Christine Langan

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Christine Langan
Born January 1965
Edmonton, London, England
Occupation Head of BBC Films
Years active 1990–present

Christine Langan (born January 1965) is an English film producer who has been Head of BBC Films since April 2009.

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1987 and working in advertising for three years, Langan joined Granada Television's drama serials department where she script edited daytime soap operas. From there, she transferred to Granada's newly created comedy department, where she developed the acclaimed television series Cold Feet, and other one-off comedies. In 2000, she left Granada to become a freelance producer, and produced the romantic comedy series Rescue Me for the BBC. She returned to Granada in 2002, where she produced the acclaimed dramas The Deal (2003) and Dirty Filthy Love (2004). She made her feature film production debut on Pierrepoint (2005), which got her a Carl Foreman Award nomination at the 60th British Academy Film Awards. Langan also produced The Queen (2006) for Granada, which won the BAFTA Award for Best Film and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In 2006, Langan became an executive producer at BBC Films, developing features such as The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) and The Duchess (2008). In April 2009, she was appointed Creative Director of BBC Films, giving her control of a £12 million annual budget and which projects are commissioned for development. By 2010, Langan had led BBC Films to a record 13 nominations at the British Academy Film Awards, which included In the Loop (2009), Fish Tank (2009) and An Education (2009).

Langan lives in London with her partner, writer Christian Spurrier, and their two children.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Christine Langan was born in January 1965 in Edmonton, London, England.[1][3] Her mother and father, a dinner lady and a bricklayer respectively, already had three children. Growing up, Langan became interested in television production after seeing Lew Grade's name in the credits of several programmes.[4] She attended a Catholic grammar school and read English at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[4][5]

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1987, Langan spent three years working as a copywriter for an advertising company.[6] She also contributed film reviews to BBC Radio 2's Cinema 2 programme.[5] In 1990, Langan began her career in film production as an assistant developer for Tessa Ross at British Screen.[6] The following year, she responded to an advertisement for a script editor at Granada Television's drama serials department, located in Manchester. She was hired by David Liddiment, and worked mainly on Granada's daytime soap operas.[4][6]

Career[edit]

Granada comedy[edit]

In 1993, Langan returned to London to work for Andy Harries at Granada's newly created comedy department, where she script-edited September Song, the television adaptation of An Evening with Gary Lineker, and the second series of Rik Mayall Presents.[5][6] In 1995, she was associate producer on The Perfect Match, a one-off comedy drama written by former BBC radio producer Mike Bullen. The Perfect Match was broadcast in September 1995, and shortly afterwards, Harries asked Langan to develop more ideas from Bullen.[7]

They devised Cold Feet, another one-off comedy drama based on the love lives of Bullen himself and his friends. Langan produced Cold Feet, guiding Bullen through his script drafts, and hiring Father Ted director Declan Lowney to shoot it.[8] Cold Feet was broadcast in March 1997 as one of four Comedy Premieres on ITV (two others of which Langan script edited). It received poor ratings and little critical reaction. However, in May 1997, it won the Rose d'Or at the Montreux International Television Festival. ITV Network Centre commissioned a series of Cold Feet in August, which Langan also produced.[9] For the series, Langan tried to achieve a written and visual style that differed from regular sitcoms by avoiding "one-liners and quick laughs" and hiring directors who had done little television work before.[10][11] Cold Feet premiered as a series in November 1998, and Langan stayed until the third series in 2000.[5] She and Bullen received a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series in 2000.[12] Also in 1998, Langan worked on her first feature film, script editing the Parker Posey-led The Misadventures of Margaret.[5]

In 1999, Langan was made an executive producer in the department. She oversaw several productions, including Passion Killers (1999, starring Ben Miller), Safe as Houses (2000, starring Ricky Tomlinson), and the pilot episode of David Nicholls' I Saw You (2000, starring Paul Rhys and Fay Ripley).[5] In 2000, Langan was offered a position at the BBC's drama department, which had been rearranged that year. The trade magazine Broadcast reported the BBC had made a "substantial offer" to her.[13] Granada's director of programmes Grant Mansfield countered the BBC's bid by offering Langan the position of deputy controller of drama, operating under Andy Harries, who had recently been appointed controller of the same department.[14] Langan accepted neither offer, and instead became a freelance producer after her contract with Granada expired.[6]

As a freelancer, Langan developed three more episodes of I Saw You for Granada. Her only other project was producing David Nicholls' romantic comedy series Rescue Me with Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC One. As well as producing it, she made her credited directorial debut on the final episode.[6] The six-part series, starring Sally Phillips, was broadcast in 2002. It was not a ratings success, and the BBC did not commission a second series.[15]

Granada drama[edit]

In September 2002, Langan signed a new contract to develop new projects at Granada's combined drama, film and comedy department.[16] Her first production was the romantic comedy television film Watermelon, starring Anna Friel. At the end of 2002, she began developing Peter Morgan's The Deal, a dramatisation of the political rise of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Although initially giving full backing, the ITV network backed out during pre-production. Channel 4 picked up the film from Granada, and it was broadcast in September 2003.[17] The Deal was presented with the British Academy Television Award for Best Single Drama in 2004.[18] The same year, she produced the one-off drama Dirty Filthy Love, which was also nominated for the BAFTA for Best Single Drama.[19]

In 2005, Langan's feature debut Pierrepoint was released at major film festivals. Based on the life of British hangman Albert Pierrepoint (played by Timothy Spall), Pierrepoint got Langan a nomination for the Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer at the 60th British Academy Film Awards in 2007.[20] 2006 saw the theatrical release of The Queen, a feature film follow-up to The Deal, that focused on the impact the death of Diana, Princess of Wales had on Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II. Michael Sheen reprised his role as Tony Blair from The Deal, and Helen Mirren played Elizabeth. The film was produced by Granada in co-operation with the ITV network, and was released in late 2006 to critical acclaim. In 2007, it won the BAFTA Award for Best Film and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.[4] Of Langan's work on Pierrepoint and The Queen, a Variety writer said, "both pics are a tribute to her tactful skill at working with tricky but talented writers and directors to take stories that could easily have been confined to the small screen and give them real cinematic depth and breadth".[21]

BBC Films[edit]

In September 2006, Langan made a low-key departure from Granada to take up a position as an executive producer with BBC Films.[4][22] Although approached to join BBC Films some years before, only in 2007 did she feel it was the time to "concentrate more exclusively on film".[23] She immediately began overseeing editing work on The Other Boleyn Girl, which was already in post-production.[23][24] She also began developing The Damned United, a film based on David Peace's novel that fictionalised the 44 days Brian Clough managed Leeds United A.F.C. in 1974. The film was adapted by Peter Morgan, executive produced by Andy Harries, and starred Michael Sheen as Clough. On why she continues to work with the same people on her projects, Langan said, "The reason I return to working with the same people is that you have invested time, energy and thought and care into these relationships and that can pay dividends—The Queen is an example of those relationships paying dividends".[4]

Following David M. Thompson's announcement that he would be retiring from the post of head of BBC Films in September 2007, Langan was widely-expected to take over his duties.[25] Confirmation was made the following month when she was appointed Commissioning Editor of the company, taking over the day-to-day duties of BBC Films and reporting to Jane Tranter, the Controller of Fiction at the BBC.[26] When Tranter transferred to a BBC Worldwide position in Los Angeles in 2009, the BBC decided not to fill the Controller of Fiction vacancy with a single person. Instead, the responsibilities were divided between four people; Langan became Creative Director of BBC Films, responsible for "editorial strategy and commissioning", and also joined the BBC Fiction board.[27]

By 2010, Langan was overseeing a £12 million annual budget at BBC Films, and had executive produced high-profile films such as In the Loop (Armando Iannucci, 2009), Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009), and An Education (Lone Scherfig, 2009).[28] BBC Films received 13 nomination at the 63rd British Academy Film Awards, described in the London Evening Standard as a record number.[29] In 2010, Langan also executive produced The Special Relationship—the final part of Peter Morgan's "Blair trilogy"—and StreetDance, the first British feature film to be made in 3D.[2][6] The Guardian recognised Langan's achievements at BBC Films by ranking her at number 36 in its inaugural Film Power 100 list in September 2010.[30]

Through 2011, Langan executive produced Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut Coriolanus, the Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week with Marilyn, and Lynne Ramsay's adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel We Need to Talk About Kevin.[31] The project was in development hell since 2007 until Langan realised BBC Films was trying to get too big a budget to make it with. Ramsay rewrote the script in 2010 to allow a lower budget.[29]

Filmography[edit]

Television and films produced
Year(s) Title Role Description
1993 Rik Mayall Presents Script editor 1 series of television series
1993 September Song Script editor 1 series of television series
1994 An Evening with Gary Lineker Script editor Television film
1994 A Different Way Home Script editor 1 series of television series
1995 The Perfect Match Assistant producer Television film
1996 True Love Script editor Television pilot
1997 Comedy Premieres: Cold Feet Producer Television pilot
1997 Comedy Premieres: The Grimleys Script editor Television pilot
1997 Comedy Premieres: King Leek Script editor Television pilot
1998 The Misadventures of Margaret Script editor Feature film
1998–2000 Cold Feet Producer/Executive producer 3 series of television series
1999 Passion Killers Executive producer Television pilot
2000 Safe as Houses Executive producer Television film
2000 I Saw You Executive producer Television pilot
2002 I Saw You Executive producer 3-part television series
2002 Rescue Me
  • Producer
  • Director
  • 1 series of television series
  • 1 episode: Series 1, Episode 6
2003 Watermelon Executive producer Television film
2003 The Deal Executive producer Television film
2004 Dirty Filthy Love Executive producer Television film
2004 Lie With Me Executive producer 2-part television serial
2005 Pierrepoint Producer Feature film
2006 The Queen Producer Feature film
2008 The Duchess Executive producer Feature film
2008 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Executive producer Feature film
2009 Is Anybody There? Executive producer Feature film
2009 The Damned United Executive producer Feature film
2009 In the Loop Executive producer Feature film
2009 Bright Star Executive producer Feature film
2009 Fish Tank Executive producer Feature film
2010 StreetDance Executive producer Feature film
2010 The Special Relationship Executive producer Television film with territorial theatrical release
2010 Tamara Drewe Executive producer Feature film
2010 Africa United Executive producer Feature film
2010 Made in Dagenham Executive producer Feature film
2011 Jane Eyre Executive producer Feature film
2011 Coriolanus Executive producer Feature film
2011 We Need to Talk About Kevin Executive producer Feature film
2011 Page Eight Executive producer Television film
2011 My Week with Marilyn Executive producer Feature film
2011 360 Executive producer Feature film
2012 Now Is Good Executive producer Feature film
2013 Alan Partridge is in Alpha Papa Executive producer Feature film
2013 Saving Mr. Banks Executive producer Feature film

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result
1999 British Academy Television Award Best Drama Series Cold Feet Nominated[12]
2003 British Academy Television Award Best Single Drama The Deal Won[18]
2004 British Academy Television Award Best Single Drama Dirty Filthy Love Nominated[19]
2006 British Academy Film Award Carl Foreman Award for Most Promising Newcomer Pierrepoint Nominated
2006 British Academy Film Award Best Film The Queen Won
2006 British Academy Film Award Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film The Queen Nominated
2006 Academy Award Best Picture The Queen Nominated
2006 Producers Guild of America Award Best Film The Queen Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lundy, Darryl (9 November 2005). "Person Page 17334". thePeerage.com. Retrieved on 3 September 2007.
  2. ^ a b Langan, Christine (14 February 2010). "My Week: Christine Langan". The Observer (Guardian News & Media): p. 49.
  3. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916-2005. 5e: p. 450.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Manzoor, Sarfraz (27 February 2007). "The power behind the throne". The Guardian (Guardian News & Media): p. 1 (MediaGuardian section).
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Christine Langan". PFD. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Macnab, Geoffrey (12 November 2009). "In the loop" (subscription access). Screen International (Emap Media). Retrieved on 20 February 2010.
  7. ^ Smith, Rupert (2003). Cold Feet: The Complete Companion. London: Granada Media. p. 60. ISBN 0-233-00999-X.
  8. ^ Smith (2003), p. 62.
  9. ^ Smith, Christine (15 August 1997). "Cold Feet heads up triple commission for Granada". Broadcast (Emap Business): p. 2.
  10. ^ Carter, Meg (9 November 1998). "On Air: Our friends in the North". The Independent (Independent News & Media): pp. 18–19 (Arts supplement).
  11. ^ Langan, Christine. (2003). Cold Feet: The Final Call. [Documentary]. Granada Television.
  12. ^ a b "Television Nominations, 2000". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved on 19 February 2010.
  13. ^ Conlan, Tara; Colin Robertson (15 September 2000). "BBC steps up raid on Granada drama". Broadcast (Emap Media)[page needed].
  14. ^ Staff (19 September 2000). "Harris To Control Granada Drama". 4rfv.co.uk. Retrieved on 29 August 2007.
  15. ^ Deans, Jason (14 May 2002). "BBC decides not to rescue Sally Phillips drama". Media Guardian (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved on 10 April 2008.
  16. ^ Cozens, Claire (12 September 2002). "Langan returns to ITV with comedy brief". Media Guardian (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  17. ^ Deans, Jason (16 September 2003). "ITV dropped drama 'for political reasons'". Media Guardian (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  18. ^ a b "Television Nominations, 2003". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved on 19 February 2010.
  19. ^ a b "Television Nominations, 2004". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved on 19 February 2010.
  20. ^ "Film Nominations, 2006". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved on 19 February 2010.
  21. ^ Staff (2 February 2007). "Carl Foreman Award Nominees Best Newcomer". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved on 29 August 2007.
  22. ^ BBC Press Office (10 May 2006). "Award-winning producer Christine Langan joins BBC Films". Press release. Retrieved on 29 August 2007.
  23. ^ a b Mitchell, Wendy (9 March 2007). "A royal welcome" (subscription access). Screen International (Emap Media). Retrieved on 20 February 2010.
  24. ^ Langan, Christine (25 February 2007). "My week: Christine Langan". The Observer (Guardian News & Media): p. 42.
  25. ^ Dowell, Ben (18 September 2007). "Langan tipped for BBC Films role". Media Guardian (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved on 10 April 2008.
  26. ^ Dowell, Ben (2 October 2007). "BBC Films to be restructured". Media Guardian (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved on 10 April 2008.
  27. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (27 April 2009) "BBC will not replace Jane Tranter in controller of fiction role". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved on 27 April 2009.
  28. ^ Hoyle, Ben (20 February 2010). "Red carpet night for the first ladies of film—the ones putting stars on screen". The Times (Times Newspapers): pp. 28–29.
  29. ^ a b Curtis, Nick (19 February 2010). "The women behind the British film industry". London Evening Standard (ES London): p. 27.
  30. ^ Staff (24 September 2010). "James Cameron tops Guardian Film Power 100". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved on 24 September 2010.
  31. ^ Staff (9 May 2007). "Faces for the festival future: The fest zest 60". Variety (Reed Business Information). Retrieved on 29 August 2007.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]