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Firebird Studios, the production company backed by BBC Studios, has hired BAFTA-winning executive producer Aysha Rafaele.

Firebird was set up by Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Craig Holleworth in 2019 with a 25% stake owned by BBC Studios. BBC Studios is also the company’s global distribution partner.

Rafaele, who will bring her development slate to Firebird, comes from a factual background having exec produced a raft of Louis Theroux’s documentaries, including “Savile” and “Transgender Kids,” as well as BBC Three’s “The Call Centre.” Prior to moving into exec producing, Rafaele spent ten years directing documentaries and drama including Channel 4’s “Skins” and RTS award-winning “This England.”

“I’m thrilled to be embarking on an exhilarating new adventure with Firebird Pictures,” Rafele said in a statement. “Liz has championed and produced some outstanding drama of scale and ambition and I’m really looking forward to working closely with her and Craig, to help take my projects to the next level and expand into exciting new territories. I can’t wait to get started”.

Kilgarriff said: “We are very pleased to welcome Aysha to Firebird – she is a brilliant producer and someone I have admired for a long time. Her passion for championing the next generation of British story-tellers makes her a natural fit for us, and her bold and ambitious slate brings a rich seam of new ideas and talent to Firebird. It’s a very exciting collaboration and perfect start to 2022!”

Mark Linsey, chief creative officer at BBC Studios added: “Aysha is an exceptional programme-maker, whose impressive body of work includes an array of powerful, agenda-setting films, steeped in new talent. We are so proud of the award-winning programmes she has made with us and delighted she is staying in the BBC Studios family.”