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NBCU’s Carnival staffs up

downton abbeyDownton Abbey producer Carnival Films has hired two content execs as another leaves the NBCUniversal-owned company.

Danielle Dajani has been brought in as head of production at Carnival, and joins the London-based prodco from its LA counterpart Raleigh Studios and prior to that, Walt Disney Pictures. She has also been general manager of Sydney-based Village Roadshow Production Management.

Dajani, who will oversee production across all of Carnival’s shows, will replace Kimberley Hikaka who is leaving Carnival after a seven-year stint.

The other new recruit is Tara Cooke, who as head of development at Sam Mendes’s Neal Street Productions, was behind BBC drama Call the Midwife. Carnival has also upped Phil Temple to development producer.

“Danielle and Tara are exceptionally gifted executives in their own fields and, along with the promotion of my talented colleague Phil Temple, these new appointments further position Carnival for the future,” said Carnival managing director Gareth Neame.

He added: “But we are saddened to say goodbye to Kimberley Hikaka, a talented executive who has done such exceptional work for the company through this period of enormous growth.”

Carnival’s most recent commission was for The Last Kingdom, an epic period drama for the BBC and BBC America, based on Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling book series The Saxon Stories.