Friday, September 22, 2006

New BBC independent drama execs

As the final part of the a major restructuring, the BBC has announced new senior appointments for independent drama commissioning.
Julie Gardner is appointed Head of Drama Commissioning with special responsibility for implementing a cohesive independent drama strategy across the UK.

In addition to her new role, Julie will continue to executive produce Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures with Russell T Davies.

For the foreseeable future she will continue as Head of Drama, BBC Wales.

Lucy Richer is currently on sabbatical, and in order to enhance London-based independent drama commissioning, Sarah Brandist and Polly Hill are appointed as Commissioning Editors, Independent Drama, across all BBC television channels.

Their responsibilities include the development of new independent drama, alongside the continued development and production of the existing independent drama slate.

In addition, these positions will have special responsibility for developing independent teen drama and drama for the BBC THREE audience: this will include exploiting all opportunities for 360 degree drama commissioning, building on recent successes - with Spooks games available online and on mobile phones.

Following the announcement earlier this year of an in-house drama board, an equivalent board for independent drama commissioning will now be established, to be chaired by Julie Gardner.

Sarah Brandist and Polly Hill will be joined on the independent drama commissioning board by Patrick Spence, who will continue in his role as Head of Drama, Northern Ireland; and Anne Mensah, who will continue in her role as Head of Drama, Scotland.

Between them, Spence and Mensah oversee a dynamic slate which includes Murphy's Law, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Sea of Souls, and Waterloo Road.

Ben Stephenson is made Head of Development, Drama Commissioning, reporting to Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner.

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