His remit will be to build on Fifth Season’s reputation for distributing series such as “Killing Eve” and “The Night Manager” and producing “Severance.” Irving will lead the production and development teams in the U.K. and work on U.K.-based developments as well as working with the U.K.’s creative community on new global series.
Irving joins from the BBC, where he oversaw all primetime drama as the acting director of drama. Before then he worked as BBC Drama’s head of production and a commissioning editor. Among the projects he has executive produced are “His Dark Materials,” “Doctor Who,” “Happy Valley” and “Sherwood.” Prior to joining the BBC Ben worked at Heyday Films as VP of development and production. He has also worked at Warner Bros Pictures and Qwerty Films over the course of his career.
“Chris, Graham, Joe and the wider team have built something special in Fifth Season, and I’m hugely excited to join the next phase of the studio’s evolution,” said Irving. “The company has always had a strong international focus, and together we will build on their many successes to further ramp up the studio’s TV productions, continuing to support and empower the best creators and producers in the U.K., and beyond, to tell stories that will resonate with global audiences.”
Irving added, “It’s been a huge privilege to spend the last five years at the BBC under the exceptional leadership of Charlotte Moore, working with some of the most dynamic and creative commissioners, producers, writers and directors in the business on a slate of incredible range and ambition. I look forward to continuing my relationships with them all.”
Joe Hipps, EVP for TV production and development at Fifth Season said: “As we continue our plans to expand the studio across the globe, Ben is the key ingredient we were looking for. His prolific experience, strategic sensibilities, long-standing creative relationships and exceptional taste for great programs will be instrumental as our presence grows in the U.K.”