AFTER getting the acting bug at Abingdon School, Edward Rowett has had his comic turns praised by BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Mr Rowett, 25, grew up in Botley and, after attending New College School and Abingdon School, went to Cambridge University where he formed a writing partnership with fellow undergraduate Robert Frimston, also 25.
Now the duo, whose comedy sketch partnership Frimston and Rowett will appear at the Edinburgh Fringe festival this summer for the third year running, has been recognised by the prestigious academy.
The pair reached the final eight out of 500 entries to BAFTA’s Rocliffe New Writing Forum, a competition to find the UK’s most promising TV comedy writers.
They were not picked as the winning two entries to perform for industry experts at the Edinburgh International Television Festival in August, or at the New York Television Festival in October. But Mr Rowett said he and his writing partner had been encouraged by BAFTAs’ recognition. He said: “I lived in Oxford my whole life before I moved to London in 2010.
“At Abingdon School I discovered drama, something I had not done before, and that really brought me out of my shell.
“Jeremy Taylor was head of drama and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there.”
Mr Rowett said the script he produced with Mr Frimston is called Hardacre’s and is based on life in an advertising agency.
“I’ve never worked in an advertising agency myself but it’s something I have always been interested in,” he said. “Ultimately this is my way of aspiring to being like Don Draper from the American TV show Mad Men.”
Mr Rowett said he hoped further industry recognition would follow from being shortlisted for the BAFTA competition.
He added: “It’s a little bit frustrating that we came so close to the final prize, but it’s great to recognised in this way and we were the youngest of the finalists.
“Our main focus at the moment is still our live sketch show and we are looking forward to taking it to Edinburgh.”
Andrew Newman, chairman of BAFTA’s Television Committee, said: “The standard of entries to the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum is always impressive, so to be shortlisted is a fantastic achievement.”
All entrants received a detailed script report to help them develop their writing skills.