Jane Tranter

Last updated 09 January 2020

Jane Tranter
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Jane Tranter

Born: Sunday 17th March 1963 (age: 60)

BBC Worldwide profile
Variety profile

Graduating from King's College London with a degree in English Literature, Jane Tranter joined the BBC's radio drama department in 1985. In 1987 she moved into television, initially as a floor manager on programmes such as Eastenders and Bergerac, but soon promoted to an assistant script editor for the new show Casualty, and then script editor for the drama series Screen One/Screen Two.

In 1992 she moved to Carlton Television, working for Controller of Drama Tracy Hofman on the development of new drama for the channel and across the ITV channels; shows included Frank Stubbs Promotes and Bramwell.

She was wooed back to the BBC in 1997, becoming Head of Drama Serials. Dramas under her leadership included My Summer with Des, Warriors, and David Copperfield. Then in 2000 she was promoted to Controller of Drama Commissioning, becoming ultimately responsible for the BBC's entire drama output across all channels. Programmes during her time included Spooks, Waking the Dead, State of Play, and Bleak House, and also the change of her original show Casualty and its companion series Holby City into an all-year series, plus an expansion of Eastenders to four episodes a week.

In 2003 she worked alongside BBC1's Controller Lorraine Heggessey to recommision Doctor Who, working closely with the show's driving force Russell T Davies to bring the show back to television.

In 2006 she became Head of Fiction, a role that assumed responsibility for drama, comedy, films and international imports. (The role was ultimately considered too powerful and responsibilities broken up between relevant controllers after her departure).

In 2009 she moved to the United States to become Vice-President of Programming and Production for BBC Worldwide. Doctor Who's former executive producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner joined the organisation in 2010 and the three devised the return of Torchwood as a co-production with channel Starz, broadcast in 2011. Other productions have included Lives on Fire, Lovetown USA, and Da Vinci's Demons.

She is married to film-maker David Attwood, with twins Joseph and Madeleine born on Christmas Eve 2002 - leading to her taking maternity leave during the early development of the new series of Doctor Who!

Additional Details

David Tennant presents the Special Award
Doctor Who's David Tennant presents the Special Award at the British Academy Television Awards in 2009 to the woman who revitalised the series, TV executive Jane Tranter.

Jane Tranter: In Conversation
As Controller of BBC Fiction, Tranter’s modernising vision led to the re-birth of Doctor Who. Her other credits include Life On Mars, Bleak House and Spooks.