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BBC names new drama chief

The BBC has promoted its head of independent drama to the role of controller of drama commissioning ahead of Ben Stephenson’s move to the US.

Hill lands BBC top drama job

Hill lands BBC top drama job

Polly Hill is taking up the role after 10 years with the UK pubcaster.

Head of independent drama since 2011, she has been responsible for commissioning series including The Missing, The Honourable Woman, Death in Paradise and Wolf Hall as well as the recent adaptation of Poldark.

C21 reported last month that along with Faith Penhale, head of drama at BBC Wales, she was a front-runner to replace Stephenson.

Stephenson: set for US move

Stephenson: set for US move

Stephenson confirmed he was leaving to join JJ Abrams’ prodco Bad Robot in the US in March.

Danny Cohen, director of BBC Television, said: “Polly has an exceptional track record for delivering outstanding drama. From Wolf Hall to Poldark and The Missing, Polly’s work speaks for itself and is driven by her passion for writing and storytelling.

“We are determined to keep developing our reputation for dramatic range and quality, working with the very best established and emerging writers and being home to the most ambitious and risky projects.”

Hill said: “Under Ben Stephenson’s leadership BBC Drama has thrived, it’s in an incredible place and I would like to personally thank him. I look forward to steering BBC Drama into the future and building on this success, continuing to be the home of the most original and ambitious storytelling across a range of drama that is unique to the BBC.”

Hill joined the corporation as an executive producer in 2005, stepping up to commissioning editor in 2008. Prior to that she was a producer, and oversaw the first season of Teachers at Channel 4. She has also been a script editor on long running BBC1 soap Eastenders.

She will work with Stephenson over the coming days as she begins her new role, with the BBC heading into charter renewal and juggling budget cuts – a factor blamed for the decision earlier this week to end BBC2 Jimmy McGovern period drama Banished.

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