4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Patrick Spence Appointed BBC NI Head of Drama
12 Mar 2004 :

BBC Northern Ireland has appointed Patrick Spence as its new Head of Drama replacing Robert Cooper who left the BBC in December 2003.

This is Patrick's third time back at the BBC. He was part of the team that produced Silent Witness in 1996, then came back two years later as the show's Executive Producer and as Mal Young's Head of Development, Drama Series, working on Waking the Dead, Murder in Mind and Down to Earth, amongst others.

Additional credits include Five's first BAFTA-nominated series, Wing and a Prayer, which he developed at Thames, and stints at Scottish Television, Central, Pearson and Granada, where he worked on Cracker. Patrick (36) will be looking to expand the department with commissions to sit alongside their existing productions, Murphy's Law and Messiah.

Long running series will be his focus early on, though he is relishing the opportunity to produce serials and single films as well. "I get to work with the team that made Holy Cross, one of the most powerful pieces on television last year. So this is going to be a privilege," he said.

Anna Carragher, Controller, BBC NI, said: "I am delighted that Patrick is taking on this role. He has an impressive track record and respect in the industry…..I feel it is a tribute to the work of the BBC NI drama team, which is responsible for an amazing portfolio of dramas from Ballykissangel to Holy Cross, that we have been able to secure him to lead us forward."

Jane Tranter, BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: "It's fantastic for everyone to have Patrick back at the BBC, joining such a brilliant team of heads of drama in the nations - alongside Barbara McKissack in Scotland and Julie Gardner in Wales - as well as the wider genre team of Mal Young, Laura Mackie and Gareth Neame leading series, serials and independents respectively."

Patrick will take up his post in mid March.

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