Creative Director of BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit, Aysha Rafaele, is to set up a new drama hub within BBC Studios’ Scripted area, reporting into Managing Director, Scripted, Nick Betts.
During her time at BBC Studios’ Doc Unit, Rafaele has exec’d factual dramas including Against The Law, RTS award-winning Murdered For Being Different and BAFTA-winner Don’t Take My Baby. Last year she executive produced Murdered By My Father, which won the RTS Award for Best Single Drama and the BAFTA for Best Actor.
Before joining the BBC, Rafaele was a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 where she ran the new director strand First Cut. Before joining C4, she spent 10 years as a documentary and drama director. Her last directing job was on C4’s teen drama series Skins.
Rafaele said: “There are huge opportunities in both factual drama and the drama space more generally. By creating a drama hub in BBC Studios’ Scripted department I will be able to build on the work I’ve already been doing including seeking out an exciting new generation of British drama writers, actors, directors – particularly from working class and diverse backgrounds. There are vital and essential stories to tell from new and established talent that are not yet being told and I’m excited to be part of helping make that happen in the world of drama”.
Rafaele has been Creative Director, BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit for 6 years and has been responsible for a range of factual programmes across observational documentaries, arts, history and factual drama – most recently developing the five-part social history series Thatcher for BBC Two announced last week.
She has helped create and has executive produced shows such as BBC One’s The Met: Policing London; BBC Two’s Louis Theroux docs (Savile, Drinking to Oblivion, By Reason of Insanity, Transgender Kids); BBC Three’s The Call Centre and the recent Life and Death Row: The Mass Execution.
Nick Betts, Managing Director, Scripted at BBC Studios said: “I’m incredibly excited to have someone of Aysha’s talent and reputation joining the Scripted team in BBC Studios. Aysha has championed and produced some outstanding drama over the last few years in the Documentary Unit and I’m really looking forward to working with her to build on that success and expand into new territories.”
Lisa Opie, Managing Director, Factual at BBC Studios said: “Aysha is a real talent who has made some breathtakingly brilliant programmes during her time as Creative Director of The Documentary Unit so we are very sorry to be losing her. Thank goodness she is staying at BBC Studios, and our loss is Scripted’s gain. I know she will go on to produce world-class, agenda-setting dramas and I for one can’t wait to watch them.”
Recruitment is underway for a new Creative Director for BBC Studios’ The Documentary Unit.