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Salt replaces Piers Wenger, who departed to A24 earlier this year to run its international division alongside former BBC Films boss Rose Garnett. BBC Drama Commissioner Ben Irving was doing the role on an interim basis and had been tipped as frontrunner to take it permanently along with Channel 4 Drama Head Caroline Hollick.
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Reporting to Anne Mensah, who was also linked with the BBC job, Salt has been with Netflix for three years, commissioning the likes of Baby Reindeer, One Day, The F*** it Bucket, Palomino and Half Bad and working across hits such as Heartstopper and The Crown.
She used to run development at Sky Drama, during which time she also worked with Mensah.
Salt will report to to BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore, who said the move “heralds an exciting new era for BBC drama.”
“Lindsay 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,” she added. “BBC Drama is in outstanding form and she has ambitious plans to evolve the creative strategy and build her own distinctive slate that is unique to the BBC.”
Salt said the opportunity was “too special to ignore,” heralding her Netflix tenure as a “total joy.”
Mensah added: “I have utterly loved working with Lindsay both here at Netflix and previously at Sky. Lindsay has been instrumental in building our slate at Netflix UK with fabulous commissions and we shall all be applauding her future success.”
The move is a double blow for Netflix coming soon after Chris Sussman, Director of UK Scripted, announced his departure. BBC Drama Commissioner Mona Qureshi went the other way earlier this year.
Salt’s job is the most high-profile in the British drama world. She will be in control of a circa-£400M annual budget and oversee co-productions with the biggest U.S. players. Wenger was heavily scrutinized during his tenure but broadly shook up BBC’s drama offering, taking big bets on the likes of I May Destroy You and Normal People that reaped rewards.
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