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BBC Studios wins first Aussie order

Prof Brian Cox and Dara O Briain front the BBC’s version of Stargazing Live

BBC Studios has secured its first commission in Australia and is looking for a creative head for the UK pubcaster’s commercial production operations in the country.

Stargazing Live 2 will air on ABC and is being produced by BBC Studios’ Science Unit in the UK, with executive producer Helen Thomas and series producer Paul King attached.

The multi-platform TV event format was first made for ABC by the same team as a three-day event in March last year, but produced by FremantleMedia Australia.

The show is designed to “inspire the nation to look up and appreciate the unique wonders of space and our cosmos.”

Meanwhile, BBC Studios is on the look-out for a director of production for its Australian arm, tasked with launching and managing production in the country.

The role reports to the international production division which, from April, will be led Anna Mallett, MD for production and chief operating officer at BBC Studios.

The director of production will also be tasked with building creative partnerships between BBC Studios’ editorial teams in the UK and Australian broadcasters, as well as driving the creation of IP and exploiting BBCWW’s formats catalogue.

BBC Studios unveiled plans to merge with commercial arm BBC Worldwide late last year.

Channel 4 became the first third-party UK broadcaster to order from the BBC’s new commercial production arm this month, following a commission for The Red List from Discovery Channel in the US.

The Aussie production chief will also form part of the Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) executive management team. Jon Penn, MD of BBCWW ANZ, will continue to lead the company in Australia as it transitions to BBC Studios in April and will be staying with the company once the merger is completed.

Mallett said the ABC commission “is an exciting first step for BBC Studios production in Australia and we look forward to more collaborations as we bring our editorial creativity to new audiences.”

Steve Bibb, head of factual at ABC, added that the show would be “an even bigger and more exciting event this year.”

BBC Studios makes over 2,000 hours of programming each year across all genres, including Strictly Come Dancing in the UK, sci-fi drama Doctor Who and motoring show Top Gear.








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