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Gerry Gay appointed new editor of BBC Question Time

Gerry Gay appointed new editor of BBC Question Time

Gerry Gay has been appointed as the new editor of BBC Question Time. He will start this role when the programme returns, with a new set, in September.

Gerry is currently editor of The Nine, BBC Scotland’s nightly news programme, and was part of its launch team. He started his broadcast career at the BBC, where he has worked in editorial roles across BBC news and sports programmes, including Reporting Scotland, where he was assistant editor during the Scottish independence referendum. Outside the BBC, Gerry also developed and launched a daily news programme in Washington DC.

Gerry Gay says: “I’ve been an avid viewer of Question Time for as long as I can remember, and I’m honoured to be entrusted with one of the most exciting jobs in broadcast journalism. There’s never been a more important time for civilised and passionate debate, and I can’t wait to get started!”

Katy Searle, interim BBC Senior Controller of Programmes and Commissioning, says: “Question Time is the BBC’s flagship debate programme, which puts the British public front and centre of the show. Gerry’s done a brilliant job developing The Nine and I know he’ll bring the same vision and confidence to Question Time as the programme evolves. I’m delighted to appoint him as editor.”

Nicolai Gentchev, Director of Current Affairs, Mentorn Media, says: “Question Time restarts in September just after the new Prime Minister takes over, amid huge economic and political challenges. A general election is two years away at most. Question Time’s role of giving the public the chance to test ideas and political leaders through debate is vitally important. Gerry has shown assured and creative leadership, and I am looking forward to working with him as he steers the programme through big events to come.”

Question Time airs Thursdays at 10.45pm on BBC One and is now streamed live on BBC iPlayer at 8pm. It is produced by Mentorn Scotland for BBC Scotland.

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Daniel Lawrence Taylor comedy drama Boarders commissioned for BBC Three

Daniel Lawrence Taylor comedy drama Boarders commissioned for BBC Three

Boarders, a brand new coming-of-age comedy drama created by Bafta nominated Daniel Lawrence Taylor (Timewasters), has been commissioned for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

The six-part series produced by Studio Lambert (The Nest, Three Girls) in association with All3Media International follows the lives of five underprivileged black students from inner-city London who win scholarships to an elite boarding school.

Stepping out of the urban metropolis and into a world they can only describe as something out of Harry Potter, our leads will experience the highs and lows of boarding school: learning about themselves, their identity and what life on the other side looks like – which they discover is nothing like life in zone three.

From fun and independence to pressure and competition, first crushes, forging friendships and making enemies, Boarders will look at the experience of going to a top public school from a unique perspective. These kids may be outsiders but they’re determined to prove themselves – and shake things up along the way. The new boarders have arrived.

Creator and lead writer Daniel Lawrence Taylor says: “As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to grow momentum, and the world is becoming more aware of black struggles in white institutions, a show like Boarders has never been more relevant or ripe for comedy. Working with Studio Lambert and the BBC has been an absolute joy, and I’ve also bagged myself some of the most exciting Black British voices to help me bring this show to the screen.”

Susan Hogg, Head of Drama, Studio Lambert, says: “We are so excited to bring this bold and original series to BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. Daniel has the courage to tackle a tough premise through the lens of comedy. Boarders is at once heartfelt and hilarious.”

Fiona Campbell, Controller of BBC Three, says: “We couldn’t be happier that Boarders will be coming to BBC Three and to be working with Daniel and this fantastic team of writers. He is an incredible talent and like the best series do, we know this one will make audiences laugh and will leave them thinking.”

Daniel is an award-winning writer/performer. He created, wrote and starred in Timewasters for which he was nominated for a Bafta for best scripted comedy, and won the 2018 Royal Television Society award for Best Breakthrough. He was also a 2018 Bafta Breakthrough Brit.

Joining Daniel in the Boarders writers room will be Emma Dennis-Edwards, Yemi Oyefuwa and Ryan Calais Cameron. The series will be script edited by Missy Howard.

Boarders (6×45’) has been commissioned by Ben Irving, Acting Director of Drama, and Fiona Campbell, Controller of BBC Three. It will be Executive Produced by Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Susan Hogg and Maddie Sinclair for Studio Lambert, and Ayela Butt and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC.

All3Media International is distributing Boarders globally.

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Casting announced for Beyond Paradise

Casting announced for Beyond Paradise

Death In Paradise spin-off Beyond Paradise is a new, original drama which picks up Humphrey and Martha’s story as they navigate a new life together in the idyll of rural Britain.

Filming has begun on brand-new Death in Paradise spin-off series, Beyond Paradise in South-West England this week.

Co-commissioned by the BBC and BritBox International, and reuniting Kris Marshall and Sally Bretton in the lead roles, Beyond Paradise is a new, original drama which picks up Humphrey and Martha’s story as they navigate a new life together in the idyll of rural Britain.

Joining Kris and Sally are Zahra Ahmadi (The Bay, Tracey Ullman’s Show) as DS Esther Williams, Dylan Llewellyn (Big Boys, Derry Girls) who will be playing PC Kelby Hartford and Felicity Montagu (This Time with Alan Partridge, Landscapers, Vanity Fair) playing office support civilian, Margo Martins.

Seeking a quieter life away from the stress of the city, Humphrey (Marshall) has taken a job as a Detective Inspector in fiancée Martha’s (Bretton) hometown. However, they soon find that country life is anything but peaceful and Humphrey can’t help but be distracted by the town’s surprisingly high crime rate with a new, and very different, case challenging him and the team each week.

Created by Robert Thorogood and Tony Jordan, Beyond Paradise is a co-commission between the BBC and BritBox International and will be produced by Red Planet Pictures, part of the Asacha Media Group.

Founder and Executive Chairman of Red Planet Pictures, Jordan, will act as showrunner and lead a team of writers working across the 6×60 series. Jordan, Tim Key and Belinda Campbell will be executive producers for Red Planet Pictures, and Diederick Santer and Tommy Bulfin will executive produce for BritBox International and BBC respectively. BBC Studios brokered the co-production deal with Britbox International and will handle international distribution. The series is produced by Lindsay Hughes and directed by Sandy Johnson.

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Tulin Ulkutay Eris appointed as BBC Children’s and Education Head of Business

Tulin Ulkutay Eris appointed as BBC Children’s and Education Head

She will be responsible for overseeing the Children’s and Education business and commercial strategy with a particular focus on increasing the value to audiences and return of investments.

Tulin Ulkutay Eris is to join the BBC as she takes up the position of Head of Business for BBC Children’s and Education.

Joining in September, Tulin will be responsible for overseeing the Children’s and Education business and commercial strategy with a particular focus on increasing the value to audiences and return of investments.

She will oversee Children’s and Education departmental budgets, and lead the department’s Production Management and Operations teams.

As a senior multi-disciplinary media and entertainment professional, Tulin’s many years of experience covers both the commercial and creative sides of the children’s media industry.

She specialises in global children’s IPs and character brands and their regional positioning, strategy, management and monetisation through licensing, distribution, marketing and sales across traditional and digital platforms.

Tulin says: “I am thrilled to be joining BBC Children’s and Education, a department with such deep-rooted cultural history, at such an exciting time in its journey. It will be a privilege to help carry the light forward into the digital age, whilst continuing to uphold the mission to ‘Inform, Educate and Entertain’ children of all ages, through world-class content.”

Tulin will report to Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education.

Patricia says: “Tulin’s experience speaks for itself. Her production expertise, commercial background, and deep understanding of children’s content and media, will be key to deliver on our business objectives; to create greater value for our audiences with higher returns to investments across Children’s and Education. We’re delighted she is to join us soon.”

Tulin’s career began in advertising, at McCann Erickson, before joining the London-based family business, Ulkutay Creative. Here she gained in-depth experience servicing the licensing and entertainment industries worldwide. Clients she worked closely with at Ulkutay included Disney, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network (CN), LEGO, Kellogg’s, BBC, Rainbow and Hasbro.

She was also Senior Creative Producer at Cartoon Network Studios in Abu Dhabi helping to create original content for the Middle Eastern, North African and Turkish regions. She executive produced the local Turkish Cartoon Network animated series ‘Kral Sakir’ for 4 seasons; it subsequently became the #1 rated show on Cartoon Network in the region.

Tulin is presently Commercial Director at Bidaya Media, one of the leading children’s content production companies in MENA, best known for producing Sesame Street and Mansour in the region. Here she is responsible for all commercial initiatives such as licensing and merchandising, distribution and syndication, events, outreach and across digital platforms.

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