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  • Yorke John


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John Yorke

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John Yorke is a British television producer. who is the current Controller of BBC Drama Production.

Yorke attended Newcastle University. He joined the BBC in the late 1980s, working initially in radio as a studio manager and then as a producer on BBC Radio 5.

In 1994, he moved to television, working as a script editor on EastEnders before becoming storyline consultant on Casualty. In 1999, after a brief period as producer on Sunburn starring Michelle Collins, he took on the executive producer role on EastEnders. During his time there, he was given the task of introducing the soap's fourth weekly episode and managed a win over long running rival Coronation Street in a rare head-to-head showdown. He axed the majority of the Di Marco family and helped introduce popular characters such as the Slater family. As what Mal Young described as "two of EastEnders most successful years", Yorke was responsible for big ratings winners such as "Who Shot Phil?", Ethel Skinner's death, Jim Branning and Dot Cotton's marriage, abusive Trevor Morgan, and Kat Slater's revelation to her daughter Zoe that she was her mother. Yorke was also responsible for the recasting of Sam Mitchell in January 2002.

In June 2002 he left the soap for a senior position under Mal Young in the BBC's in-house Drama Series team, but soon after he left to work for Channel 4 as the Head of Drama. There he commissioned successful shows such as Shameless, Sex Traffic and the acclaimed Omagh. In 2004 it was announced he would return to the BBC, taking over Mal Young's position, as Controller of BBC Drama Series, and, in addition, Co-Head of Independent Drama Commissioning (i.e. programmes made for the BBC by independent production companies, rather than in-house). One of the reasons he returned was to set around reversing the fortunes of EastEnders, which had been receiving low ratings in comparison to the past. The results were mixed. As Controller of Continuing Drama Series, he has been ultimately responsible for overseeing some of the most popular programmes on British television, including EastEnders, Casualty, Holby City and Doctors.

In 2006 he was made Controller of the newly formed BBC Drama Production – a merger of Continuing Series and Series and Serials. While at the BBC, Yorke has been Commissioning Editor/Executive Producer for Life on Mars, Robin Hood, Bodies, The Street, A Class Apart, Waterloo Road and Holby Blue, as well as looking after various series of Spooks, Hustle and New Tricks.

In 2007 Yorke's job title was changed to that of Controller Continuing Drama Production Studios. He works alongside Kate Harwood. He reports to Nicolas Brown, Director of Television Drama Production. He is executive producer of the Internet spin-off EastEnders: E20 and BBC daytime drama, Land Girls.


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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "John Yorke (producer)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.