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BBC’s Cohen bows out with drama commissions

Danny Cohen’s final drama commissions as the controller of UK terrestrial channel BBC One include a series about the inventor of Chester Zoo and a Charles Dickens-themed show from Tony Jordan.

Cohen will soon become the BBC’s director of television overseeing all four main BBC channels and other programme-related services. He said: “It has been a joy and privilege to commission programmes for BBC One. I hope audiences enjoy the range and creative ambitions of these new dramas for the channel.”

His final series commissions include 6x60mins Our Zoo, which is written by Matt Charman and produced by Big Talk Productions. It tells the story of the man that created Chester Zoo in the UK in the 1930s and the impact it had on its family. Luke Alkin, Adam Kemp and Kenton Allen executive produce for Big Talk, with Matthew Read attached for the BBC.

Dickensian will be a multi-part half-hour series that will bring characters from Dickens novels together in surprising ways. Veteran UK writer and producer Jordan is the writer and his Red Planet Pictures is producing. Jordan and the BBC’s Hill will executive produce.

Poldark is a 6x60mins adaptation of Winston Graham’s 18ht century romantic novel about a solider that returns from war only to find his family tearing itself apart. Debbie Horsfield adapted it, with Mammoth Screen attached to produce. Horsfield, Rebecca Keane, Karen Thrussell and Damien Timmer exec produce for Mammoth and Polly Hill doing the same for the BBC.

Finally, From There to Here is a 3x60mins show written by Peter Bowker, with Shine-owned Kudos Film & Television attached to produce. It tells the story of how a bombing in 1990s Manchester, UK, impacts two families. Derek Wax exec produces for Kudos, with Stephen Wright doing the same for the BBC.