ITV creates Tony Warren drama bursary

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

ITV has fulfilled one of Tony Warren’s final wishes, to create a drama student  bursary in his name.

Shortly before his death in 2016, he discussed his wish for Coronation Street and ITV to establish a scheme to support those from disadvantaged backgrounds to train at drama school.

Before becoming a writer, Warren was an actor and was very aware of how difficult it was for disadvantaged young people to get into the trade and was a champion of local talent.

“I am delighted on both a personal and professional level that ITV Studios is able to fulfil Tony’s wish to create this bursary. Tony understood the need to give people a chance to shine and that financial circumstance meant a lot of great talent would go unseen,” said Coronation Street’s executive producer, Kieran Roberts.

“He was also a passionate champion of northern acting talent. In creating this scheme in his name we hope to make a difference for some fantastic actors of the future."

ITV will be working with The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Manchester School of Theatre, part of Manchester Metropolitan University.

“Tony used to say to me - ‘We can’t stand still!  We have a responsibility to find new outstanding talent, bring them on and encourage them, so let’s get out there and discover them. Who else is going to find and help them if we don’t? - Wise words from a man who was always ahead of his time,” added actor/director and long time friend of Tony Warren, Noreen Kershaw.

The first successful applicant of the inaugural Tony Warren Bursary will begin their training in September 2018.