Shane Allen, the BBC’s comedy director, whose credits include Fleabag, This Country and The Young Offenders, is leaving to start his own production company.
Allen teams up with Kate Daughton, the late BBC comedy director, to create a script comedy and comedy drama called Boffola Pictures Limited, with support from the War & Peace outfit Lookout Point, which is part of the BBC Studios group to found.
Allen’s tenure with the BBC has shown that the station has consistently enjoyed success in the comedy categories of the National Television Awards and the TV BAFTAs. The manager has focused on attracting new talent, including through Comedy Slices & Threesomes on BBC Three. In 2021, he founded the BBC Comedy Association to engage and facilitate a new wave of talent on and off screen, including the return of the New Comedy Awards to television.
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The BBC will begin recruiting a new comedy director immediately. Kate Phillips, Director of BBC Entertainment, will now oversee new comedy script commissioning decisions, while Allen oversees ongoing productions and on the BBC Comedy Association’s inaugural annual plans for a City of Comedy, the nomination of a Comedy Award Winner for Young People and the restart of television works the New Comedy Awards. He will be leaving the BBC in August.
Shane Allen said, “I felt like a competition winner every day working with the station’s creative talents, which is so synonymous with British comedy history. Now is an opportune time to begin a new career chapter as the world opens up again and British comedy talent continues to take the world by storm. “
Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer added, “Shane is an exceptional creative whose passion for spotting exciting new talent and pushing comedy boundaries has had a remarkable impact on the entire UK comedy industry for nearly a decade. From Fleabag to Car Share, This Land to People Who Just Do Nothing, Inside No 9 and Motherland to Famalam: The reach, quality and ambition of BBC Comedy have kept audiences laughing year after year. And his pioneering work in supporting new talent has led to a golden age for British comedy, with more awards won, more new voices released on the world stage and more hits commissioned than any other broadcaster. He leaves BBC Comedy in poor health, but we owe Shane great thanks, and I will not say alone that I will miss him dearly both personally and professionally. “