Bryan Kirkwood (producer)
Kirkwood in 2011
|Born||1976 (age 36–37)
|Employer||Lime Pictures (prev. ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC)|
|Television||Coronation Street (2003)
Hollyoaks (2006–09, 2012—)
Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights (2012)
Bryan Kirkwood (born 1976) is a British television producer. He was the producer of teen Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks from 2006 until 2009 and was the executive producer of the BBC soap EastEnders from 2010 until 2012. He returned as the executive producer of Hollyoaks in late 2012.
Kirkwood was born in Bellshill, Scotland. He also lived in East Kilbride and Edinburgh before moving to Brighton, England at a young age. Openly gay, he was living in Liverpool with his partner in 2006. Kirkwood entered into a civil partnership in 2011 and now lives in Surrey.
Kirkwood's first major role came as a storyliner for ITV's Coronation Street. He later took control as the producer for Channel 4's Hollyoaks between 2006 and 2009, a period in which the show explored a number of well-loved and critically acclaimed storylines (such as that of the relationship between John Paul McQueen and Craig Dean and the Dog at the Pond explosion that killed five characters). After leaving the main Hollyoaks team, he produced the second series of the late-night spin-off Hollyoaks Later, shown in 2009 on E4. He became responsible for the casting of several new characters and guest appearances, such as Bonnie Tyler.
On 2 November 2009 it was announced that he would become the executive producer of the BBC One soap opera EastEnders, replacing Diederick Santer. He faced criticism from the media before he even assumed his role on EastEnders, with many reporting he planned to 'sex up' the show on arrival. His appointment came on 1 March 2010 as Santer stepped down from the role after the 25th anniversary celebrations. His first episode was broadcast on 4 June 2010 (moved from 7 June due to a schedule change), though he shares the executive producer credit with Santer for two weeks. His first big decision was the reintroduction of characters Kat and Alfie Moon, and his first new character is Vanessa Gold, played by Zöe Lucker. In April and May 2010 he axed eight characters: Charlie Slater, Minty Peterson, Libby Fox, Liz Turner, Adam Best, Danny Mitchell, and Leon Small. In April it was announced he would be bringing back Lisa Fowler for one episode. In June 2010, he brought back Sam Mitchell and Kim Fox, and decided to recast Ben Mitchell, Lucy Beale, and Lauren Branning. In July 2010 he cast Steve John Shepherd to play a new character, Michael Moon, a cousin of Alfie.  He also axed Billie Jackson, and brought back Blossom and Alan Jackson for his funeral. He later reintroduced the character of Poppy Meadow and in February 2012, he secured the return of Sharon Watts.
In January 2011 an EastEnders baby swap storyline involving the character Ronnie Branning gained over 10,000 complaints, which resulted in the BBC ending the storyline earlier than planned. On 12 March 2012, it was announced Kirkwood had decided to leave his position of executive producer of EastEnders, and left in April 2012, after two years in charge with series producer Lorraine Newman temporarily taking over his role. Of his departure, Kirkwood said "Being the executive producer of EastEnders is one of the most exciting jobs in TV, but it's also the most exhausting - so after two years, I've decided it's time to leave Walford." Later that month it was announced that Kirkwood had returned to working with Lime Pictures. Working alongside Tony Wood, Kirkwood will help create new scripted and reality drama. He produced Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights before returning as executive producer of Hollyoaks in late 2012 after the departure of Emma Smithwick. Under Kirkwood's reign several characters returned including Amy Barnes, Carl Costello, Lynsey Nolan, John Paul McQueen and Nana McQueen.
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- Kilkelly, Daniel (12 March 2012). "'EastEnders' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood to stand down". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 March 2012.
- Eames, Tom (29 March 2012). "'EastEnders' former exec Bryan Kirkwood returning to Lime Pictures". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 29 March 2012.
- "Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights". ITV. Retrieved 27 June 2012.
|Series producer of Hollyoaks
|Executive producer of EastEnders