Conker Pictures, the scripted start up from ex BBC Commissioning Editor Tommy Bulfin and ex Apple TV+ Drama Commissioner Kim Varvell, is to open an office in Northern Ireland, Conker Pictures NI.

Building on their experience of working in the Nations & Regions on high profile dramas (Bulfin commissioned the hit Belfast based police drama Blue Lights when he was at the BBC), the ambition is to make “contemporary and original series, with global appeal, from Northern Ireland working with local writers, talent and crews.”

The London office will remain the company headquarters, with the new central Belfast office launching next month. Bulfin will be based in London, while Varvell is relocating to Belfast. The Co-MDs will continue to oversee the business jointly.

Kim Varvell said: “I am hugely excited to be relocating to Belfast and to be opening Conker’s first regional office. Professionally, the region is teeming with creativity, inspiring story tellers and incredible talent. Personally, I am going to be incredibly proud to call Belfast my home. We can’t wait to get going and are grateful for the support and advice of Northern Ireland Screen and the BBC in helping us make this move.”

Tommy Bulfin added: “I have had the good fortune to work on many productions in Northern Ireland and I have always been blown away by the talent and professionalism on show there. Having a base in Belfast will allow Conker to really make roots in the region and nurture creative relationships. Northern Ireland is home to some of the very best crews and creative talent in the industry. I am very excited by the potential and know that Irish stories and talent will resonate worldwide.”

Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen commented: “As the TV/Drama sector locally goes from strength to strength, we are delighted to welcome Conker Pictures to Northern Ireland, under the esteemed leadership of Tommy Bulfin and Kim Varvell. Their combined experience in commissioning high-profile dramas and their commitment to cultivating local talent will undoubtedly bolster opportunities for our local writers, talent, and crews.”

With support from Northern Ireland Screen and the BBC, Conker Pictures NI is recruiting a Development Assistant Trainee to work from Belfast.

Conker Pictures launched in April 2023 with backing from Banijay UK.

Jon Creamer

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