Shane Allen, the BBC’s Director of Comedy whose credits include Fleabag, This Country, and The Young Offenders, is leaving the broadcaster to launch his own production company.
Allen is joining forces with Kate Daughton, the recently departed BBC Head of comedy, to form scripted comedy and comedy drama shingle Boffola Pictures Limited, with backing from War And Peace outfit Lookout Point, which is part of the BBC Studios group.
Allen’s tenure at the BBC has seen the broadcaster have regular success in the comedy categories of the National Television Award and the TV BAFTAs. The exec has focused on bringing through new talent, including through Comedy Slices & Threesomes on BBC Three. In 2021, he established the BBC Comedy Association to engage and enable a new wave of talent on and off screen including the return to television of the New Comedy Awards.
The BBC will begin recruitment immediately for a new Director of Comedy. Kate Phillips, Director of BBC Entertainment, will now oversee new scripted comedy commissioning decisions while Allen oversees ongoing productions and works on the BBC Comedy Association’s inaugural year plans for a city of comedy, appointment of a Young People’s Comedy Laureate and the TV re-boot of The New Comedy Awards. He will leave the BBC in August.
Shane Allen said, “I’ve felt like a competition winner every single day working with the cream of creative talents at the broadcaster which is so synonymous with the story of British comedy. Now feels an opportune time to start a new career chapter as the world opens up again and British comedy talents continue to take the world by storm.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer, added, “Shane is an extraordinary creative whose passion for spotting exciting new talent and pushing comedy boundaries has had a remarkable impact on the whole British comedy industry for the best part of a decade. From Fleabag to Car Share, This Country to People Just do Nothing, Inside No 9, and Motherland to Famalam, the range, the quality and the sheer ambition of BBC Comedy has kept audiences laughing year in year out. And his pioneering work to support new talent has led to a golden age for British Comedy, winning more awards, launching more new voices on the global stage and commissioning more hits than any other broadcaster. He leaves BBC Comedy in rude health but we owe Shane a great debt of gratitude and I won’t be alone in saying I will miss him greatly both personally and professionally. “
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