BBC comedy loses its second exec this week | Ben Farrell goes back to indie Objective © BBC

BBC comedy loses its second exec this week

Ben Farrell goes back to indie Objective

The BBC’s in-house comedy department has lost its second executive in a week.

Ben Farrell, who looked after programmes including Tracey Ullman’s Show, is stepping down after less than two years.

He follows int he footsteps of his boss, Myfanwy Moore who announced her departure earlier in the week.

Farrell is returning to independent production house Objective, which he quit in mid-2014 to join the Corporation. At that time he said: ‘The offer to work alongside Myfanwy, in the heartland of UK comedy production, was too enticing an opportunity to turn down.’

He will leave the BBC this spring to become Objective’s chief creative officer with responsibility for a new comedy label. In a statement, the company said: ‘Farrell’s flair for producing exceptional comedy and his understanding of the genre, as well his own place in creating and producing Objective’s past glories, means he is perfectly placed to lead this new era of programme making.’

Shows he’ll oversee include Witless, starring Kerry Howard as a twentysomething who goes into hiding after becoming an innocent witness to a gangland shooting, and Roisin Conaty’s sitcom GameFace. He began developing the shows at Objective before moving to the BBC.

He said: ‘I’ve hugely enjoyed my time at the BBC, and leaving wasn’t an easy decision. However, the offer to return to the Objective family and lead their new comedy label was just irresistible. I can’t wait to get started.’

Objective’s chief executive Layla Smith added: ‘I couldn’t be happier. It is utterly the right thing to welcome Ben back to lead his own label. He is incredibly talented and we look forward to him stepping into his new role."

During his previous stint at Objective, Farrell’s credits included Toast of London, Reggie Perrin and Big Bad World.

Published: 22 Jan 2016

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