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The Immortal Awards

Dead Clever Creativity: Chaka Sobhani

The Immortal Awards Juror and chief creative officer of Leo Burnett London explain why nothing may ever come close to matching Skins…

Dead Clever Creativity: Chaka Sobhani

In the run up to this year's Immortal Awards, each of our inaugural jurors has taken the time to identify a form of creativity outside of the ad sphere that they deem 'dead clever'.

They've all selected a super smart creative idea that they believe will live forever and next up in the series is Chaka Sobhani, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett London, who selects a show that over six series and three casts came to define a generation…

Skins (2007-2013), Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain

Years after its final episode aired, to the heartbreak of its legions of fans, I still find myself in awe of the phenomenon that was Skins. 

Everything about it had class and smarts that still feels fresh and ahead its time today. The brain child of the brilliant Bryan Elsley, he knew that any truly authentic show about teenagers could not be written by adults alone. With his barely twenty something son Jamie Brittain, they enlisted young writers with little to no experience to workshop and develop the show’s storylines so as to most truthfully reflect the experience of young people. 

And you could feel it in the crackle of the dialogue and the rawness of the stories told. 

They also introduced the most incredible music and playlists to their hungry audiences, and marketed the show brilliantly in keeping with the spirit of rebellion and “fuck you” that ran throughout Skins. Alongside the most sought after underground Skins parties across the country, E4 provided one of the best and most bespoke digital experiences for these fans - content that was actually cool and as good as the show!

Across all six seasons and three cycles of cast members, they never repeated themselves and challenged every perception and tradition of teen storytelling. 

And the show also uncovered some of the most electric and exciting young UK acting talent through its open auditions - Dev Patel, Jack O’Connell, Kaya Scodelario and Nicholas Hoult to name but a few. 

Nothing has come close to emulating the impact of Skins, both creatively and culturally. And I’m not sure when anyone will. So until then, Skins, we salute you!

Chaka Sobhani will be judging this year's The Immortal Awards. The September 3rd deadline is fast approaching so all Little Black Book members should head over to the submissions page to submit their best work. If you aren't a member of Little Black Book yet, then you can subscribe here.

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