Producer's 'Mutual Friend' won BAFTA

LONDON — British TV drama producer Catherine Wearing has died suddenly. She was 41.

Wearing, who died in her sleep while on holiday in Grenada in the West Indies on New Year’s Eve, worked on many high-profile U.K. television dramas.

These included producing the much feted 1999 BBC miniseries based on Dickens’ “Our Mutual Friend,” winner of BAFTA’s drama serial award and the Broadcasting Press Guild prize for drama.

The daughter of former BBC drama topper Michael Wearing, Catherine, whose death was caused by complications arising from a diabetic condition, first worked at the pubcaster in the late 1980s.

Her BBC credits as script editor and producer included “Common as Muck,” “Persuasion” and “A Dark Adapted Eye.”

As a freelance, she also made films for ITV and Channel 4 before working at Leopardrama, sister combo of Leopard Films, as a development producer for the past year.

Jane Tranter, the BBC’s head of fiction, said: “As a script editor and as a producer, Catherine Wearing was up there with the best.

“Her understanding of the writer’s voice, her protection for the singularity of a director’s vision, and her unending passion and commitment for her drama projects gave life to some of the most memorable work BBC drama has made.

“The admiration with which she is held by all areas of the creative community bear testimony to this.

“She was a rare and exceptional talent, and her presence will be greatly missed.”

Sandy Welch, who wrote the screenplay for “Our Mutual Friend,” described Wearing as “a brilliant, fastidious and energetic producer.”

She added: “Catherine was particularly brilliant at spotting good new directors, as you can see from the kind of people she brought on, and she was a passionate defender of drama.”

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