Piers Wegner steps down as Head of Drama at BBC Wales

Doctor WhoPiers Wegner, one of the producers on Doctor Who,  has stepped down as Head of Drama at BBC Wales and is to be replaced by Faith Penhale joining from Kudos and whose previous credits include the critically acclaimed Spooks and ITV’s The Fixer.

Doctor WhoPiers Wegner has stepped down as Head of Drama at BBC Wales and is to be replaced by Faith Penhale joining from Kudos and whose previous credits include the critically acclaimed Spooks and ITV’s The Fixer. Wegner, as head of drama at BBC Wales, has overseen the return of Upstairs Downstairs, the highly successful BBC Two biopic Eric and Ernie and also the re-launched Doctor Who alongside its showrunners Steven Moffat and  Beth Willis. While stepping down from his role of Head of Drama at BBC Wales he will continue in his current role on Doctor Who and also other dramas in development such as Parade’s End.

Below is the BBC Press Release:

BBC Cymru Wales has appointed Faith Penhale as Head of Drama. Penhale joins from Kudos Film and Television where she is currently creative manager and executive producer. When she takes up the role later this year, Penhale will take overall responsibility for the strategic direction of a very successful department, including in-house development strategy and relationships with key independent producers.

In her current role, Penhale is involved with supporting the creative foundations at Kudos as well as working as an executive producer on key drama projects. Through her track record of development and productions, Bridgend-born Penhale works closely with major writing and directing talent as well as nurturing emerging writers. Her production credits include award-winning dramas Spooks for BBC One and The Fixer for ITV1.

“I am thrilled to be joining such an exciting department with a track record for producing some of the most stand-out dramas on British television. I hope my experience at Kudos will help take the department even further and build on its success.” – Faith Penhale

“We have been incredibly fortunate in BBC Wales to have such an impressive array of talent doing their best work with us over the past few years. I am really thrilled that Faith has agreed to lead BBC Wales drama into the next exciting era of its development; the Welsh creative sector as a whole will also benefit enormously from her skills and her vision.” – Clare Hudson, Head of English Language Programmes at BBC Cymru Wales

Piers Wenger, who joined BBC Wales in 2007 and, with Stephen Moffat and Beth Willis masterminded the latest regeneration of Doctor Who with Matt Smith, will continue in his role as creative leader of a range of key shows including the Doctor. Wenger was responsible for the highly successful relaunch of Upstairs Downstairs as well as the extraordinary Eric And Ernie, which was the most successful drama on BBC Two for more than a decade. Having previously held the post as Head of Drama, he now wishes to focus more exclusively on the running of his existing slate of in-house shows as well as the creative development of individual projects, including Sir Tom Stoppard’s forthcoming five-part adaptation of the Ford Madox Ford novel Parade’s End for BBC Two.

“I am absolutely thrilled for Wales that it has someone as brilliant and experienced as Faith to bring in the next generation of shows. The department has blazed a trail across a wide portfolio of in-house and indie shows in the last few years and it’s exciting for us all to have someone with Faith’s huge talent to build on their success.” – Piers Wenger

Penhale joins at a time of huge growth for BBC Wales, with Casualty moving to Wales this autumn, joining Doctor Who, Pobol y Cwm and Upstairs Downstairs in the new Roath Lock drama production centre in Cardiff Bay, following BBC Wales’ impressive increase in network production over recent years. She joins an accomplished and highly talented team which also includes Bethan Jones (Merlin/Shine, Sherlock/Hartswood).

“Faith has fantastic creative energy and vision as well as great talent relationships so I am delighted she has agreed to go back to her roots in Wales. We have big plans for Wales drama – not only do we want to sustain its relationships with Welsh indies but we also want to build on the success of the in-house department to make it even more vibrant and exciting. I am confident that Faith will be a major player in delivering the ambition of BBC Drama by working with a range of writers on a variety of authentic and original authored drama.” – Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning

“We have loved working with Faith at Kudos and want to thank her for being such a brilliant member of the creative team for several years now. We know that she will make a huge success of her new role in Wales, and very much hope to be able to continue to work with her in that capacity”- Jane Featherstone at Kudos