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BBC rejigs Welsh drama, Studios

The BBC has appointed one of its existing execs to work across drama output from its Wales division and rejigged the senior team at its BBC Studios commercial arm.

Ben Irving

Ben Irving, who joined the pubcaster from UK prodco Heyday Films in May, becomes drama commissioning editor for the BBC in Wales with a remit over shows including Doctor Who.

Irving, whose previous role was head of drama development at the BBC, will report to the pubcaster’s drama chief Piers Wenger and oversee production of series such as Sherlock and Dark Materials, the latter from Welsh prodco Bad Wolf.

Meanwhile the BBC has made the first appointments for its soon-to-be-launched BBC Studios division, ahead of its merger with BBC Worldwide in April next year.

Tom Fussell, currently chief financial officer at BBCWW, will take on the same role on the executive committee for the new BBC Studios.

Anna Mallett, chief operating officer for BBC Studios, will also make the switch to the new organisation, and will also hold the position of MD for production.

Martyn Freeman, currently general counsel for BBCWW, will also move to the new BBC Studios operation in the same role while Jabbar Sardar, currently HR director at BBC Studios, will also make the move.

The appointments come after the BBC revealed it was merging its Studios division and BBCWW into a single commercial organisation in November.

BBC Studios will bring the UK pubcaster’s programme production, sales and distribution together under one roof. BBCWW’s commercial activities, including content financing, sales and international commercial channels, will join the pubcaster’s main production arm.

The new BBC Studios will be led by CEO Tim Davie, currently CEO of BBCWW. Mark Linsey, the current director of BBC Studios, will be chief creative officer.

The restructure follows the decision to relax production quotas and run the BBC’s in-house production as a commercial business, capable of competing for commissions from rival broadcasters, which was first mooted in 2015.


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