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BBC exec joins Playground gang

Long-serving BBC exec Dan Leon has joined London-based producer Playground as head of business affairs and director of operations.

Dan LeonThe exec spent eleven years with the UK pubcaster, working its rights and business affairs division alongside the drama commissioning and central commercial units, but will now manage Playground’s strategic growth and day-to-day operations.

At the Howards End prodco, the former IWC Media production exec will report to company founder Colin Callender.

The pair had met while working on BBC drama Wolf Hall, which is one of the seven-year-old Playground’s biggest hits to date.

In May, Playground hired Fifty Fathoms’ Melissa Gallant as co-creative director along with Katie Draper, with Sophie Gardiner promoted to head of drama and executive creative director at the same time.

“I first met Dan on Wolf Hall and was immediately impressed by his deep understanding of how the business and the creative imperatives of production intersect,” said Callender.

“He is a great addition to our management team and, as our production slate expands under Sophie’s leadership, Dan’s commercial and operational expertise will play a vital role in the company’s ability to take full advantage of rapidly changing television landscape.”

Playground recently completed principal photography on BBC Two and Amazon Prime Video coproduction King Lear, which stars Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and Emily Watson.

Upcoming series also includes BBC-PBS copro Little Women, which also stars Watson.