A cab journey home. A mistimed proposal. A hidden past. An unexpected turning. The story where the listeners decide what happens next.
The fourth series of Chain Gang is now available on BBC Radio 4 Extra! Listen to Chain Gang here.
About Chain Gang
Do you still play consequences at Christmas time? You know - the game where someone starts a story and it's up to the next person to carry it on?
Well we're starting a story on Saturday 5th October, and we’ll be looking for your suggestions for what should happen in the next episode. It's only a couple of minutes long, so it shouldn't be too hard. Though in the first episode we do manage to fit in a proposal of marriage, a threatening cabbie, and what sounds like some pretty serious skeletons in the closet.
You’ll find that first episode of Chain Gang popping up between the other programmes here on 4 extra, but to be sure of catching it, tune in on Saturday afternoons at 10 past one, download each episode, or listen via BBC iPlayer online, where there’ll be all the information you need to send in your plot for episode two.
Anyone can take part regardless of where you are or how old you are. And if you want to hear how it all worked out last time, well we're playing that story starting onWednesday 2nd Oct at 6.15pm.
Become Part of the Chain Gang
Ready to join our Chain Gang? Got an idea for how the story should continue? Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org , but only when you’ve read this guide, which is updated weekly:
1. Episode 4 will be Joe Sims’ (Mark) last week on the Chain Gang cast, due to other commitments. So Mark won’t be in any more episodes after Episode 4. How will you respond to this in your storyline? You might like to think about how our characters would react to their situation, and why they are in danger at all. The next episode may follow directly on from the current one, or you may choose to move us to a different time and place, depending on how you deal with this week’s cliff-hanger, and the casting news.
2. We don't want a script, just a storyline in 200 words. If you're unsure about what to send, please read ‘What’s a Storyline’ (below).
3. Only write in once you have listened to the most recent part of the story, which is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra every Saturday at 1.10pm, and available online and as a podcast shortly afterward. You’ll also need to be familiar with any earlier episodes.
4. The submission deadline every week is Thursday at 8am (local UK time). Submissions received after this time will not be considered.
5. You can submit as many storylines as you like, in separate emails.
6. Please send your ideas to email@example.com. Put the words ‘Chain Gang entry’ as your subject.
7. In the body of each email please write the following:
- your full name
- your phone number (mobile and home phone if possible). We will probably call the new storyliner during Thursday or Friday.
- any social media alter-egos you’d like to share with us i.e. Twitter name, Facebook page, YouTube channel. (if applicable)
- your storyline for the next episode (in no more than 200 words).
8. Entry is subject to our Terms and Conditions.
What is A Storyline?
Want to join the Chain Gang and shape the story? Here are some tips.
A storyline is the basis of a tale which can then be dramatised for radio, stage, TV or film. Start by making sure you're completely up-to-date with all that's happened so far, and have a look at the storylines behind the episodes here on the website.
Bear in mind that you're not writing the script itself, or a novel. One way to approach this is to think of telling someone about something dramatic that has happened. You wouldn't say exactly what everyone said, but you should emphasise dramatic or relevant points. Try to bring out some of the tone and feel you want your episode to have, rather than just giving us 200 words of plot. You'll need to move the story along in an interesting way, and try to end on some dramatic moment, or cliff-hanger. And do keep in mind that your ideas will need to become a radio drama. Lots of 'backstory' or people thinking about things can be difficult to work with.
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