Gemma Thomas has been appointed to the newly created role of Deputy Head of Production for the BBC Studios team behind last year’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert and the broadcast of The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Thomas’s promotion will see her work alongside Creative Director, Claire Popplewell, to grow BBC Studios Productions Events business further on the back of the success of productions such as The Earthshot Prize, for which she and the team won a BAFTA in 2022.
The new remit will see Thomas assume day-to-day responsibility for a large production management team across the department’s Ceremonial programming, with an immediate emphasis on the upcoming Coronation Concert to be held in the grounds of Windsor Castle on Sunday, May 7th. She will report into BBC Studios’ Head of Production for Factual Entertainment and Events, Harriet Dormer.
She started her career at the BBC in 2005, working her way up through many genres including Children’s, Science and Consumer & Live. She line-produced shows such as Top Gear, Invictus Games, Watchdog, Rogue Traders as well as numerous Ceremonial Events. Following stints at The Garden Productions on their US format of 24 hours in Police Custody, and at Sandpaper Films overseeing their feature documentary Surviving Covid, which saw her working in King’s College hospital following patients admitted into ICU in the first wave of the Covid pandemic, she re-joined BBC Studios in 2020 as Production Executive.
Thomas was recently named as one of the winners of the BBC’s Outstanding Contribution Awards, recognising those colleagues who made a huge difference to the organisation in its centenary year.
The BBC Studios Events Productions team produces broadcasts including The State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II to events like the Platinum Party at the Palace and VJ 75.
Katie Brewer, BBC Studios’ Director of Production for Factual Entertainment and Events says: “It’s been an incredibly busy 12 months for the Events team and I couldn’t be more delighted to be working more closely with Gemma in this new role. You need an exceptional production management team when it comes to projects as high profile or as complex as the recent funeral coverage of Queen Elizabeth II, and Gemma is quite simply one of the best. Harriet and I look forward to working with her and all of her excellent production managers to grow the genre over the next year and deliver the Coronation Concert.”
Gemma Thomas commented: “When returning to the BBC Studio Events Productions team I had no idea we’d be overseeing two State Funerals, a Platinum Jubilee Celebration weekend and a Coronation within two years. It’s been an extraordinary period and a privilege to lead our fantastic production management team. I’m excited to continue our work with the team and to be pushing the breadth of content we can deliver to audiences in the UK and worldwide, the scale and ambition of our events, and to realise the vision for growth going forward.”
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