Success for Harrogate’s doctor turned screenwriter

Sam Jefferson has been working as a freelance doctor whilst trying to catch his big break as a writer
Sam Jefferson has been working as a freelance doctor whilst trying to catch his big break as a writer

A writer from Harrogate has celebrated winning a prestigious competition to showcase his work after an enormous shift in his career path.

Samuel Jefferson, who attended St Aidan’s CE High School in Harrogate went on to become a qualified doctor before realising his dream to write for the big screen.

But now Mr Jefferson’s dreams could become a reality after his work was one of three pieces chosen by BAFTA to be showcased at the prestigious New York Television Festival.

He said: “It’s pretty incredible to be chosen for the showcase, its very kind of like a pinch yourself moment. Anyone can say they are a writer, having this BAFTA win and having them support you it can open a huge number of doors for you. It could make a huge difference for me, it has made me feel legitimate as a writer.”

Samuel beat competition from several hundred other writers who all entered into the New Comedy Showcase run by BAFTA and Rocliffe - an organisation to help young screenwriters.

After graduating from medical school and working in both Leeds General Infirmary and Harrogate District Hospitals, Samuel abandoned his pursuit of a medical career and began chasing his dream to write.

At the age of 26 he applied to the London Film School where he graduated from in 2014 and has since worked as a freelance doctor whilst trying to catch his break as a screenwriter.

Mr Jefferson said: “It is massively mis-sold as a career - the experience of what you think comes out at the end is totally different to what you get. The job itself was just horrific. I think it was because there was something else I wanted to do.

“It was very precise and bureaucratic there was no opportunity for creativity eventually I realised it didn’t fit my personality.”

But Samuel says he wouldn’t change his experience if he could go back again.

He said: “It hugely influenced my writing and gave me a lot of experience to draw on. Without that I wouldn’t have anything to wrote about. I have taken a slight detour but now I’m back on track.”

Samuel’s screenplay ‘Flatlined’ will showcased in London on October 22.