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BBC Picks Chief for Production Division Behind ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Luther’

LONDON — U.K. public broadcaster the BBC has appointed long-serving executive Peter Salmon as director of its production division, BBC Studios, whose output has included “Strictly Come Dancing” (known as “Dancing with the Stars” in the U.S.), “Doctor Who,” “Luther” and “Frozen Planet.”

Salmon has produced shows like “Crimewatch UK” and “Nature,” was executive producer of Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit animation “The Wrong Trousers,” co-invented sports charity show “Sport Relief,” was controller of flagship channel BBC One, and head of BBC Sport. Recently he served as director of BBC North in Salford, with 3,000 staff, and is currently the BBC’s director, England.

BBC Studios is the new production division being created following the announcement in 2014 that the BBC would separate TV production from TV commissioning to “boost creativity and competitiveness” in television production.

BBC Studios will initially be created in the public service, but longer term, the BBC will work with the BBC Trust to explore whether it should become a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporation and create programming for other broadcasters as well, in return for abolishing the current guarantee that 50% of BBC programs are made by in-house production.

Salmon will work closely with the BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen, and the BBC’s directors in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to decide the structure, leadership team and remit for BBC Studios.

BBC director-general, Tony Hall, said: “I’m confident that Peter will bring all the energy and creativity he’s shown at BBC England to this job. He’s got a great track record as a program-maker and a creative leader and I believe he’s the right person to help shape and mold BBC Studios. I’ve now asked him to work closely with the rest of the BBC to ensure Studios draws on talent from across the corporation.”

Salmon said: “This is a great opportunity to build a new model for BBC Production and work with some of the best people in the business. Our in-house teams across the U.K. are responsible for some of the most popular and high-quality television in the world. Programs like ‘Strictly,’ ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Luther’ and ‘Frozen Planet’ show that they can compete with producers anywhere, and I want to build on that success.”

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