to prominence: “I decided to just take a chance — it was a huge decision to take and a lot of people thought I was mad because I was doing well and had a decent job. I just knew that I wanted to be able to enjoy my job and it not feel like a chore doing it every day. I finished my course in 2005 and for the next five years I was writing plays and putting them on with local actors — then I got my first paid writing job. It was hard-going — I thought I might have to give up at points.”

Ben’s big break came after years of toiling and temporary work when he scored a place on the prestigious BBC Writers’ Academy course. Living in London for three months, the course gave him the chance to help write episodes for EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors.

He didn’t feel he fitted in until he was asked to write three episodes for Coronation Street — which he said suited his style of writing down to the ground.

After impressing the show’s bosses he was given a 12-month contract to pen episodes on a regular basis — the process had taken him 10 years.

Now, as well as continuing his Corrie career, Ben is developing a drama series set in Dundee.

You can read the full interview here

You can follow Ben on twitter @btagoe17
See also our profile of Ben Tagoe and other members of the Coronation Street writing team

Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.

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