Bryan Kirkwood (producer)

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Bryan Kirkwood
Bryan Kirkwood.jpg
Kirkwood in 2011
Born 1976 (age 37–38)
Bellshill, Scotland
Nationality British
Occupation TV Producer
Years active 2002–present
Employer Lime Pictures (prev. ITV, Channel 4 and the BBC)
Television Coronation Street (2003)
Hollyoaks (2006–09, 2012—)
EastEnders (2010–12)
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.[1]

Personal life[edit]

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.[2] Kirkwood entered into a civil partnership in 2011 and now lives in Surrey.[citation needed]


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).[3] 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.[4]

On 2 November 2009 it was announced that he would become the executive producer of the BBC One soap opera EastEnders, replacing Diederick Santer.[5] 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.[6] His appointment came on 1 March 2010 as Santer stepped down from the role after the 25th anniversary celebrations.[7] 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.[8] His first big decision was the reintroduction of characters Kat and Alfie Moon,[9] and his first new character is Vanessa Gold, played by Zöe Lucker.[10] In April and May 2010 he axed eight characters: Charlie Slater, Minty Peterson, Libby Fox, Liz Turner, Adam Best, Danny Mitchell,[11] and Leon Small.[12] In April it was announced he would be bringing back Lisa Fowler for one episode.[13] In June 2010, he brought back Sam Mitchell[14] and Kim Fox, and decided to recast Ben Mitchell, Lucy Beale,[15] and Lauren Branning.[16] In July 2010 he cast Steve John Shepherd to play a new character, Michael Moon, a cousin of Alfie. [17] He also axed Billie Jackson, and brought back Blossom and Alan Jackson for his funeral. He also reintroduced the characters of Poppy Meadow,[18] Lucy Beale,[19] Mandy Salter [20] and Sharon Watts.[21] and was responsible for the death of long-standing character Pat Butcher [22]

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.[23] 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[24] with series producer Lorraine Newman temporarily taking over his role.[24] 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."[24]

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.[25] He produced Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights[26] before returning as executive producer of Hollyoaks in late 2012 after the departure of Emma Smithwick.[1] Kirkwood introduced Dodger Savage (Danny Mac)'s biological father and twin sister - Patrick & Sienna Blake. He also introduced lawyer, Jim McGinn (Dan Tetsell), Cheryl & Brendan Brady's abusive father - Seamus (Fintan McKeown), Kevin Foster (Elliot Balchin), former EastEnders actress, Danniella Westbrook as Trudy Ryan, Anna Blake (Saksia Wickham). He also introduced the Roscoe family; headed up by Sandy Roscoe (Gillian Taylforth) with her five sons; Joe (Ayden Callaghan), Freddie (Charlie Clapham), Ziggy (Fabrizio Santino), Robbie (Charlie Wernham) & Jason (Alfie Browne-Sykes) as well as Joe's fiancee, Lindsey Butterfield (Sophie Austin). He also introduced new bad boy, Trevor Royle (Greg Wood and immigrant, Vincent Elegba (John Omole). He introduced another new family in the form of the Lomaxes - Danny (Stephen Billington), Sam (Lizzie Roper), Leela, Tegan & Peri. He also cast Jesse Birdsall in the role of Fraser Black, a love interest for Sandy and secret gangster as well as Matthew McQueen's mother, Chloe (Susan Loughnane) and new dangerous student, Jade Hedy (Lucy Gape). Fraser's daughter, Grace Black played by former EastEnders actress Tamara Wall, arrived in November 2013, followed by Ray McCormick (Cristian Solimeno). Doctor Browning (Joseph Thompson)'s son, Alex (Ojan Genc) & Blessing Chambers (Modupe Adeyeye) arrived in early 2014. Still to arrive after being introduced by Kirkwood are; Cameron (Cameron Moore) & Rick (Victor Gardener).

Suzanne Ashworth (Suzanne Hall), Rob O'Connor (Gary Cargill) & Myra McQueen (Nicole Barber-Lane) were reintroduced for a single episode while Amy Barnes (Ashley Slanina-Davies) & Lynsey Nolan (Karen Hassan) returned for two brief appearances. Pauline Hay (Jane Hogarth) and Carl Costello (Paul Opacic) both returned for a short storyline. Clare Devine (Gemma Bissix) returned for a few months. John Paul McQueen (James Sutton), Finn O'Connor (Keith Rice) and Sonny Valentine (Aaron Fontaine) all returned on a permanent basis.


  1. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (29 September 2012). "'Hollyoaks' producer Emma Smithwick leaving soap - Hollyoaks News - Soaps - Digital Spy". Digital Spy. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Fulton, Rick (18 August 2006). "My plot to clean up at the TV soap awards". Daily Record. Retrieved 19 April 2008. 
  3. ^ "Bryan Kirkwood announces departure". Hollyoaks News ( 15 October 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008. [dead link]
  4. ^ Bonnie Tyler to guest on Hollyoaks, Metro News
  5. ^ Green, Kris (2 November 2009). "Kirkwood replaces Santer as 'Enders exec". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 November 2009. 
  6. ^ Kirkwood to sex up EastEnders
  7. ^ Green, Kris (24 December 2009). "Diederick Santer (Executive Producer, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Green, Kris (11 May 2010). "Exclusive: Bryan Kirkwood (Executive Producer, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Green, Kris (9 February 2010). "Jessie Wallace returns to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Green, Kris (20 March 2010). "Zoe Lucker joins 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  11. ^ Green, Kris (17 April 2010). "Six characters to leave 'Eastenders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Green, Kris (11 May 2010). "Exclusive: Leon, Zsa Zsa to leave 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  13. ^ Green, Kris (18 April 2010). "Lucy Benjamin to make one-off 'Enders return". Digital Spy. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  14. ^ Westbrook reprises 'EastEnders' role
  15. ^ 'EastEnders' bosses to recast Ben, Lucy
  16. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (6 August 2010). "New actress to play Lauren in 'Enders". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  17. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (28 July 2010). "Alfie Moon's cousin to arrive in 'Enders". London: Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  18. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 May 2011). "'EastEnders' star: 'Jodie has reasons to stay'". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ a b c Kilkelly, Daniel (12 March 2012). "'EastEnders' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood to stand down". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 12 March 2012. 
  25. ^ Eames, Tom (29 March 2012). "'EastEnders' former exec Bryan Kirkwood returning to Lime Pictures". Digital Spy. (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  26. ^ "Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights". ITV. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
David Hanson
Emma Smithwick
Series producer of Hollyoaks
Succeeded by
Lucy Allan
Preceded by
Diederick Santer
Executive producer of EastEnders
Succeeded by
Lorraine Newman