BBC Studios Productions names Alan Holland as new head of the Documentary Unit

Holland will report to Tom McDonald, MD of Factual, and will now lead the whole unit, overseeing all its programming from bases in Scotland, London, Salford, and Cardiff.

Alan Holland

Alan Holland

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BBC Studios Factual Productions has appointed Alan Holland to lead its award-winning Documentary Unit. Holland, previously Creative Director for the Documentary Unit’s teams in Scotland and Manchester and deputy to Flanagan, will report to Tom McDonald, MD of Factual, and will now lead the whole unit, overseeing all its programming from bases in Scotland, London, Salford, and Cardiff. The Documentary Unit’s creative team, including Kirsty Cunningham, Cate Hall, and, soon to join from BBC commissioning, Abigail Priddle, will now all report to Holland. He’ll be based in BBC Studios Productions’ Glasgow office and will take up the role immediately.

Amy Flanagan, who has held the role since 2019, is leaving the business to prioritize time with her family due to a family illness. She has overseen a period of significant growth for the unit, securing multiple new commissions from the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, and Channel 5, including "Michael X" and "A Life in Ten Pictures," as well as a raft of soon-to-be-announced new projects.

BBC Studios’ Documentary Unit spans five bases across the UK in London, Cardiff, Salford, Glasgow, and Aberdeen, and its critically acclaimed productions include BAFTA-winning "Basquiat: From Rage to Riches," BAFTA-nominated "Thatcher: A Very British Revolution and Crip Tales," "The Met," "Inside Culture with Mary Beard" and "For Love or Money."

“Amy achieved a huge amount in her time running the Documentary Unit and leaves with a body of work to be proud of. I’m genuinely sad to see her go, but I know Alan is the perfect person to see the department through its next phase of growth; he’s been doing exceptional work since he joined BBC Studios a year ago. He’s that rare combination of brilliant leader and exceptional creative,” Tom McDonald, Managing Director of Factual, BBC Studios Productions, said.

Amy Flanagan added: “Alan was a brilliant deputy and lovely colleague - he will be a fantastic head of the unit. Personally, I’m grateful for the support from BBC Studios over the last few months and wish all the talented people in the unit & across Factual the very best of luck.”

Alan Holland commented: “It’s an honor to be given the chance to lead The Documentary Unit. While Amy’s shoes are big ones to fill, it’s a really exciting time to take the reins. I’ll be leading a fantastic team, so I’m confident that together we will continue to grow.”

Amy achieved a huge amount in her time running the Documentary Unit. I’m genuinely sad to see her go, but I know Alan is the perfect person to see the department through its next growth phase; he’s been doing exceptional work since he joined BBC Studios a year ago. He’s that rare combination of brilliant leader and exceptional creative.” ” Tom McDonald Managing Director of Factual, BBC Studios Productions

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