BBC poaches Netflix executive who worked on The Crown

BBC poaches Netflix executive who worked on The Crown to become its new director of drama

  • Lindsay Salt to become BBC Director of Drama – one of highest profile jobs in TV 
  • She previously worked at Netflix of season five of The Crown and at Sky Drama 
  • In a statement, she said opportunity to work at BBC was ‘too special to ignore’
  • It comes after BBC Drama executive Mona Qureshi headed for Netflix this year 

The BBC has hired Netflix’s scripted executive Lindsay Salt to serve as the public broadcaster’s new Director of Drama – widely considered one of the highest profile jobs in British TV. 

Ms Salt, who commissioned Netflix shows including Half Bad, One Day and worked on the hit series The Crown, will replace Piers Wenger, who left the BBC earlier this year to join Hollywood indie studio A24 as part of a major international push. 

Ms Salt also worked on Heartstopper and season five of The Crown series, which is set to be released in November this year. 

Lindsay Salt (pictured) will serve as the public broadcaster’s new Director of Drama

Her commissions on the streaming service, which she joined in 2019, also include Baby Reindeer, Palomino and The F*** it Bucket. 

Prior to working at Netflix, she was Head of Development for Sky’s drama team, where she ran the development slate for Sky One and Sky Atlantic. Her work includes the like of The Lazarus Project and The Third Day. 

It is believed she will report directly to Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer at the BBC, and lead the drama commissioning team. 

Her new role is set to start in Autumn. In the meantime, Ben Irving, who many in the UK drama community had tipped for the top job, will continue as acting director. 

The hire marks a major win for the BBC and is a rare occasion where a public broadcaster has snapped up streaming talent. 

Generally, this has usually been the opposite. Earlier this year, BBC drama executive Mona Qureshi was snapped up by Netflix to join its scripted series team.   

In a statement, BBC content chief Charlotte Moore said: ‘Lindsay’s appointment heralds an exciting new era for BBC Drama. 

‘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.

At Netflix, she worked on season five of the streaming service’s hit series The Crown 

‘She’s an inspiring creative leader with a sophisticated understanding of British audience tastes which makes her perfectly placed to lead the genre into the future with work that will continue to push the boundaries and disrupt the mainstream. 

‘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 and feels especially relevant to audiences across the UK in a fiercely competitive global landscape.’ 

In her own statement, Ms Salt added: ‘My time at Netflix under the generous and visionary leadership of Anne Mensah has been a total joy. 

‘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.’

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