London Turkish Radio Drivetime Celebrates Community Success

Fevzi Hussein and Canan Nuri were treated to extra special studio guests this week on their Drivetime show on London Turkish Radio.

Rudolph Walker OBE, best known for playing Patrick Trueman in EastEnders, set up the Schools Drama Award to mentor youngsters and help them break into the industry. Seven schools around North East London competed in the finale on 22 May to win the title of Best Play.

The winners of the 2011 Rudolph Walker School’s Drama Award joined Fevzi and Canan in the studio last Tuesday [31 May] to tell the two about their winning play, and about the inspiring friendships they have formed with each other along the way.

Zilal Yasar, Ceyhun Kocher, Ceylun Dilaver, Esra Kose, Olayinka Taiwo, Coasmin Neagu and Elene Nicola, all students at Northumberland Park Community School, explained that the play they had made was about their journey the programme.

“It was a comedy, and they wrote a script about pregnancy and knife crime,” said proud Drama teacher Sarah Tompkins, who was also in the studio.

Zilal Yasar commented that she didn’t know who some of the others were until they began working on the project. “If it wasn’t for this,” she said, “I wouldn’t have spoken to most of them”.

Olayinka Taiwo agreed and said that the project really brought the students together as a group. “We’re very different people from different groups. We wouldn’t normally interact with each other, but the play has really brought us together. We’re like family now!”

The group won a “huge trophy” for their winning piece, but Ceylun Dilaver stated that it wasn’t the only good thing. “It was about the roller coaster of emotions, making new friends, and getting to meet people from shows like EastEnders and Casualty. We even had lunch with Rudolph Walker himself to celebrate winning! We say thank you to him for starting this project in the first place, without that we wouldn’t be here today.”

“We got the opportunity to be part of this, we seized that, and we really enjoyed ourselves along the way,” said Esra Kose. “It was a great project,” said Coasmin.

Later on in the Drivetime programme, Rudolph Walker himself phoned in to congratulate the students once again, saying that “it was fantastic working with the kids”, and announcing that there are plans to make the competition a national and possibly even an international one. “The future is in our hands,” said Rudolph, “and it’s important that there’s help and mentoring for kids, especially those from a BME background, to break into the industry.”

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