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British TV producer Nicola Shindler, an 11-time BAFTA winner and internationally renowned for shows such as Happy Valley, Years and Years, The Stranger and Queer as Folk, has officially unveiled her new ITV Studios-backed scripted production banner.
Quay Street Productions, named after the street in Manchester where Shindler spent part of her early career with Granada Studios, is set to focus on premium drama for the U.K. and international market, and sees the renowned executive leave her post heading up Red Production, which she set up in 1998, and as chief creative office at Red’s owner StudioCanal U.K.
“It’s really sad, but I’m proud of what I’ve done there,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “And I’m pleased with the way it’s gone and I’m proud of every single one of the shows. So I feel like there’s nothing left undone there.”
Speaking of her new venture — which Shindler officially began working at as of the beginning of the year — she said it was a chance to “start again”
“It’s exciting, it feels risky. From working in a company that had such a good reputation and starting again does feel like stepping into the unknown, except that I know what I want to do, which is to keep making drama that makes people talk, and to keep making drama that can go from incredibly mainstream to incredibly edgy and have the same kind of values and the same kind of tone.”
While Shindler said there was definite comfort in having a partner with a broadcast channel, she stressed that didn’t have any sort of first-look deal with ITV. “I’ve made shows for ITV in the past, of course, and I will continue doing that,” she said. “And it feels good that it’s part of the same group. But I’m going to be talking to every network, every broadcaster across the board.”
Known for her regular work with some of the U.K. most celebrated TV writers, such as Russell T. Davies (Years & Years, It’s a Sin) and Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax), Shindler said she was excited to meet new people and bring new voices to the screen. But she added that she’d also “love to work” with her previous collaborators again.
“I will listen to everyone new idea they’ve got and every new thought that they’ve got,” she said. “But I will never take for granted that I’m going to work with them. Because they’re all really independent writers and they need to work with who’s right for them. But I’m here and I’ve made it very clear that I’m here. And I can’t wait to work with them all again.”
As she assembles her Quay Street Productions team (which is currently just herself) and starts looking for projects, Shindler says she’s still exec producing several shows she worked on while at Red, including Davies soon-to-launch series It’s a Sin and the latest Harlan Coben adaptation, Stay Close.
“But my absolute drive is to be in production as soon as possible on something that’s really good and then to keep going like that,” she said.
“The way I’ve always worked in the past, when I was at Red, is to both develop and produce at the same time, to make sure that balance is absolutely consistent all the way through, and to be a big enough organization that you can produce a number of shows at the same time and have enough people in the development team that you’re developing the next idea and the next idea. So I won’t stop doing that.”
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