BBCS takes full ownership of Sid Gentle Films, reshuffles execs with Mark Linsey moving to LA

Killing Eve

BBC Studios (BBCS) has taken full ownership of Killing Eve producer Sid Gentle Films and reshuffled senior execs, with new positions for two of its formats exec and a move to LA for Mark Linsey.

BBCS had held a 51% stake in Sid Gentle since 2018, with the London-based prodco behind shows such as The Durrells for ITV, SS-GB for BBC One, Ragdoll for UKTV and AMC, Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories for Sky Arts and four seasons of aforementioned Killing Eve.

The prodco, which was founded in 2013 by Sally Woodward Gentle with Lee Morris and Henrietta Colvin, is also in post on Rain Dogs for the BBC and HBO, as well as Extraordinary, a comedy for Disney+, written by Emma Moran.

Mark Linsey

It joins other BBCS wholly owned firms such as Lookout Point (Gentleman Jack), Clerkenwell Films (Somewhere Boy) and House Productions (Sherwood). BBCS also this month extended its stake in Firebird Pictures.

Staff rejigs

The deal, revealed during a BBCS keynote that saw CEO Tom Fussell take to the stage followed by BBC chief Tim Davie, was followed by news that Linsey will relocate from London to work out of LA.

Linsey, who had previously managed all of BBCS’s production relationships as chief creative officer, is now in the newly created role of MD of scripted and reports into Ralph Lee following a senior rejig earlier this year.

BBCS said the move would “place him geographically closer to key global content decision makers as BBC Studios seeks to build further co-production, investment and commissioning opportunities for its scripted offer.”

Linsey will retain his existing responsibilities and reports, working closely with both Janet Brown, BBCS’s newly appointed president of content distribution for North America and Latin America, and Valerie Bruce, GM and leader of BBCS’s LA Productions.

In related news, BBCS has named Fiona Wassenberg as head of BBCS Benelux Production and Isabel Durán as format sales director for Iberia and Latin America.

Based in Amsterdam, Wassenberg is responsible for BBCS’s formats and production business across Benelux. She will work closely with BBCS’s unscripted format partners in the market, Fremantle, as well as commissioners and producers in the region to unlock future commercial and creative growth.

Wassenberg joins following a 16-year stint at Dutch public broadcaster NPO, while Durán was previously executive producer on series such as Married at First Sight for Antena 3 and El líder de la Manada with César Millán for Cuatro.

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