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Jamie Borthwick and Lorna Fitgerald talk about growing up in Eastenders

Made in Manchester is producing a special hour long programme examining at what it’s like to be a young person growing up starring in one of Britain’s top TV shows

Generation Soap, presented by Scott Mills, is next week’s edition of the BBC ‘Radio 1 Stories’ strand and will air on the network from 9-10pm on Monday night.

Producer and MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne says: ‘From Weatherfield to Walford via Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Pobol Y Cwm in Wales, we get a real insight into life as a young actor in soap. Meeting them all, I’ve been truly amazed by the sheer dedication they have to their art. These actors are working long hours to keep us entertained week in, week out. The pace with which they work is quite extraordinary.’’

Soap stars Brooke Vincent (Sophie Webster in Coronation Street), Jamie Borthwick (Jay Mitchell in EastEnders), Stephanie Davis (Sinead O’Connor from Hollyoaks), Alfie Browne-Sykes (Jason in Hollyoaks), Dyfan Rees (Lolo in Pobol Y Cwm), Maddie Heath (Amy Kelly in Coronation Street), Charlie Clapham (Freddie in Hollyoaks), Kelvin Fletcher (Andy Sugden in Emmerdale), Jess Ellis (Tegan in Hollyoaks), Sammy Winward (Katie Addyman in Emmerdale), Lorna Fitzgerald (Abi Branning in EastEnders), Isobel Hodgins (Victoria Sugden in Emmerdale), Amanda Clapham (Holly in Hollyoaks) and Emily Tucker (Shonned in Pobol Y Cwm) discuss what it’s like to have your life turned upside down by landing a role in a soap as a child actor.

The young actors speak about the challenges of balancing long filming days with their school work and seeing friends; the responsibilities that come with taking on controversial storylines and what it’s like to play heartthrobs.

The stars also talk about the exciting but precarious nature of show business and reveal how they cope with the increasing demands and pressures of social media. We also hear from some of the people who work behind the scenes including editors, directors and music researchers.

Bird Mothers of the Border examines different attitudes to motherhood in France and Germany

Made in Manchester has been commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to make a documentary about opposing models of motherhood in Europe.

The programme Bird Mothers of the Border will be presented by journalist Zoe Williams and airs on the network on Friday, 9th May at 11am.

The German city of Saarbrücken is separated from the French town of Saarguemines by just 20 kilometres but there’s a whole host of cultural differences regarding motherhood. On the German side of the border, the term ‘raven-mother’ has long been used to stigmatise mothers who work. On the French side, women risk being perceived as ‘mother-hens’ if they stay at home to look after their children.

But change is in the air.

In Germany, demographic angst is forcing policy-makers to embrace new initiatives designed to make it easier for women to combine a family with a career. Suddenly, the country’s raven-mothers have found themselves a whole host of high-placed allies who are looking to France’s state-funded childcare system for inspiration.

Meanwhile, babies are causing a flap on the other side of the border too – but for very different reasons. There, French feminist thinker Elisabeth Badinter has issued a warning that France’s inclement economic climate is leading a new generation of women to reject the uncertainty of the workplace for the security of the home. Mother-hens are on the rise and, according to Badinter, nothing less than France’s proud feminist legacy is at stake.

MIM Creative Director and Executive Producer Ashley Byrne says: ‘Europe is in the news a lot at the minute of course but I wonder how much many of us know about how culture plays out just over the water. This documentary is a fascinating insight into the pressures of motherhood in two countries very close to us.’

Bird Mothers of the Border is produced by Kate Schneider and will air on BBC Radio 4 at 11am on Friday, May 9th 2014

The Midlands is getting a boost this month with a special series on the BBC.
Made in Manchester is making the programmes which will air across five nights on Radio 3.
‘This is England’s forgotten region,’ says MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne ‘there’s a wealth of history, heritage, culture that has sprung from this area but it [...]

Made in Manchester’s latest production for the BBC World Service was for the network’s Witness strand which remembers key global events through the eyes of individual testimony.
MIM has made several of these short documentaries for the station and the latest looked back at the violent coup that toppled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti 10 years [...]

Made in Manchester has made a programme for the BBC World Service ‘Witness’ strand about the Panama flag riots 50 years ago.
You can hear it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01nrjgz
The programme presented by MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne looks back at the events of the January 9th 1964 when riots erupted over plans to fly the Panamanian flag [...]

Made in Manchester has made a documentary for BBC Radio 2 about the moment in 1964 when a South Manchester railway station was turned into a scene from the deep south of America.
Didn’t It Rain: When The Blues Came to Britain will air on the network on Thursday 24th October 2013 at 10pm and is [...]