Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PHIL's Real Life Influence on Emmerdalestoryline

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

PHIL's Real Life Influence on Emmerdalestoryline

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Dale Reporter

EMMERDALE has millions of fans glued to the screen every week - but there is one man keeping an extra close eye on the plot lines.

As assistant operations director for South Tees Youth Oending Service, Phil Hampton is keen to see how young oenders and the service are portrayed in television dramas.

However, on the storyline involving teenager Belle Dingle, who killed her best friend Gemma, he has no need to be concerned as he has led the work on ensuring production sta know how it would work in "real life".

He was surprised to get a call "out of the blue" from the ITV1 show's production sta but was happy to work closely with the team to make sure Belle's release from custody was "accurately portrayed" and in "the right sequences".

"ey contacted me in July last year," said Phil, who has worked for the youth oending service since it was set up in 1998 and for Middlesbrough Council for 30 years.

"ey have asked me about dierent scenarios, what would happen, how long they are supervised for, how much contact the service has with them.

"Someone like Belle would be under ISS - intensive supervision and support. Essentially they would be seen every day either by the case manager or support worker - 25 hours a week minimum. If they were in full-time education then that would be a large portion of the supervised hours.

"e production would ring to check and doublecheck."

" He said some scenarios - which involved Belle reending - were discussed which have not been included in the programme.

"We have got to realise it's a drama, a piece of ction so you expect some artistic licence but I've been happy with how they have portrayed what would happen. e only dierence is how quick things happen."

He said the team has a forensics CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health service) nurse so if a mental health issue is highlighted - as in Belle's case in Emmerdale - they work closely so the young person is helped quickly. …

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