Gateshead College alumni star in new BBC comedy pilot show

A new BBC comedy pilot show, created by a former Gateshead College student, recently premiered at this year’s BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff.

Where it Ends boasts a highly talented cast including Charlie Hardwick, who found fame in Emmerdale and Billy Elliott, comedian Lauren Pattison and Dave Johns, who starred in ‘I, Daniel Blake.’

Creator, writer and lead performer Jack Robertson is former performing arts student at the college. In the show actor Jack is part of a touring off-season budget two-person pantomime performing in a care home. There he is confronted with where life ends, causing him to become more self-aware of his own existence and mortality.

Gateshead College alumni also played an instrumental role in the development of the show. Liv Playfair and Callum Johnson, both former media, TV and film students as well as videographer Ben Michael Smith were part of the crew. The show was developed and pitched to production company Tiger Aspect by former Gateshead College art, design and media teacher Mark Wilson (known as Mark Kenny) who now works in the film production industry.

Jack Robertson, the writer and star of “Where It Ends,’ said: “This is a deeply personal story inspired by an event that has stayed with me for years.

“Working with such talented individuals to bring this story to life on screen was truly amazing. And let’s not forget the highlight of the experience – the perfectly seasoned chips on set!

“It was great to have other former Gateshead College students on set and I remember my college days well. The college provided us all with the perfect platform to go on to achieve our dreams and have careers in the media and arts industry. The curriculum is spot on and equipped me well for the path I’m following today.”

A positive Ofsted report, in March 2023, highlighted how Gateshead College use its strong partnerships with employers and sector specialists to plan and deliver an up-to-date curriculum in emerging technologies such as film and television screen skills.

Deni Chambers, Director of Curriculum and Skills at Gateshead College, said: “We’re immensely proud of both our alumni and former teacher, Mark for bringing this show to reality.

“At Gateshead College, we’re all about giving our students the skills and practical experiences that set them apart in the industry by developing their creativity, technical expertise, and industry-specific knowledge.

“Where it Ends is a fantastic example of our students going on to have successful careers in their chosen industry. Well done to everyone involved.”

Where It Ends is available now on BBC iPlayer and will subsequently be shown on BBC Three. Back in May, it featured at the BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff, an annual event that celebrates comedy in all its forms.