Thursday, June 22, 2006

BBC drama shake-up

John Yorke has been appointed Controller In-House Drama, it was announced today by Director of Drama, Entertainment and Children's Alan Yentob, in a move which will bring together all BBC England In-House Drama Production in a single department.

Yorke will have special responsibility for continuing drama series and singles, and will be joined by Kate Harwood, currently Executive Producer, EastEnders, as Head of Series and Serials.

Diederick Santer is appointed Executive Producer, EastEnders, with additional responsibility for developing younger skewing drama series and serials.

Nicolas Brown will join BBC In-House Drama in the newly-created role of Director of Drama Production and Sally Woodward Gentle becomes Creative Director in charge of all development in the department.

John Yorke, Kate Harwood, Nicolas Brown, Sally Woodward Gentle and Diederick Santer make up the senior management team of the In-House Drama department.
More from the BBC Press Office.

Comment: Nothing stays still for long in TV drama production these days. Yorke returned to the BBC from Channel 4 as Controller of Continuing Drama Series and Head of Independent Drama at the start of 2005 but has clearly developed the clout (partly through reinvigorating EastEnders) to demand a shorter title with an all-consuming remit.

These latest changes come after the departure of the BBC's Head of Drama Series and Serials, Laura Mackie, to ITV earlier this year.

Update: Ben Dowell's report for Media Guardian (free registration required).

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