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Ten Alps Buys Drama Indie

drama masksFactual indeoendent producer Ten Alps is moving into drama by acquiring Cottage Industry Productions while also launching Ten Alps Drama. Jo Willett, Cottage Industry's exec producer and former drama chief at Wall to Wall has signed a service contract with Ten Alps subsidiary Ten Alps TV, joining as head of Ten Alps Drama. Ten Alps paid almost £75,000 in cash for the company.



Joanna Lumley & Albert Finney in A Very English Marriage


Willett, formerly at Carlton Television, set up Cottage Industry in 2004. Her credits include Emmy Award-winning Dirty Tricks, Bafta and RTS Award-winning A Rather English Marriage and Meera Syal's recent Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee.

The deal will brings to Ten Alps two BBC1-financed projects: A Place in the Country, which is being produced via Ten Alps Midlands; and Jonathan Harvey's co-produced Making Love With Ginny and Simon.

On the development slate are other projects including an untitled single drama for ITV from Simon Burke (White Teeth, Sons and Lovers). Willett is reported as saying she also has options to adapt Patrick Hamilton's novel The Slaves of Solitude, with Andrew Davies attached to write, and to adapt Clare Morrall's novel Astonishing Splashes of Colour.


This is Ten Alps first foray into pure drama, although they have previously made docudramas at its factual outfits 3BM TV and Blakeway Productions in the UK and US. The new drama division will share an office building in London's Shepherd's Bush with the other Ten Alps companies.

Willett says she is looking forward to creating contemporary projects as well as fact-based drama.

"Going that extra step from docudrama into pure drama is the next logical step for Ten Alps. Significantly it tracks the way the TV business is going, with dramatised true stories appearing in primetime slots," she said.

Meera Syal's Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee DRAMA BOOST

The move is significant in light of the news that drama is getting a cash boost under the programming policy statements of Channel 4, ITV and Five, sent to Ofcom recently.

Ten Alps chief executive Alex Connock said: "Drama is about expertise and Jo Willet is an expert. On day one, she not only has her own impressive slate but also a desk covered with drama projects and ideas from our existing companies."

Ten Alps recently added to its factual stable doc producer Hart Davies TV, acquired for £1m. The company is also planning a US East Coast office, probably in Washington, to focus on the political programmes it makes.