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BBC Takes Stake in New Company Set Up by ‘Luther,’ ‘Bodyguard’ Exec

BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in Firebird Pictures, the new drama indie being set up by BBC execs Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth.

Kilgarriff’s credits include “Luther,” “Poldark,” “McMafia” and upcoming Richard Gere-starrer “MotherFatherSon.” She commissioned breakout drama hit “Bodyguard.” Holleworth will be the new company’s COO, having run business and operations for BBC Drama, BBC Films and its program acquisitions over a number of years. He has brokered deals for shows including “Doctor Who,” “Peaky Blinders” and “Sherlock.”

BBC Studios has taken a minority stake in the new venture. The commercial and production arm of the U.K. pubcaster will have a distribution deal with Firebird and sell its programming internationally.

“Now feels like an exciting time to be stepping forward into a new venture and building bold and distinctive shows for a global market,” Kilgarrif said. “Craig and I share a vision to make Firebird a place where all story-tellers are inspired and supported to do their best work.”

Mark Linsey, BBC Studios’ Chief Creative Officer, added: “Liz is a force of nature when it comes to working with new talent and creating high-quality content, and her producing and commissioning experience at the highest level means she brings a clear understanding of the industry and its current needs.

“And coupled with Craig’s flair for ensuring some of the biggest global TV hits of recent years have the right support to realize their ambitions, Firebird Pictures is off to a flying start.”

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