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Quay Street Productions announces 5 new hires

January 26, 2022

Quay Street Productions, the Manchester-based production company launched by prolific multi-award-winning producer Nicola Shindler OBE in 2021, has made five new hires across production, development and business affairs, ahead of its first raft of productions.

Richard Fee, Davina Earl, Chris Leach, Athena Stavrakis and Kate Boyle join the growing team as Executive Producer, Head of Development, Head of Production, Script Executive and Head of Business Affairs, respectively.  Fee, Earl, Stavrakis and Boyle are in position immediately, with Chris joining in February. All are based at the production company’s office in Quay Street Manchester, except Boyle.  The new hires mark the start of a busy year for the prod co, which is part of ITV Studios, as it prepares to start production on its inaugural drama, Nolly. The recently announced ITV biopic is written by Shindler’s long-term collaborator Russell T Davies and stars Oscar-nominated actor Helena Bonham Carter in the lead role. It is the first drama in Quay Street’s burgeoning slate, with more commissions set to be announced shortly.

Richard Fee joins Quay Street as Executive Producer, having worked with Nicola Shindler since 2010 at RED Production Company, producing high-end drama for the BBC, ITV, Netflix, Amazon, and Sky. Recent projects include the forthcoming Sheridan Smith drama, No Return, and an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s epic fantasy novel, Anansi Boys for Amazon. Alongside Shindler, bestselling novelist Harlan Coben and screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst, Fee is the fourth member of the successful creative quartet to bring Coben’s adaptations to screen, including the hit series The Stranger, Safe and most recently the #1 global TV show on Netflix, Stay Close.

Appointed as Quay Street’s Head of Development, Davina Earl is also a RED Production Company alum, where she headed up development and previously served as Script Executive on dramas Safe and Come Home. Earl was assistant producer on Danny Brocklehurst’s In The Dark, worked on BAFTA-winning drama In The Flesh and longstanding continuing drama Hollyoaks. Starting her career at the BBC, she worked as a script editor for Comedy Production, worked in commissioning and also for BBC Writersroom.

Chris Leach joins the team as Head of Production with credits including Vera and Bancroft. As an established name in drama production, he has worked on a diverse range of projects including Coronation Street, The Bay and most recently A Spy Among Friends for BritBox/Charter. Prior to joining Quay Street, Leach was a Production Executive at ITV Studios, having started his career at Granada Television 24 years ago.

Athena Stavrakis joins the team as Script Executive. She most recently served as Assistant Producer on BBC One’s Sherwood and worked with Shindler as a Script Editor on several productions for RED Production Company, including The Stranger, Trust Me, and Ordinary Lies.  Prior to working in development, she worked in the AD and Production department on dramas including Black MirrorHumans and Downton Abbey.  Stavrakis is currently a mentor on the ScreenSkills 2022 Mentoring Programme.

Kate Boyle has been appointed as Head of Business Affairs, having previously been Senior Business Affairs Manager for ITV Studios, where she has supported Quay Street since its inception.  Before that, Kate worked as Head of Legal and Business Affairs at indie FilmWave and held various senior legal roles within the BBC and BBC Studios, and has advised on high-end dramas including Good Omens and The Letter for the King.

The new recruits join Quay Street Productions’ growing team alongside seasoned Script Executive Fiona McAllister (Doctor Who, Emmerdale, Coronation Street), Script Editors Denzel Adebayo (who worked in production on Peaky Blinders, Ackley Bridge, Intergalactic, Cobra) and Charlie Quinn (BBC Writersroom, Hollyoaks), Development Editor Freya Boroda and Executive Assistant Karis Winstanley.

Nicola Shindler said: “Within its first year, Quay Street Productions has secured its first commission and has more in the wings, and as such, it is hugely important for us to have an incredible team in place to support the company’s ongoing development and growth.  Richard, Davina, Chris Athena and Kate are all hugely talented and bring an array of experience with them. Alongside the team installed since last year, they are overflowing with amazing ideas for fascinating stories that Quay Street Productions can tell, and it’s a very exciting time.”

Formed in January 2021, Quay Street Productions marks a new chapter in the career of BAFTA-award winning producer Nicola Shindler, whose credits include Years and Years, Finding Alice, Happy Valley, The Stranger, and the recent hit dramas, It’s A Sin, Ridley Road and Stay Close. Sitting within ITV Studios, the label focuses on producing premium drama for the UK and international market, working with the best, new and critically acclaimed writers in the industry to create modern, innovative, and entertaining programming.

Quay Street Productions continues to build on Shindler’s already impressive body of work as one of the UK’s leading and most decorated drama executive producers, with its slate focussing on both limited and returning series, putting writers’ voices at the centre to tell boundary-pushing, entertaining and thought-provoking stories.

International distribution for Quay Street Productions is handled by ITV Studios.

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