Hustle's Executive Producer, Jane Featherstone, is joint managing director of Kudos production company, which produces Hustle and is also responsible for the hit drama Spooks. Her other production credits include the dramas Glasgow Kiss and Touching Evil, and the film Pure with Keira Knightley.
Simon Crawford Collins, Producer of Hustle series 1 and Executive Producer of the latest series 2, began his career as a Location Manager. His other production credits include the dramas Oktober and Spooks and the film An Ideal Husband with Rupert Everett and Cate Blanchett.
We put some questions to Jane and Simon about Hustle and their experiences of producing drama.
How did the idea of Hustle come about?
Jane: We were shooting Spooks at the time and the director, Bharat Nalluri and I often shared a lift home as we lived in the same area. I was looking for the next big series idea and asked Bharat if he had any thoughts. He said he'd always wanted to do something about con artists. I immediately thought this was a fantastic idea as I'd always loved con movies.
The very next morning I got in touch with the writer, Tony Jordan (creator and story consultant of hugely successful soap EastEnders), who Kudos were working with on another project. I guessed it might be right up Tony's street (you better ask him why?!) and indeed he leapt on the two word pitch. We then took the idea to Gareth Neame (Head of Independent Drama Commissioning) at the BBC, who was also our executive on Spooks. Gareth said yes to the idea practically before I'd finished the sentence and the development began.
Tony went away and watched and read everything he could about con artists, and developed the stories and characters you now see in the series. Five months later we had a green light and quickly got Simon Crawford Collins on board. He'd been producing Spooks for us and we knew he would be the perfect producer for it.
Simon: Bharat Nalluri and I were both children of the seventies, brought up on shows like The Persuaders, Mission Impossible, Starsky & Hutch. We wanted to bring the style and unapologetic entertainment values that these shows had into the modern world.
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