BBC Comedy Boss Jon Petrie Unveils New-Look Commissioning Team

BBC Comedy Director Jon Petrie has unveiled his new-look comedy commissioning team following a spate of recent departures, with AppleTV+’s Trying producer Emma Lawson joining alongside E4 digital commissioner Navi Lamba and Roughcut TV’s Seb Barwell.

Petrie’s appointment earlier this year came off the back of the departure of former Comedy Director Shane Allen, Head of Comedy Kate Daughton and Commissioning Editors Alex Moody and Sarah Asante, all within a few weeks of each other.

Replacements in the Commissioning Editor team are revealed today as Lawson, whose previous credits include Cuckoo and Peep ShowMandy’s Ben Caudell, who has been acting but joins on a permanent basis, and Roughcut TV’s Stath Lets Flats producer Seb Barwell, who conversely joins on an acting basis for the next six months.

Lawson most recently worked on Rafe Spall’s AppleTV+ comedy Trying, which led to an in-house commissioning role working under Apple Europe TV boss Jay Hunt. She left in February to produce a sitcom for Sky One.

Meanwhile, Lamba, who previously worked for BBC3, joins in the newly created Head of Comedy Talent Development role. She will “help support new talent on their development journey to creating longform content,” according to Petrie, while looking to social media for the best up-and-coming comedians and producers.

The team is completed by current employees Head of BBC Comedy Tanya Qureshi, Commissioning Editor Gregor Sharp and Assistant Commissioner, North England, Hannah Rose.

Described by Petrie as “an incredibly experienced, multi-talented team that have years of experience in award-winning comedy,” the new-look commissioning squad will be in place by January.

Petrie added: “I’m confident that this team makes a clear statement we are the greatest place for established talent to bring their ideas and know that they will be handled with care, whilst new talent will know that we have the experience to support them with their future careers in comedy.”

Petrie, another former Roughcut exec, joined from Charlie Brooker/Annabel Jones’ indie Broke & Bones in September, replacing Allen, who left to launch Boffola Pictures with Daughton. Boffola unveiled its first BBC commission last week.

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