Mark Freeland appointed Controller of Fiction & Entertainment

Mark’s appointment as Controller, Fiction & Entertainment comes at a very exciting time for BBC Productions. We now have a fantastic new leadership team to build on our creative successes and drive the team forward to make even more brilliant programmes."Danny Cohen, Director, BBC Television
Date: 18.12.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.02
Category: Comedy
Mark Freeland, currently Controller of Comedy Production, has been appointed by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC Television, to the newly created position of Controller of Fiction & Entertainment.

The role will see him leading the in-house production teams within drama, entertainment and comedy, working alongside Natalie Humphreys, Controller of Factual Production, and reporting to Danny Cohen. He will also be working closely with BBC Worldwide to ensure that the creative flair, ambition and growth of in-house business is achieved hand-in-hand in with its commercial partner.

Danny Cohen: “Mark’s appointment as Controller, Fiction & Entertainment comes at a very exciting time for BBC Productions. We now have a fantastic new leadership team to build on our creative successes and drive the team forward to make even more brilliant programmes. Mark understands the creative risks needed to ensure BBC Productions continue to be known for their quality and innovation across the world.

"His track record speaks for him. He has led a team that has produced the biggest comedy hits of recent times from Miranda to Mrs Brown’s Boys, The Thick Of It to The Wrong Mans. He has driven a high volume of new creative business and brought some of the most talented people in the world to work at the BBC. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he develops this track record across drama and entertainment alongside comedy.”

During his six-year tenure as Controller of Comedy Production, where Mark has combined his departmental head role with executive producing many series, the in-house comedy business has grown by 10 per cent and, since 2010, commercial income has increased by 50 per cent.

He has overseen a multiple-award-winning department, which, in the last 18 months alone, has seen 53 award nominations and at its peak won 51 per cent of the WOCC. Shows include Twenty Twelve, Miranda, three record-breaking Comic Relief Red Nose Days, Mrs Brown's Boys, The Thick Of It, Up The Women, Big School, Pramface, Mr Stink, The Wrong Mans, Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, Citizen Khan, Psychoville, Bluestone 42, Bob Servant, It’s Kevin, Mitchell & Webb, Absolutely Fabulous, Jonathan Creek, Come Fly With Me, Roger & Val. And to come, Vic & Bob's House Of Fools, Gangsta Granny and Still Open All Hours.

From 2005-2007, Mark was at Hartswood Films and, previous to that, between 2002 and 2005 was Head of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC where he commissioned, developed and executive produced comedy and comedy/entertainment shows including QI, Mock The Week, Early Doors, The Worst Week Of My Life, The Catherine Tate Show, The Lenny Henry Show, Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression, The Kumars At No 42, Marion & Geoff, Look Around You and The Mighty Boosh.

Mark Freeland says: “Over the last six years, working in comedy production, alongside amazing on- and off-screen talent, the BBC has let me express myself creatively. I have had the best time. I want to carry that on and lead and learn from a fantastic group of storytellers - in drama, entertainment and comedy. I can't thank the BBC enough for giving me this opportunity to work with and shape a company of confident, ambitious, creatively hungry programme-makers."

He takes up the pan-UK but primarily London-based role in mid-January. A replacement for Controller of Comedy production will be sought early in the new year.

KT