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IFTN Speaks to Brian Lynch – Kids BAFTA nominated creator of ‘All at Sea’
30 Oct 2014 : Seán Brosnan
Series 1 of CBBC series 'All at Sea', a comedy for six-twelve year olds, has been nominated for the 2014 Kids' BAFTAS in the category of Best Comedy.

The series was created by Dublin writer Brian Lynch who was also lead writer. Executive Producer is Connal Orton (' 4 O'Clock Club', 'Lost Christmas') and producer is Juliet Charlesworth ('Hit and Miss'). The series, shot in Manchester, Stockport and Scarborough is centred on an 11 year old boy, Charlie, whose parents have recently left London and moved to seaside Scarborough where they have opened a B&B. Charlie is blessed with a vivid imagination, but unfortunately for his family, also has the exceptional drive and leadership skills needed to make his insane plans a reality.

Cast members include Ryan Wilkinson ('Shameless'), Steve Edge ('Starlings'), Nicola Stephenson ('Clocking Off') and Olivia Cosgrove ('Little Crackers').

Lynch has one previous BAFTA nomination - for Best Writer on the Granada series, 'My Parents are Aliens' and he talks to IFTN about the recent success of ‘All at Sea’.

IFTN: Congratulations on the BAFTA nomination –What factors do you think are key to the success of ‘All at Sea’?

Brian Lynch:That’s a difficult question to answer! I think it is quite funny and I know part of the brief when the show was commissioned was to bring more grown-ups into the channel and I think that has happened. I think it’s something that a family can watch together and there is something there for the parents too.

Writing for adults is one thing but I imagine it can be difficult writing for the ever changing demographic of pre-teens….

Well, I have been doing that for a long time. I have written now for a lot of kids shows for that kind of age group so I don’t really tailor it much to be honest with you. Kids that age need stories that move really fast and that would be the main difference. They’re not going to hang around for nuanced, emotional scenes. So yeah, quick stories is probably the key to that age group.

Would it be harder then to create characters for that age group? I mean, you’d probably have to make them outlandish but at the same time somehow believable with a semblance of reality…

I would say that’s a very good description, yeah! I think it’s probably especially so in comedy. In ‘All at Sea’, the characters are quite outlandish in a way, like you said, but I think there is something very real about them too in terms of kids. It kind of centres around these kids that are up to no good all the time but everything they’re doing is completely justified in their minds. So, the main kid Charlie – if he was 14 he’d probably be considered a sociopath! But, because he’s younger and full of mischief it becomes quite endearing the stuff he gets up to.

Would you be nervous when getting something like this commissioned; working with child actors and the like. Any reservations about how it might play out?

Well, I have worked with the Executive Producer Connal Orton several times before and I know he is absolutely brilliant to work with, a completely safe pair of hands. So, I had a lot of confidence that he would make the show the best it could be which I think he really has done.

Any advice for anyone that wants to unlock their inner child and break into the world of television writing for kids?

I think it might be quite hard nowadays to break into initially because they don’t commission very much in this genre these days, especially not over here – apart from animation which I don’t really know much about. To break into the UK, I would say just start off writing a spec script of your own and keep sending them around to various companies and definitely to CBBC.

Other than Series Two of ‘All at Sea’ which is airing now, anything else we can expect from you in the future?

Yeah, I have a couple of feature films that I am working on at the moment. One is just spec and the other is something I have co-written with a chap called Peter McKenna and that’s a comedy for adults with Deadpan Pictures. So, I am into the re-write stage and working on that at the moment!

Series two of 'All at Sea' is currently going out on CBBC at 5:30pm Fridays.

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IFTN Speaks to Brian Lynch – Kids BAFTA nominated creator of ‘All at Sea’
30 Oct 2014 
Dublin writer Brian Lynch’s Children’s Comedy Series ‘All at Sea’ Coming to BBC this Sep
19 Aug 2013 

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