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Channel 4 exec moves into The Garden

The UK production company behind Channel 4 observational documentary 24 hours in A&E and 24 Hours in Police Custody has hired a director of programmes from the broadcaster and promoted an exec to head of specialist factual.

Nicola Brown

ITV Studios-owned The Garden has brought in Nicola Brown as director of programmes from commercially funded pubcaster Channel 4, where she was commissioning editor for specialist factual, overseeing SAS: Who Dares Wins among other series.

Brown will join the company in March and to be part of the senior management team with CEO Magnus Temple, chief creative officer John Hay and MD Nicola Hill.

Prior to C4, she was head of documentaries at Shine and executive producer for Hunted and Celebrity Hunted and The Island with Bear Grylls.

Ninder Billing, meanwhile, has been promoted to head of specialist factual.

Billing has been an executive producer at the company for two years, overseeing projects including Operation Live on Channel 5, ITV’s Police Tapes series, BBC2 commission Five Star Renovation: Inside The Luxury Hotel (working title), and The Unshockable Dr Ronx (wt) for BBC3.

Ninder Billing

Temple, said: “Nicola is the perfect addition to the senior team. Already known and respected by many at The Garden, she has a stellar track record having worked on some of the most memorable Channel 4 factual hits of recent years, and so we’re very lucky to be able to benefit from her creative and production firepower.

“I’m also delighted that Ninder has agreed to lead the charge on our expanding specialist factual slate, building on the success of the brilliant Operation Live.”

The Garden is currently working on a US version of 24 Hours in Police Custody, a coproduction from Channel 4 and US factual giant Discovery.

ITV paid £18m (US$27m) to buy The Garden in 2013. It was the second time Temple and company co-founder Nick Curwin had sold a company, after Shine bought their previous firm, Firefly. Curwin stepped down as joint CEO in 2017.

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