Patrick Holland named BBC documentary head

Patrick Holland (pictured), the former managing director of FremantleMedia UK-owned Boundless Productions, has been named head of documentaries at the BBC.
May 7, 2015

Patrick Holland (pictured), the former MD of FremantleMedia UK-owned Boundless Productions, has been named head of documentaries at the BBC.

The exec replaces former head of docs Emma Willis, who in October 2014 left the BBC to join the Warner Bros Television Production UK-owned prodco Twenty Twenty as its creative director. A start date has yet to be set for Holland, but the exec is to report to interim factual controller Alison Kirkham when he begins the position.

The appointment was announced to staff through an email from Emma Swain, controller of factual commissioning for the BBC, who is to take a year-long break from the position. The exec spearheaded a major overhaul of the BBC’s factual commissioning department in January in response to savings targets in television and fewer commissioning hours.

Holland oversaw all creative output at Boundless, where his credits include The Apprentice (BBC), An Hour to Save Your Life (BBC2), Great British Railway Journeys (BBC2) and Grand Designs (Channel 4).

Prior to joining Boundless as an executive producer, Holland oversaw such Channel 4 programs as Born to Be Different and Dangerous Jobs for Girls, as well as The Truth about Tanning (BBC3) and Trawler Wars and World’s Toughest Tribes (Discovery). Holland also served as director of factual at Ricochet where he ran Born to be Different (Channel 4), exec produced Space Shuttle: The Final Mission (BBC2) and formed the Channel 4 doc strand ‘My Crazy Life.’

“It is a huge privilege and a massive challenge to be asked to lead BBC documentary commissioning,” said Holland in a statement. “I have loved building my team at Boundless, but this opportunity is my dream job. I am really looking forward to working with the BBC commissioning team, the indie sector and in-house to develop the very best ideas that challenge, provoke and entertain the audience.”

(With files from Kevin Ritchie)

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