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21/09/2006

BBC Drama announce new appointments

Following her recent appointment as Controller, BBC Fiction, Jane Tranter today announced the following changes to BBC drama commissioning to reflect the ambition of BBC Vision, the BBC's new multimedia content, commissioning and channels group.
Julie Gardner is appointed Head of Drama Commissioning with special responsibility for implementing a cohesive independent drama strategy across the UK.
In addition to her new role, Julie will continue to executive produce Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures with Russell T Davies.
For the foreseeable future she will continue as Head of Drama, BBC Wales.
Lucy Richer is currently on sabbatical, and in order to enhance London-based independent drama commissioning, Sarah Brandist and Polly Hill are appointed as Commissioning Editors, Independent Drama, across all BBC television channels.
Their responsibilities include the development of new independent drama, alongside the continued development and production of the existing independent drama slate.
In addition, these positions will have special responsibility for developing independent teen drama and drama for the BBC THREE audience: this will include exploiting all opportunities for 360 degree drama commissioning, building on recent successes.
Following the announcement earlier this year of an in-house drama board, an equivalent board for independent drama commissioning will now be established, to be chaired by Julie Gardner.
Sarah Brandist and Polly Hill will be joined on the independent drama commissioning board by Patrick Spence, who will continue in his role as Head of Drama, Northern Ireland; and Anne Mensah, who will continue in her role as Head of Drama, Scotland.
Ben Stephenson is made Head of Development, Drama Commissioning, reporting to Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner.
Jane Tranter commented: "The creation of a new independent drama board is evidence of BBC Vision's commitment to London-based independent drama commissioning as well as independent drama across the whole of the UK.
"I really believe that all of these appointments will have a greater impact in serving the independents as well as ensuring BBC Drama's place as the industry leader."
This completes senior changes to the BBC Drama structure and compliments the revitalised in-house drama department with senior team members John Yorke, Nicolas Brown, Kate Harwood, Sally Woodward Gentle and Diederick Santer.
The appointments are effective from October 1 2006.
(DS/SP)
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