People/Biz

BBC Studios ups Damon Pattison, Pam Cavannagh

BBC Studios has bolstered its entertainment team in the north of the country. Damon Pattison has been elevated by BBC Studios to oversee its entertainment north division across Salford and Glasgow, Scotland, ...
November 24, 2017

BBC Studios has bolstered its entertainment team in the north of the country.

Damon Pattison has been elevated by BBC Studios to oversee its entertainment north division across Salford and Glasgow, Scotland, while Pam Cavannagh has taken on the role of creative director.

Currently head of development, Pattison (pictured) will now lead the strategy to expand the entertainment slate out of London, beginning in the New Year. His remit will also include establishing editorial and business strategies for the department, with the aim of growing the slate.

He will report into BBC Studios’ Suzy Lamb, who was recently appointed genre director for entertainment and music. Lamb also joins the team in January.

The move follows the July announcement made by BBC Studios director Mark Linsey that the prodco’s entertainment department would be divided into two distinct areas, with each arm receiving dedicated focus and new creative leadership.

Earlier this year, former Boundless MD Hannah Wyatt joined BBC Studios to run the factual entertainment and events division.

Pattison joined the commercial arm of the British broadcaster as head of development in March 2016 and was tasked with overseeing a development team focused on formatted and fact-ent.

Prior to this, Pattison served as creative director at BBC Development Central, and creative director at KEO Films. At KEO, the exec oversaw the development of the British indie’s formats and long-running factual entertainment series.

In 2007, Pattison started the indie prodco Lucky Day Productions, which was acquired by Zodiak Media four years later. His credits include CBBC’s Disaster Chefs, BBC2′s School of Silence, Channel 4′s Secret Location and Love Shaft for C4′s terrestrial digital television channel E4.

Before that he was the head of development at Celador Productions where he oversaw entertainment and factual entertainment programs. During that time, he created and exec produced You Are What You Eat and Turn Back Your Body Clock for Channel 4 and No Waste Like Home for BBC2. He also series produced the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

“Glasgow and Salford are increasingly important hubs for BBC Studios as we expand, so Damon’s appointment is really key for us,” said BBC Studios director Mark Linsey in a statement. “He is so passionate and creative and I know he will have a brilliant impact on BBC Studios’ entertainment teams in Glasgow and Salford.”

Working alongside Pattison will be the newly appointed Pam Cavannagh, who has taken on the role of creative director for BBC Studios.

Cavannagh, formerly a channel executive at BBC1, will be responsible for growing the entertainment slates in Salford and Glasgow, while also supporting existing productions.

Cavannagh previously held the titles of channel executive for BBC1 and BBC3, and commissioning editor for BBC Daytime.

“She has great knowledge and insight from her days in commissioning and a genuine flair for development that makes her a brilliant and exciting creative leader,” Linsey added.

Elsewhere, Kieron Collins will be departing the BBC following a 12-year stint as managing editor of entertainment north to pursue “new opportunities”.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time leading the teams behind some of the BBC’s most iconic entertainment shows, including Dragons’ Den, Mastermind, Question of Sport and many more,” said Collins in a statement. “This year we’ve developed two fantastic new formats for BBC1, with daytime quiz The Boss and the Saturday night tribute act spectacular Even Better Than The Real Thing. And to work on all those shows with the best people in TV – and to do it from the North – has been a privilege and a joy. If I have half as much fun in my next job, I’ll be happy.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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