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Endemol Unit Eyes Expansion, Hires BBC Executives

The indie giant's factual production banner, Tigress Productions, hires current BBC features production chief Pete Lawrence to boost its ambitions.

LONDON – Indie giant Endemol U.K. has lured a second high-flying BBC executive to join its factual TV production banner, Tigress Productions, to help ramp up output and feed expansion plans.

Pete Lawrence, currently head of BBC features production, will join Tigress as creative director at the start of 2014 alongside the arrival of Claire Urquhart, the former BBC features development chief who joined in September of this year.

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Lawrence's 25 years as a program-maker boasts formats, factual entertainment and documentary films. While at the BBC he oversaw the development of an extensive slate, including long-running hit shows such as Watchdog, Crimewatch, Antiques Roadshow and Countryfile.

Lawrence and Urquhart's hires form part of a fresh drive to expand Tigress’s output by adding a portfolio of features and factual entertainment programming to the company’s growing slate of specialist factual, wildlife and adventure series.

The expansion strategy is being driven by Tigress Productions managing director Dick Colthurst and overseen by Colette Foster, joint managing director of Remarkable Television.

Tigress Productions' output includes documentaries following climbers on Everest for Discovery.

Productions in 2013 include the groundbreaking three-part TV event, Africa 2013: Countdown to the Rains, which has just completed its run on BBC Two; Naked and Marooned (Discovery); Edward VIII: The Lion King (Channel 4); Nature Shock (Channel 5); Winter Viruses and How to Beat Them (BBC Two) and programming for The One Show (BBC One).