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John Yorke

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John Yorke to be Controller, In-House Drama as Department announces new appointments

Category: TV Drama; BBC

Date: 22.06.2006
Printable version

John Yorke has been appointed Controller In-House Drama, it was announced today by Director of Drama, Entertainment and Children's Alan Yentob, in a move which will bring together all BBC England In-House Drama Production in a single department.


Yorke will have special responsibility for continuing drama series and singles, and will be joined by Kate Harwood, currently Executive Producer, EastEnders, as Head of Series and Serials.


Diederick Santer is appointed Executive Producer, EastEnders, with additional responsibility for developing younger skewing drama series and serials.


Nicolas Brown will join BBC In-House Drama in the newly-created role of Director of Drama Production and Sally Woodward Gentle becomes Creative Director in charge of all development in the department.


John Yorke, Kate Harwood, Nicolas Brown, Sally Woodward Gentle and Diederick Santer make up the senior management team of the In-House Drama department.


Alan Yentob says: "This outstanding team will work in partnership to lead the newly invigorated and talented in-house drama department.


"I am confident that they will build on the considerable successes of the past few years and seize the opportunities ahead.


"The new department will become the largest developer and producer of drama in the UK, with the broadest range of output and best array of talent."


Notes to Editors


Yorke, Harwood, Woodward Gentle and Santer will take up their new appointments in October 2006.


Brown will take up his role on Monday 26 June 2006.


Sally Woodward Gentle will continue as Acting Head of Drama Series and Serials until October 2006.


Lucy Richer remains in her role as Joint Head of Independent Drama. Work will now start to appoint a replacement for John Yorke in this role.


John Yorke was appointed BBC Controller of Continuing Drama Series and joint Head of Independent Drama in January 2005, after spending 18 months as Head of Drama at Channel 4 where he was responsible for Sex Traffic, Omagh, Not Only But Always, The Deal and Shameless.


He shares the role of Head of Independent Drama with Lucy Richer and his portfolio includes Life on Mars, Bodies, The Street, Hustle, Robin Hood, Jekyll, Waterloo Road and New Tricks.


As well as working closely with the independent sector on a portfolio that encompasses series, serials and events across the four BBC channels, Yorke is responsible for EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors.


Prior to his departure three years ago, John's drama career at the BBC culminated in his role as Head of Drama Series. He was Executive Producer of EastEnders for two and a half years from December 1999.


John joined the BBC in the mid-Eighties, working initially in radio as a studio manager and then as a producer on Radio Five Live.


In 1994, he moved to television to work as a script editor on EastEnders before becoming a storyline consultant on Casualty.


Yorke later moved onto drama development, where he produced two series of cop show City Central.


After a multi-Bafta nominated career in the BBC's drama serials department, Kate Harwood was appointed Executive Producer of EastEnders in March 2005.


Under her leadership the series has gone on to win both a Bafta and the coveted National Television Award for most popular series.


In BBC Drama Serials Kate was responsible for popular and critically acclaimed drama such as Close Relations, Beggar Bride, David Copperfield, The Echo, Twenty Thousand Streets Under The Sky and the Bafta award-winning Charles II - The Power and The Passion.


As Executive Producer, Kate was responsible for Lost World, Crime And Punishment, Daniel Deronda and Final Demand.


Kate graduated from Birmingham University with a degree in Drama before becoming an Arts Council Trainee director and then Literary Manager of the Royal Court Theatre.


Nicolas Brown is one of the leading producers working within British film and television today.


He began his career in 1987 as a trainee with Central TV and rapidly established himself working within development and co-production for the network.


In 1992 he was asked to Associate Produce the first two series of Peak Practice which instantly became one of the most successful programmes out of the ITV stable and ran for over a decade.


Nick has been working as a freelance producer since 1995; his credits include London Bridge for Carlton TV; Hope And Glory and Deceit for BBC ONE.


A successful relationship with Company Pictures then followed, where he produced The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby for ITV and then the adaptation of Zadie Smith's White Teeth for Channel Four.


In 2003 Nick produced his first feature film Ladies In Lavender for Scala Productions, which was directed by Charles Dance.


He has since produced two feature-length television films - Friends And Crocodiles and Gideon's Daughter - for the BBC, written and directed by the award-winning Stephen Poliakoff, and a film for Channel 4, Bradford Riots, written and directed by Neil Biswas.


As Head of Television at Steven Barron's independent company, Limelight, Sally Woodward Gentle was executive producer of the award-winning drama Teenage Health Freak and the multi-award winning documentary Edward VIII: The Traitor King.


In 1996, she joined Kudos Film & TV as executive producer on numerous factual singles and series.


Promotion soon followed, and as Managing director Sally was responsible, together with Stephen Garrett, for the Bafta nominated drama series Psychos as well as initiating the development of drama series Spooks.


Sally joined the BBC in 2000 as Head of Development and Executive Producer for Independent Drama with responsibility for Hearts and Bones, Tipping the Velvet and Cambridge Spies before joining Jane Tranter as Head of Development in Commissioning.


Sally is currently Acting Head of BBC Drama Series and Serials.


Diederick Santer graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in Psychology and the History and Philosophy of Science.


His TV career began in 1996 as a freelance script reader for United Productions before becoming script editor on the first two series of Where The Heart Is, and assistant script editor on Paul Abbott's ITV series Touching Evil.


Diederick moved to Granada were he script-edited the first two series of A&E and The Last Train before joining BBC Drama Series and Serials in 2000, where he produced the first three series of Debbie Horsfield's hit hairdressing drama Cutting It.


Diederick recently produced The Taming of the Shrew and the Bafta-nominated Much Ado About Nothing for BBC ONE, and is currently filming a lavish adaptation of Jane Eyre, due for transmission later this year.









Category: TV Drama; BBC

Date: 22.06.2006
Printable version


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