BBC adds drama from ‘Salisbury Poisonings’ writers & hires BFI exec for talent initiative

The Salisbury Poisonings

The BBC in the UK has appointed a British Film Institute (BFI) exec as head of its new writers room and unveiled a raft of new dramas, including a show from the creatives behind The Salisbury Poisonings.

Jessica Loveland becomes head of new writing at the BBC’s writersroom in Salford, UK, and has. remit to provide editorial leadership to the new division with oversight of all talent writing initiatives. Loveland is currently head of BFI Network and will start in June.

Jessica Loveland

The BBC has also created four new assistant commissioning roles to lead on new writer development and support the existing commissioning editors for each of the Nations who sit within the drama team.

Ben Irving, Tommy Bulfin and Gaynor Holmes are the commissioning editors for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively, with Jo McClellan taking on the role for the North of England with immediate effect. The new assistant commissioner roles will have dual reporting lines to these commissioning editors and Loveland.

Regional slate

The broadcaster has also revealed eight scripted series, including Northern Ireland police drama Blue Lights from The Salisbury Poisonings scribes Adam Patterson and Declan Lawn.

The 6 x 60-minute show, which follows recruits as they become fully fledged offices, is being produced with STV Studios-owned Two Cities Television and Gallagher Films. It is the latest commission to be announced as part of the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen’s partnership agreement.

Piers Wenger

The slate also includes Leeds-set drama Better (6 x 60 minutes), which is about a corrupt detective and is being produced by with Northern Sister, and The Control Room, a 3 x 60-minute show about emergency call handlers that is to be filmed in Scotland and is being produced by Hartswood Films.

The prodco is also behind Welsh crime thriller Wolf (working title), which also has APC Studios attached, while Rules Of The Game explores sexual politics and stars Maxine Peake. It is being produced The Forge.

The three other shows are Grime Kids from Mammoth Screen; Euston Films drama Wrecked; and Domino Day, from Dancing Ledge Productions and Lauren Sequeira.

Piers Wenger, director of BBC Drama, said: “Telling stories that reflect the whole of the UK is about more than meeting quotas. It’s about enriching and emboldening what British drama means by honouring the true range of authorship across all of our nations and regions. I want to do more to celebrate that plurality. I want it to become an essential not-so-secret weapon and a core part of our USP.”

Tags: BBC

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