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Published on July 7th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

Exit Beth Willis

Beth Willis has apparently moved on from BBC Wales, according to reports, where she was co-executive producer on Doctor Who Series 5 and Series 6 with Piers Wenger and Steven Moffat.

C21Media has been told by the BBC that it

“expects to replace Willis before filming of the Doctor Who Christmas special begins in September.”

The exec, who joined the show from Kudos, previously worked on the first two seasons of Ashes to Ashes from 2007 to 2009. Kudos are apparently deliggted with Willis’ return, with CEO Jane Featherstone quoted as saying:

“Her brilliant creative instincts and no-nonsense work ethic will make her a force to be reckoned with in the drama world.”

Speaking to the official Doctor Who website, Beth praised her colleagues, Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger, as well as the show’s star, Matt Smith.

‘Working with Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Matt Smith on the last two series of Doctor Who has been the most fantastic experience and I will miss them hugely… The plans taking shape for the next series of Doctor Who and for the 50th Anniversary are beyond exciting – and with Steven Moffat at the helm, this incredibly special time for the show is in very safe hands.”

Beth Willis leaves Doctor Who during an apparently torrid time behind the scenes with Piers Wenger also recently moving on to a new senior commissioning role at Film4 and the duo’s conduct questioned in a recent scurrilous piece in Private Eye.

Nevetheless, Steven Moffat offered the most realistic tribute.

‘We couldn’t keep her forever, though God knows I tried. She is off to be brave and brilliant in brand new ways, and the sad news for Doctor Who is that it will be somewhere else.’

(With thanks to Ian)

 

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.



7 Responses to Exit Beth Willis

  1. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    Its also on the BBC’s website.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/dw/news/bulletin_110707_01/Beth_Willis_On_Leaving_Doctor_Who

  2. avatar BJAMES says:

    I’m sure Steven will find and select proper successors to both Wenger and Willis, if he hasn’t got someone in waiting already. It might even be good for the show to change up every now and again, although I sure hope Steven stays for awhile longer, and he has indicated that he expects to be there for the 50th Anniversary, so that’s good. Best luck to Piers and Beth in their future endeavors…………

  3. avatar 23skidoo says:

    I’m already seeing people using the departure of Beth and Piers as more “evidence” the show is in trouble, but frankly – and I mean no disrespect – no one cares who is the executive producer. I bet most viewers don’t even realize that other people produced some episodes. Sanne Wohlenberg, for example, was the producer on The Doctor’s Wife.

    The only names that matter from a substantive point of view are those considered the “showrunners” and “lead writers” – i.e. Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat. When they leave, the show changes substantially. But I really doubt the 2011 Christmas Special and the 2012-2013 season will feel much different with, say, Sanne in the exec producer chair or someone completely new.

  4. avatar Rick says:

    On the surface, that looks bad, two of the three producers of the flagship show leaving right after each other. All things being equal or if things were as financially stable as they were during RTD’s time, I’d think that Moffat would stick around for 5 years at least but whatever the problems, I’m confident that Moffat will stick it out until the 50th anniversary, as will Matt Smith. After that, who knows?

    It continually astounds me though that there can even BE financial trouble. Yes, the Beeb is publicly funded but DW brings in a lot of money with merchandising. A LOT. Where does this money go? I’m sensing some of it’s going into the wrong pockets…..

  5. avatar farsighted99 says:

    Perhaps things aren’t as they seem, and finally the Beeb got rid of Wenger and Willis? It’s not like they moved on to bigger and better things. Wenger goes to Film4 after being head of Drama at BBC Wales, and Willis goes back to where she came from. Why would she leave DW if she loved it so much?

    I doubt it’s really a negative for the show; sounds more like they are sweeping up the old, and starting over.

  6. avatar bobbygaga says:

    I can only see the positives in this news. Can we get some executive producers that enjoy making the show (like Phil and Julie did)and not another a pair of London-centric media wonks giving off the impression that they are slumming it in Cardiff.

  7. avatar IanOTimelord says:

    I am not that fussed that they have left. Don’t think they were that enthusiastic as Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson.
    End of the day Steven Moffat is the governor.

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