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Ben Irving leaves the BBC to join Fifth Season as creative director of UK television

The BBC’s acting director of drama, Ben Irving, is stepping down from the company to join global studio Fifth Season (formerly Endeavor Content) in the newly created position of creative director of UK television.

Ben Irving

Fifth season, which announced its rebrand from Endeavor Content last week, said Irving’s role will be to lead the studio’s UK production and development team, working across its existing UK-based development projects as well as building new global series in collaboration with the British creative community.

Irving will join Fifth Season in November from the BBC, where he has been acting director of drama, overseeing all the pubcaster’s primetime drama output. He joined BBC Drama as head of development in 2017 and worked as commissioning editor from 2018-2022.

In July, former Netflix commissioner Lindsay Salt was named as the BBC’s new director of drama, replacing Piers Wenger who left the pubcaster earlier this year. Irving was to remain acting director of drama in the interim.

Irving’s executive producer credits for the BBC include His Dark Materials, Sherwood, Giri/Haji, Industry, The Capture, Chloe, The Girl Before, Gentleman Jack, Doctor Who, Steven Moffat’s Inside Man and the forthcoming final series of Happy Valley from Sally Wainwright.

Prior to joining the BBC, Irving was VP of development and production at David Heyman’s production company Heyday Films, and worked on feature films including Gravity, Paddington, Paddington 2, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and Jack Thorne’s adaptation of The Secret Garden.

Early in his career he worked in development at Warner Bros Pictures in London with Ollie Madden, and for Michael Kuhn at Qwerty Films.

Fifth Season distributes British series like Killing Eve, The Night Manager and Normal People, and produces American series Severance.

Joe Hipps, Fifth Season’s exec VP of TV production and development, said: “As we continue our plans to expand the studio across the globe, Ben is the key ingredient we were looking for.

“His prolific experience, strategic sensibilities, long-standing creative relationships and exceptional taste for great programmes will be instrumental as our presence grows in the UK.”


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