Bad Wolf unveils first director on scheme promoting women of colour

Former Hollyoaks and Call the Midwife director Avril Evans has been named as the first participant in a Doctor Who scheme to address the underrepresentation of women of colour in directing.

Evans was chosen by Doctor Who producers Bad Wolf from a shortlist of 25 Directors UK members as part of the Placement Directors scheme, funded by the BBC and Sony Pictures Television.

Evans has completed six weeks’ pre-shooting prep and begun work alongside director Alex Pillai (Bridgerton, Da Vinci’s Demon) on the second series of Doctor Who to be made by Bad Wolf, which is currently in production.

She will also be shooting second unit material and spend two weeks on post-production.

Evans, who worked in advertising before moving into drama, told Broadcast: “To be part of an iconic global show with a 60-year history and working the best in the industry is truly a once in a lifetime experience. I am forever grateful to Bad Wolf, the BBC and SPT for addressing the under-representation of black female directors through this Placement scheme.”

Doctor Who co-producer Sharon King, who spearheaded the scheme, credited producer Vicki Delow for pushing the indie to work more closely with Directors UK to deal with the representation issue.

She added: “On a personal note, being involved with this director placement scheme is something I’m very proud of and I’m certain it will go down as one of my career highlights.  Avril has already proved to be a great success with the team.”

Bad Wolf co-founder Jane Tranter said: “Lack of representation amongst directors is an issue we all need to urgently address. This scheme has been a hugely fruitful process and I am keen that this is just the beginning of an increased focus for Bad Wolf and for the industry as a whole”.

Andrea Corbett, head of career development and skills at Directors UK said that career development programmes like the Placement Directors scheme, which create work-based positions for directors and allow them to hone their craft on the job in a collaborative and supportive environment, are “vital to the long-term sustainability of our TV industry”.