FormatLab returns for a second edition

Building on the success of the pilot training initiative Formatlab, TRC, in partnership with Screen Scotland, BBC and Channel 4, has today announced that applications are now open for the 2023 editon.

FormatLab is an intensive training programme which includes a paid traineeship for successful applicants and aims to create the next wave of entertainment development talent for ScotlandFormatLabwill focus on the development of formats in factual entertainment including reality, shiny floor talent shows, game and quiz shows. The programme is designed for creative individuals from all walks of life who have a love of non-scripted television and the ambition to devise ideas that could go on to be the next Strictly Come Dancing, Who Wants to be a Millionaire or Masterchef.  Previous experience in the television industry is not required.

The initiative anticipates the growth in entertainment production from Scotland following the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council’s investment in a brand new 10,500 sq. ft. television production studio at Kelvin Hall, recently host to BBC One gameshow Bridge of Lies presented by Ross Kemp  alongside the success of the existing studios at the BBC’s Pacific Quay in Glasgow, already home to Richard Osman’s House of Games, Impossible and In for a Penny.

Developed by TRC in consultation with Screen Scotland, BBC, Channel 4 and independent production companies from across Scotland, FormatLab will feature training opportunities, expert mentoring, studio visits and industry placements for eight candidates over nine months. Applicants will be placed with TV production companies actively developing an entertainment portfolio and will be recruited from a wide variety of sectors and backgrounds to ensure the brightest, most diverse and creative cohort possible.

Having completed the 2022 programme, trainee Rhian Campbelll, who received a placement at Tuesday’s Child, makers of The Hitlist, Lego Masters and Guessable said:

“To say my experience has been life changing is not an understatement. FormatLab has given me the confidence and knowledge to work in Development. I am so proud to have been a member of the pilot scheme and to have my voice heard and experiences reflected in Unscripted Development based in Scotland.”


David Smith, Director of Screen, Screen Scotland said:

“Empowering Scotland-based production companies to win new entertainment commissions is our aim. FormatLab exists to draw clever, talented people from non-TV backgrounds into television. Their original ideas will become new programmes that entertain audiences around the world and add more new jobs into our fast-growing sector.”

Kate Phillips, Controller, Entertainment, BBC also stated that,

“After a successful first edition, we are delighted to support FormatLab again. BBC is looking forward to platforming creatives across all walks of life who are passionate about TV and want to develop big ideas.”Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment, Channel 4, commented that:

Phil Harris, Head of Entertainment, Channel 4, commented that:

“Channel 4 is committed to nurturing creative talent across the UK and we are really proud to be able to support FormatLab again. This scheme will provide fantastic opportunities for entertainment development talent in Scotland – we look forward to working with this new cohort and see what great ideas get developed.”


Key Dates and Criteria:

There is no age limit for FormatLab and previous television production experience is not essential. However, to be eligible applicants must:

  • Have a demonstrable love of television, with a particular passion for game, quiz, talent and/or reality shows.
  • Be an innovative and original thinker, bubbling with ideas.
  • Be able to participate in and commit to this development training programme for nine months from May 2023

In line with TRC’s mission of being fully inclusive and accessible, the programme actively welcomes applications from the widest talent pool irrespective of background, socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation or other characteristics that are irrelevant to the programme.

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 17th March. Full details can be found at


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