The BBC has announced TV producer Peter Salmon as the director of BBC Studios, the new production division being created following the broadcaster’s 2014 decision to separate TV production from commissioning.
Salmon has produced the likes of Crimewatch UK, and Nature for BBC Bristol, where he was also executive producer of Wallace and Gromit animation The Wrong Trousers. More recently, he co-invented Sport Relief, was controller of BBC One and BBC Sport, before going on to be founder director of BBC North in Salford, with 3,000 staff.
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 per cent of BBC programmes are made by in-house production.
Peter is currently the BBC’s director, England, and in his new role will work closely with the BBC’s director of television, Danny Cohen, and the BBC’s directors in the nations to decide the right structure, leadership team and remit for BBC Studios.
“I’m confident that Peter will bring all the energy and creativity he’s shown at BBC England to this job,” said BBC director-general, Tony Hall. “He’s got a great track record as a programme maker and a creative leader and I believe he’s the right person to help shape and mould 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.”
Peter Salmon commented: “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 UK are responsible for some of the most popular and high-quality television in the world. Programmes like Strictly, Doctor Who, Luther and Frozen Planet show that they can compete with producers anywhere and I want to build on that success. I’ve loved my time starting a successful creative community at BBC North in Salford and then with the BBC England team but this was too important an opportunity to pass over. I’m looking forward to getting down to work with new colleagues soon.”