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In a reversal of the usual exec moves from British networks to streamers, the BBC has hired Netflix’s scripted executive Lindsay Salt to serve as its director of drama, a position considered one of the most prestigious and influential in British TV.
Salt replaces Piers Wenger, who left earlier this year to join A24 as part of its major international push.
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Having been at Netflix since 2019 where she was part of the first U.K. scripted team and established the new slate with Anne Mensah, Salt’s commissions included Baby Reindeer, One Day, The Fuck it Bucket, Palomino and Half Bad. She also worked across shows including Heartstopper and The Crown season five.
“Lindsay’s appointment heralds an exciting new era for BBC Drama,” said BBC content chief Charlotte Moore. “She has been responsible for an impressive breadth of shows and her track record as a commissioner underlines her passion for creating big hits and developing new and diverse voices.”
Moore also described Salt as an “inspiring creative leader with a sophisticated understanding of British audience tastes,” adding that this made her “perfectly placed to lead the genre into the future with work that will continue to push the boundaries and disrupt the mainstream.”
Salt will report directly to Moore when she starts in the fall. Until then, Ben Irving will continue as acting director.
“My time at Netflix under the generous and visionary leadership of Anne Mensah has been a total joy,” said Salt. “However, the opportunity to join the BBC was too special to ignore. Its drama programming is revered around the globe and I can’t wait to get started with the world class team, who empower talent and producers to create iconic shows that stand the test of time. What a privilege to build upon that legacy and find and nurture the storytelling that’ll lead us into the next pivotal phase of the BBC.”
Prior to joining Netflix, Salt was head of development at Sky Drama UK where she ran the development slate for Sky One and Sky Atlantic and worked across projects ranging from The Lazarus Project to The Third Day. She started her career at Left Bank Pictures where she worked across a range of productions and development both as a producer and script editor.
“I have utterly loved working with Lindsay both here at Netflix and previously at Sky,” said Netflix’s vp content Mensah. “Lindsay has been instrumental in building our slate at Netflix UK with fabulous commissions such as One Day, Half Bad and Palomino. I know she is going to be just as brilliant at the BBC and we shall all be applauding her future success.”
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