BBC Worldwide expands commissioning team with two new hires

Date: 10.07.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.17
Category: BBC Worldwide
Julie Swanston named as Executive Producer, BBC America and BBC Worldwide Channels
Lucy Pilkington named as Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide Channels

Click to tweet: BBC Worldwide expands commissioning team with two new hires via @BBCWpress

BBC Worldwide today announced the expansion of its commissioning and original content team with the appointments of former UKTV Commissioning Editor Julie Swanston and former Channel 4 Commissioning Editor Lucy Pilkington.

Based at the Media Centre in White City, Julie Swanston will be responsible for generating new factual entertainment programming to sit at the heart of BBC Worldwide’s channels output including flagship US cable channel BBC America, as well as acting as Executive Producer on newly commissioned series from both independent and in-house production teams.  Swanston’s role will see her working across BBC Worldwide’s original content pipeline, whilst being the main point of contact for independent production companies and talent on behalf of BBC America.

The former Commissioning Editor for all UKTV Entertainment channels including Dave, Watch and Gold (who are jointly owned by BBC Worldwide and Scripps International); Swanston will bring a wealth of original programming experience to the team with her multi-platform experience having developed UKTV’s first dual screen initiative as well as identifying and developing a number of defining shows such as the new incarnation Yes, Prime Minister and most recently Red Bull Soap Box for Dave. 

Newly appointed Lucy Pilkington recently started her freelance Executive Producer role at BBC Worldwide, overseeing and executive producing a slate of original programmes which include Million Dollar Intern and Richard Bacon’s Best in Town.  Following previous roles as Head of Factual Formats at October Films where she devised and executive produced You Have Been Warned for Discovery Networks International, and her former Commissioning Editor post at Channel 4’s Specialist Factual division where she made series such as The Food Hospital - Pilkington will continue to drive the generation of high quality returnable formats to air across the BBC’s overseas channels, and closely manage relationships with in-house and independent production companies.

Tracy Forsyth, VP Commissioning, BBC Worldwide commented:  “It’s an exciting time for our commissioning strategy, welcoming Julie Swanston this September in this joint role with BBC America.  With an impressive CV and multi-channel experience, Julie is ideally suited to this role with her fantastic producer and talent contacts.  I’m also delighted that Lucy Pilkington has joined us to work on some fantastic projects.  With her extensive commissioning and executive producer experience, I am confident she will deliver outstanding editorial judgment for our original factual and factual entertainment formats.”

Both roles will report in to Tracy Forsyth, with Swanston’s role jointly reporting to Rachel Smith, VP Original Programming BBC America.

BBC Worldwide’s commissioning strategy under Forsyth looks set to continue to grow in 2013, having already delivered nine original productions including:  Million Dollar Intern (Outline Productions), Bill’s Kitchen: Notting Hill (Furneaux and Edgar Productions), Best In Town (Mox Productions), Really Cool Stuff w/t (360Production), Come Dine With Me South Africa (Rapid Blue) plus from the BBC’s in-house production teams; Glastonbury, Dara O Briain’s Science Club, Stargazing and Food and Drink.

Coming soon in 2013:

  • August 2013 – Million Dollar Intern – BBC Knowledge
  • September 2013 – Bill’s Kitchen Notting Hill – BBC Lifestyle
  • October 2013 – Best In Town – BBC Entertainment


For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Scarborough Communications Officer, Brands, Content & Digital

Tel: +44 (0)208 433 2009




About BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to exploit the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products and Global Brands. In 2011/12, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £155 million on headline sales of £1085 million and returned £216 million to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: