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BBC’s Talent Quest: Creators Have a Chance to Shape Global Digital Narratives

BBC Studios is broadening its efforts to discover and develop emerging digital content creators by expanding its Creator in Residence initiative.

The BBC’s commercial arm announced Monday at the Cannes Lions festival that it will move its TalentWorks division, focused on nurturing new creative talent, under the purview of its Global Digital Brands team. As part of the restructuring, the Creator in Residence program will extend into the digital brands unit with a 100k investment over two years.

The program will offer three paid six-month residencies annually for up to six creators to gain training and develop projects affiliated with the broadcaster’s major digital brands, such as Top Gear, Doctor Who, and Comedy Entertainment labels. Residents will be embedded within BBC Studios’ production teams or its invested independent production companies.

Since its 2020 launch, the Creator in Residence program has helped facilitate commissions and podcasts from new writers and content makers across BBC TV channels and digital platforms. Helen O’Donnell, Head of TalentWorks Development at BBC Studios, will continue overseeing the initiative as it expands to prioritize cultivating digital-native creative voices.

The talent investment signals BBC Studios’ aim to connect with younger audiences consuming more content via online channels and social media platforms. Jasmine Dawson, SVP of Digital Global Engagement, framed the program as “a great opportunity for emerging talent to work on some of our biggest global brands and connect with our digital audiences.”

BBC Studios unveiled the plans ahead of a Cannes Lions panel examining how content creators can navigate social media criticism while leveraging influence for positive impact.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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