Thursday, April 28, 2016

Comic Timing

The BBC has lost another suit in the transition to BBC Studios. Mark Freeland, occasionally mistakenly identified as Kelsey Grammar by taxi drivers, has decided to pass on the opportunity to be the new division's first "Director of Scripted", (another in a continuing line of poor titles where people apparently run adjectives).

To make it worse, he's quoted in Broadcast saying changes to the new division being made by new boss Mark Linsey will  “not give me the creative platform I need to be at my very best and add maximum value to the Studios project.

“The highest standards of creativity and value amount to a position of personal integrity to me. Those of you who know me, will appreciate that creativity - being close to production and talent - is absolutely central to the way I operate.”

He's probably ahead of many staff in knowing very much at all about BBC Studios, due to be launched tomorrow. He was in at the start with Nathalie Humphreys back in December 2014, when the project was codenamed NewCo.

Mark has had a hand in Miranda, Mrs Brown's Boys, The Thick of It, Citizen Khan, The Wrong Mans, and The Mighty Boosh. He was head of original programmes at Sky from 1997 to 2002, before he joined Auntie as Head of Comedy Commissioning, then, from 2005 to 2007 he had a spell at Beryl Vertue's Hartswood Films, before a return to the bosom of the BBC. His redundancy, on a current package of £234,800, will help as he hunts for a new berth.

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