A BARRY actor has made his writing debut - writing an episode of a comedy show which aired on television.

Zak Ghazi-Torbati, 26, from Barry joined forces with Kate Reid to write the first episode of The Other Half, which was inspired by their own experience of living together as friends.

The Other Half tells the story of Navid - a closeted gay half-Welsh and half-Iranian man - who lands an internship in Bristol and lodges with his best friend’s liberal middle class family.

Barry And District News:

“It’s sort of based off when I finished university,” explained Mr Ghazi-Torbati.

“I was living with Kate at West End and what was meant to be six weeks turned into two years.

"We thought it was a funny concept.”

Although both writers have acting experience, this is the first time they have written anything for the television – with the pilot shown on Dace and available to watch on UKTV.

Mr Ghazi-Torbati admits he didn't initially know the pilot would go on television - Ms Reid applied for the UKTV WriterSlam competition which aims to shine a spotlight on diverse and emerging talent.

The duo were among four finalists whose submission was aired on television through the competition.

Barry And District News:

"The response has been amazing," said Mr Ghazo-Torbati.

Along with numerous four-star reviews one reviewer on IMDB praised the episode's "sharp" wit and "sweet and charming" dynamics of both families.

They add:

“I want to know what happens next with many of the characters”

But whether there will be more episodes of The Other Half remains a mystery for now..

“It’s been an incredible learning experience,” said Mr Ghazi-Torbati.

“It’s a bit of a waiting game; it's a possibility [that there will be more episodes] but it's not guaranteed."

The pilot episode of The Other Half was produced by Ranga Bee Productions with Romesh Ranganathan, Benjamin Green and Michelle Farr-Scott as executive producers.

It's available to watch on UKTV here.

The other three episodes - written at part of the UKTV WriterSlam, with TriForce Creative Network and Dandi.org.uk - which made the final cut include:

  • Dead Canny written by Anna Costello;
  • Holier Than Thou written by Misha Adesanya;
  • Perfect (W/T) written by Laurence Clark.

The scripts are commissioned by Sarah Asante, UKTV commissioning editor, comedy and ordered by Dave channel director, Cherie Cunningham and Pete Thornton, UKTV's head of scripted.

Richard Watsham is the UKTV's director of commissioning and Steve North is genre general manager, comedy and entertainment.