A Burnley-born screenwriter is helping bring Jodie Whittaker's Doctor Who to life after penning an episode of the hit BBC 1 show.
Joy Wilkinson, a Burnley Youth Theatre patron, has written the "Witch Finders" episode, due to air later in the 11th series currently wowing audiences on the BBC; the first of the legendary sci-fi show to feature a female doctor.
Joy is no stranger to the BBC after previously being selected for the BBC Writers’ Academy.
This led to her writing scripts for several BBC shows including Casualty, Doctors, and Land Girls before helming her own series, the critically-acclaimed BBC 1 five-parter The Adventures of Nick Nickleby.
Her writing career began when she wrote her first play aged 14 with fellow Burnley Youth Theatre member Vicki Grimshaw. The piece won the Lancashire Young Writers’ Festival and set Joy on her path to becoming a professional writer.
She actually started at Burnley Youth Theatre when she was 12 years old after previously attending BASICS drama group at Burnley Mechanics, leading to her involvement in the Youth Theatre’s production of The Hobbit.
During her time there she took part in several productions, including the lead role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and was part of the Thinking England ensemble that won the Lloyds Bank Theatre Challenge; performed on the Olivier Stage at the National Theatre.
One of the things that Joy loved most about Burnley Youth Theatre was the range of work that the theatre allowed to young people to explore, from Shakespeare and medieval mystery plays to musicals, devised work and edgy European political dramas.
“Nothing was deemed out of bounds or too ambitious. With something happening every week, it was a fantastic place to fuel young, hungry imaginations.”
Like many young people who are part of Burnley Youth Theatre currently, Joy felt like she “practically lived there in her teen years" saying it was "a great creative outlet and a community I could belong to".
Since leaving Burnley Youth Theatre at the age of 18, Joy has remained heavily involved in the organisation, attending the opening of the Moira Preston Building and acting as a patron and most recently as an honorary benefactor, supporting new work and the current ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising campaign.
Along with her upcoming episode of Doctor Who, Joy also has a new play out entitled The Sweet Science of Bruising which opened at Southwark Playhouse in London at the beginning of October and has won many five-star reviews.
“I’m really excited about my play and the new series of Doctor Who. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but I’ve learned a lot along the way and am grateful for the brilliant start I got a BYT.”