Channel 4 is losing their Head of Drama. Beth Willis is exiting the broadcaster to take up a partnership position and independent production company The Forge.
Willis first joined Channel 4 in 2012 as Deputy Head of Drama. She was promoted to the top job two years later in 2016 when Piers Wenger left for the BBC to become Controller of Drama Commissioning.
During her time at C4, Willis worked extensively with The Forge and commissioned a number of series produced by the indie including Kiri, National Treasure and Ackley Bridge. She also commissioned such dramas as The End of the F****** World, Humans, The State, No Offence; Born to Kill and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. “Beth’s track record speaks for itself”, The Forge Founder and Managing Director George Faber said in a statement. “Working with both new and established writers, she’s rapidly built a formidable reputation for commissioning outstanding, high-quality drama. I’m thrilled she’s chosen to join us.”
Before joining Channel 4, Willis worked at the BBC as co-executive producer on Doctor Who and Eric and Ernie. Prior to that she serves as a producer at Kudos Film and Television under Jane Featherstone. “The last six years at Channel 4 have truly been a privilege – I will miss the people and culture enormously – it’s a very special place”, she said “But when George Faber asked me to join The Forge – the chance to work with a group of people whose attitude, instincts and achievements are pretty awe inspiring – it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
It is not immediately clear who is in the frame to replace Willis as Head of Drama. “Beth Willis has been an inspirational Head of Drama, shaping the channel’s diverse and award-winning slate with impeccable taste and an unerring eye for how to tell a compelling story”, added Ian Katz, Channel 4’s Director of Programmes. “In particular she has been a relentless champion for new writers and ideas that other broadcasters would never make – just what Channel 4 drama should be. We look forward to working with her in the next phase of her career.”