The BBC is announcing today that Director of Drama, Piers Wenger and Director of Film, Rose Garnett, are leaving the BBC to join A24 and will remain in London.
Piers Wenger says: “After a decade as a drama commissioner it is high time I gave someone else a go. The last six years working for Charlotte and the BBC have been more creatively challenging, more emboldening and more fun than anyone has the right to in the name of work. I am indebted to the BBC and the extraordinary range of writers, producers and directors it has been my privilege to work alongside. There are mountains to climb everywhere but I predict a magical time ahead for BBC Drama as the next generation of thinkers and taste-makers step up to shape its future. I want to pay tribute to the colossal talents of the team in place and I will be watching with pride and awe as they start the process of carving out a fresh vision.”
Rose Garnett says: “The BBC is unparalleled as a place to make great work. Under the inspiring and generous leadership of Charlotte Moore, myself and the Film Team have been able to discover, support and celebrate voices and stories from across the UK and beyond. The BBC Film Team was the best team to be part of: dedicated, bold, passionate and rigorous. I know that the creative confidence and the imagination of the next generation of commissions and commissioners will produce wonderful films. Thank you to all my colleagues and to the filmmakers that let me work alongside them.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer says: “Piers Wenger has been an outstanding Director of Drama over the last six years at the BBC. Under his inspirational leadership, BBC Drama has flourished and at a time of intense competition, he has cemented the BBC’s reputation as the home of creative risk taking and the most original, fearless and ambitious British storytelling. Piers is an exceptional creative with a huge regard for public service, an eye for both the popular and the profound and an appetite for complexity and provocation. His vision has delivered a scope and scale that’s truly unique to the BBC and he’s been responsible for commissioning a slate that’s both genre busting and celebrates British authorship, identity and life in all its most diverse forms.
“Achieving huge success on a national and global stage, Piers has commissioned a remarkable range of critically acclaimed and award winning hit shows including The Tourist, The Responder, This is Going to Hurt, The Serpent, A Very British Scandal, His Dark Materials, Time, A Very English Scandal, Bodyguard, Gentleman Jack, Vigil, The Salisbury Poisonings, I May Destroy You and Normal People. He has worked with the very best established and emerging writers and has always striven to give talent the creative freedom to experiment and to produce bold and innovative ideas. He is a champion of authorship, authenticity and originality and he’s passionate about discovering new voices. During his tenure, BBC Drama has worked with more first time screenwriters from across the UK than ever before.
“I will miss Piers hugely – his generosity, his creative curiosity and his dedication to excellence – he has been a joy to work with. But he leaves BBC Drama in exceptional form and I know the incredibly talented and committed drama commissioning team will continue the great work.”
Piers will leave the BBC in May. Ben Irving will take on the role of Acting Director of BBC Drama until an appointment is made.
Charlotte Moore continues: “Rose Garnett has been a dynamic and inspirational leader who passionately believes in the BBC and the creative power of British independent film. She has transformed and energised BBC Film to become the home of creative risk taking, defining its core remit around growing new talent and becoming the home of the most exciting authorial voices in British film. Working with both world class and debut filmmakers, Rose is a champion for talent at every level. Her passion for nurturing writers and protecting and promoting the directors vision is never short of impressive. Since joining the BBC in 2017, she has fearlessly pushed the boundaries of BBC Film and developed some of the most distinctive voices in the industry. The phenomenal number of nominations at this year’s BAFTA’s, Oscars and BIFA’s is testament to her bold, ambitious and diverse slate at every level of British independent filmmaking.
“During her time as Director of Film at the BBC, Rose has been responsible for bringing an extraordinary range of outstanding British films to audiences across the UK and the globe with titles including The Souvenir 1 & 2, Blue Story, Small Axe, The Nest, The Power of The Dog, Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always, Can’t Get You Out of My Head, Judy, After Love, Ali & Ava Cow, Normal People and People Just Do Nothing – Big in Japan. Last year she expanded her department to include the award winning documentary strand Storyville under the new leadership of Philippa Kowarsky.
“Rose has built a creatively exciting, bold and distinctive film department and I will miss her greatly, both personally and professionally. But she leaves a great legacy and I know the BBC Film and Storyville teams will continue her brilliant work.”
Rose will leave the BBC in May. Eva Yates will take on the role of Acting Director of BBC Film until an appointment is made.