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Element hires C4 exec for TV push

Irish film and television prodco Element Pictures has hired a drama commissioner from Channel 4 in the UK to lead its TV development.

Jonny Richards

Jonny Richards is joining the firm, which has offices in Dublin, Belfast and London, as head of TV development to lead an expansion into international television production.

Element is best known as the producer behind Oscar-nominated films The Favourite, Room and The Lobster.

Starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, The Favourite won seven Baftas and the Best Actress Academy Award for Colman’s portrayal of Queen Anne, having received 10 nominations.

Previously, Room won the Best Actress Academy Award for Bree Larson, having been nominated in four categories, and The Lobster gained an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Alongside its successful film production arm, the company is investing in the further expansion of its television drama activities.

It is producing Normal People, an adaption of Sally Rooney’s hit novel. Currently filming in Dublin, the series will air on BBC3 in the UK and drop on US streamer Hulu. In addition, Element is producing The Dublin Murders, along with Euston Films and Veritas, for BBC and Starz.

In the newly created role of head of TV development, Richards will oversee Element Pictures’ continued push into television drama, expanding its development slate for the UK, US and international markets.

Richards will be based at Element Pictures’ London office and will report to head of television Anna Ferguson.

At Channel 4 he was a drama commissioning executive overseeing several shows, including third seasons of returners No Offence and Humans, James Graham’s critically acclaimed film Brexit: The Uncivil War and the forthcoming six-part drama Baghdad Central, written by Stephen Butchard.

As a champion of new talent, he oversaw the Bafta-nominated anthology On the Edge, as well as Channel 4’s new-writer scheme 4Screenwriting.

Previously, Richards spent six years at ITV Studios label Silverprint Pictures, developing new projects and script-editing shows including two seasons of ITV’s top-rating crime drama Vera.


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