BBC comedy chief Shane Allen departs to launch Boffola Pictures

Shane Allen

The BBC’s director & head of comedy commissioning Shane Allen is leaving the UK pubcaster to launch a new prodco, backed by BBC Studios-owned Lookout Point.

Boffola Pictures, which has been founded by Allen and recently departed BBC commissioner Kate Daughton, will specialise in scripted comedy and comedy drama for the UK and international markets.

The company aims to “capitalise on the rising global appeal of British comedy” and will look to work with all channels and streamers.

Fleabag

Lookout Point, which is led by fellow BBC alum Faith Penhale, will take a founding stake in Boffola Pictures and provide commercial and strategic support. BBCS will be the global distribution partner for all content developed by Boffola Pictures.

Allen, who joined the BBC having previously been head of comedy at fellow UK pubcaster Channel 4, and Daughton have previously worked with UK comedians including Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Robert Popper, Peter Kay, Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Brooker.

Their credits include This Country, Black Mirror, The Inbetweeners Movie, Ghosts, Back To Life and Friday Night Dinner.

Lookout Point has been majority owned by BBC Studios since 2018 and moved into comedy last year with the hiring of Pippa Brown, who will continue to spearhead the company’s own comedy slate.

Penhale, CEO of Lookout Point, said: “Shane and Kate really are the best in the business. As their truly spectacular list of credits proves, they have an unerring eye for the most brilliant, original talent and they know how to turn great ideas into era-defining, world-conquering shows. It is a privilege to be joining forces with them as they take this exciting next step together.”

Allen’s exit from the BBC comes four months after a “radical” overhaul of the broadcaster’s commissioning structure, which saw the focus move from channels to streaming service iPlayer. Allen had remained as head of comedy following the revamp, while Daughton left in March along with Sarah Asante. She joined UKTV as commissioning editor.

 

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