My new structure has bolstered the commissioning team to ensure greater plurality of taste and vision; they are the tastemakers who have the right palate to champion creative risks and diverse ideas.Controller of BBC Drama, Piers Wenger
Date: 05.05.2017 Last updated: 08.05.2017 at 10.32
Controller of BBC Drama Piers Wenger announces his new commissioning team and new writer initiatives.
Piers Wenger says: “The changes I’m announcing to my team will help deliver a better service to writers and producers, and a more focus and a co-ordinated approach to commissioning. My new structure has bolstered the commissioning team to ensure greater plurality of taste and vision; they are the tastemakers who have the right palate to champion creative risks and diverse ideas. They will also better reflect our commitment across the UK as it’s the first time we will have Commissioners with a dedicated role in each nation who are there to improve portrayal and grow sustainable drama bases.”
“I’m also introducing a new Head of Development role and I’ve appointed Ben Irving. He will be responsible for the overall co-ordination and management of the slate. He will also be the liaison with our international partners and take an overview to ensure we continue to be the place that commissions the broadest and most diverse range of drama in the world. On a practical level, these changes will help us respond quickly by creating a simpler structure and encourage greater ambition, support risk taking and originality.”
New Drama Commissioning team detailed below:
Lucy Richer, Senior Commissioning Editor, England
Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Senior Commissioning Editor, England and Scotland
Mona Qureshi, Commissioning Editor, England
Christopher Aird, Commissioning Editor, Wales and Continuing Drama
Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, Northern Ireland
Gaynor Holmes, Commissioning Executive, Scotland
Ben Irving, Head of Drama Development
Anne Edyvean, New Writing Associate, Drama (her role as Head of Writers Room is unaffected)
Lucy Richer has been appointed Senior Commissioning Editor for England.
Elizabeth Kilgarriff has been appointed Senior Commissioning Editor and takes on an expanded role commissioning drama for Scotland as well as England. Gaynor Holmes becomes Commissioning Executive for Scotland, based in Scotland and reporting to Elizabeth Kilgarriff.
Christopher Aird has been appointed Commissioning Editor, Wales and Continuing Drama.
Tommy Bulfin joins the BBC as Commissioning Editor for Northern Ireland from New Pictures. Tommy is currently the in-house development producer at New Pictures, having script edited Indian Summers for Channel 4 and The Missing for BBC One and working across the New Pictures development slate. Before joining New Pictures, Tommy worked as a script editor at Red Planet Pictures and Company Pictures.
Tommy has been involved with the Channel 4 Screenwriting course in various roles since its inception.
Ben Irving joins the BBC in a newly created drama role as Head of Drama Development.
Ben began his career working in film development and production for Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films. After working on The Duchess as director’s assistant, he became a Development Coordinator at Warner Bros. Pictures, where he worked on Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films. Moving to David Heyman’s Heyday Films in 2011 as a Development Executive, he spent the next six years working across Gravity, Paddington, Testament Of Youth, The Light Between Oceans and JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, and developing projects with talent including Jack Thorne, Peter Straughan and David Yates. In his last two years at Heyday, Ben expanded his role into television drama and developed a slate of projects as VP, Development and Production.
Mona Qureshi joins the BBC as a Commissioning Editor for England. Mona joined The Ink Factory as Co-Head of Development and Production after working on Susanne Bier’s six-part adaptation of The Night Manager in 2015. She works across the development slate with specific creative focus on The Ink Factory’s le Carré library. Prior to that she worked as a script consultant, and as Programme Director for the JJ Charitable Trust Screenwriting Bursary, in association with BAFTA. Mona was previously Head of Development for Ruby Films and Television, and for some years a Development Executive at BBC Films.
Anne Edyvean will become New Writing Associate and continues as Head of the BBC Writersroom.
The BBC Writersroom has launched its third TV Drama Writers Programme. 14 new writers from a diversity of backgrounds were chosen from over 800 applications from credited writers. For the first time, the BBC Writersroom has worked directly with a wide range of Indies, placing writers with them to have scripts developed. The BBC Writersroom has backed each of the promising screen writers with a script-writing commission, which they will develop in partnership with Indies. Over the next year the writers will attend a Residential and Masterclasses and workshops with established writers and productions teams. Eventually, it is hoped that the writer’s original scripts will be commissioned.
BBC Studios London - Nathaniel Price, Sarah Woolner, BBC Studios Scotland - Ross Dunsmore, Element Pictures - Kate Verghese, Kudos - Lou Ramsden, Rose Lewenstein, LA Productions - Mariam Bell, Left Bank Pictures - Glenn Montgomery, New Pictures - Lauren Sequeira, Red - Alexander Stewart, Red Planet - Maya Sondhi, STV - Ben Tagoe, World Productions - A. L. Kennedy, Lucia Haynes
Following the launch of BBC Studios, the BBC Writersroom is now part of the BBC’s in-house Commissioning arm, fulfilling an important part of its public service remit. It plays a unique role in discovering, developing and championing new and experienced writing talent from a diverse range of backgrounds and from across the UK, and working in partnership with all BBC Scripted Departments and the Independent Production community.