Television scriptwriter Neil returns to Academy

Script writer Neil Duncan (back left) with Miss Anderson, Mr Campbell and pupils Sophie, Jordan and Ruairidh
Script writer Neil Duncan (back left) with Miss Anderson, Mr Campbell and pupils Sophie, Jordan and Ruairidh

A FORMER Peterhead Academy pupil went back to school for an educational visit on Monday.

Since leaving the academy, Neil Duncan (36), has become a scriptwriter for many popular television programmes.

Speaking to he Buchanie, Neil said: “I was contacted by Evan Ritchie because he was bringing back former pupils for special days so we can talk about what we do for a living.

“I ended up doing workshops with the 5th and 6th years where we talked about creative writing.”

The pupils were shown first-hand, how to create characters and to think about how they would react to certain situations.

Principal teacher of English, Donald Campbell, said: “The pupils do a portfolio on writing so it is good to get a professional in and show them how it is done.”

This was the first time Neil had done something like this and described it as being “a bit of a risk”, but it seems to have paid off as the pupils enjoyed their day.

Neil originally studied English at Glasgow University but had no idea what he wanted to do, even when he graduated. He then trained to become a librarian where he was introduced to scriptwriting.

Projects worked on include BBC drama New Tricks, The Bill and he even spent two-and-a-half years writing for Eastenders.

However, pupils were most impressed by his four years of work writing for Channel 4 youth show Skins. At the moment Neil is working for BBC Scotland where he is hoping to develop new drama shows.

He added: “Everybody has stories to tell. Just because you are maybe not the smartest doesn’t mean you can’t go out and do something great. You can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough.”