BBC Studios Productions has announced Kate Oates as the new Head of Drama Productions.

Oates will lead the biggest drama production hub outside London with bases in England, Scotland and Wales.  Reporting to Mark Linsey, President, Scripted Productions, she will retain responsibility for her current slate of programmes: EastEnders, Casualty, Father Brown, Sister Boniface, River City, Pobol Y Cwm, and new comedy-drama Anfamol. Oates and her team will also manage Silent Witness when it moves to the West Midlands, a slate of new drama developments for both the BBC and domestic and international channels and platforms, the BBC Studios Casting department; and develop a UK training strategy for Scripted TV Production within BBC Studios.

Oates’ senior leadership team includes Deborah Sathe as Creative Director, and Siân O’Callaghan, as Director of Production, BBC Studios Drama Productions.  As well as overseeing production, Sathe will manage the slate of new developments. She will also lead the training initiative, extending its remit across all scripted production in BBC Studios and working with its independent production labels. O’Callaghan oversees all production, as well as leading the strategic and business planning of BBC Drama Productions.

Kate Oates joined BBC Studios in 2018 as a Senior Executive Producer, and in 2019 took on the role of Head of Continuing Drama.  She produced ITV’s Coronation Street between 2016-2018, and Emmerdale from 2013-2016, making her the only person to helm all three of the UK’s top continuing dramas. She previously produced the BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. Oates started her career as a researcher and editorial assistant for the writer Germaine Greer.

Mark Linsey, President, Scripted Productions says: “Kate has a proven track record as a creative leader of outstanding, award winning popular drama. She already demonstrates her passion and  commitment to talent and storytelling across the UK and I know she is going to deliver more new drama in this wider role.”

Kate Oates, BBC Studios Head of Drama Productions says: “I’m beyond delighted to move into the role of Head of Drama Productions at BBC Studios. Together with my incredible team, we are looking forward to creating new dramas to exist alongside our already iconic brands, as well as innovative training opportunities that we believe will benefit our industry as a whole.”

Jon Creamer

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