BBC exec to run Objective comedy prodco

All3Media’s prodco Objective has turned to its former head of comedy, Ben Farrell, to lead its newly created comedy label.

Ben FarrellFarrell (pictured) was Objective’s head of comedy between 2012 and 2014, before leaving to become an in-house producer at UK pubcaster the BBC.

He will return to lead the currently unnamed comedy prodco as chief creative officer in the spring.

The comedy arm will oversee all of Objective’s former and current programmes, with a bespoke development team creating new formats and comedy-dramas.

The development team also includes ex-Comedy Central executive Joe McVey and producers Charlie Lewis and Kelly McGolpin, the latter of whom came across from UK indie Retort.

Farrell’s departure from the BBC comes in the same week his boss, comedy production controller Myfanwy Moore, also revealed her exit.

“I’ve hugely enjoyed my time at the BBC, and leaving wasn’t an easy decision,” said Farrell. “However, the offer to return to the Objective family and lead their new comedy label was just irresistible.”

During his first spell at Objective Farrell developed Channel 4 comedy Toast of London, BBC One sitcom Reggie Perrin, Comedy Central’s Big Bad World and MTV effort Strutter.

At the BBC, he oversaw Professor Branestawm and Tracey Ullman’s Show for BBC One and People Time for BBC Three. He brings his final two BBC commissions, BBC Three’s Witless, and self-penned E4 series GameFace, with him.

His return to Peep Show and Fresh Meat producer Objective comes after a period of executive changes and reorganisation, following the departure of a number of long-serving, top-level producers and executives.

Company CEO Layla Smith said: “At a time of renewal at Objective it is utterly the right thing to welcome Ben back to lead his own label. He is incredibly talented and we look forward to him stepping into his new role.”

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