Doctor Who bosses in running for top BBC drama job

Exclusive: The former head of drama at BBC Wales and the show's former executive producer Piers Wenger are both said to be in the frame for the role

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The powerful job of Head of BBC drama is currently vacant and it looks as if there’s a good chance that the person filling the role could have a background in one of its flagship shows – Doctor Who.

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RadioTimes.com understands that former Doctor Who executive producer Piers Wenger – who now runs Channel 4’s drama department – and Faith Penhale, the former head of drama at BBC Wales, are both on a BBC wish-list for the job which commands a drama budget of around £300m per year.

Penhale oversaw Doctor Who as part of her role while Wenger (pictured) was instrumental in casting Matt Smith as the Time Lord when he was executive producer between 2009 and 2011.

The BBC head of drama post became vacant in April after Hill defected to ITV after just 11 months in a role which oversees all the hit shows made by the BBC including Sherlock, Happy Valley and EastEnders, as well as Doctor Who.

The job is currently being filled on an interim basis by Lucy Richer, the BBC executive who oversaw the TV adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, but it is understood that she has made it clear she does not want the post full time.

According to sources, other names under serious consideration by the BBC include independent producer Francis Hopkinson, who was in charge of ITV drama Home Fires, and the BBC’s head of independent drama commissioning Liz Kilgarriff.

Also in the frame are ITV drama controller Victoria Fea and Sky’s drama commissioning editor Cameron Roach.

A source said: “These are the names that are currently circulating around the BBC at the moment. At this stage it’s a wish list but they are certainly the leading candidates as far as the BBC is concerned.”

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An announcement is expected sometime this summer.