Award-winning programme maker Tommy Nagra has been appointed as an Executive Producer in the BBC’s Religion & Ethics Department in Manchester. Tommy has a strong track record in developing new titles – specialising in multicultural and religious output spanning all genres from Specialist Factual and Current Affairs through to Features, Entertainment, Live Studio and Outside Broadcasts.
“I’m delighted to be returning to the BBC and look forward to the challenge of growing and developing new business in the department. I’ve tremendously enjoyed my time in the independent sector but the opportunity to lead a team on a blue chip mainstream BBC One brand like Songs Of Praise and contribute to bringing in new titles to Manchester was too tempting ,” Tommy Nagra said.
The appointment means a return to the BBC after leaving in 2005 to join the independent sector. Alongside his other duties, his new role will see him executive produce BBC One’s Songs Of Praise, one of television’s longest-running strands, as well as develop new titles and strands across the Religion and Ethics portfolio.
Michael Wakelin, Head of BBC Religion & Ethics, says: “Tommy is a champion of the religion genre and brings a fresh expertise to the Religion and Ethics department and to Songs Of Praise. His track record as a producer and executive producer is hugely impressive and I’m delighted to have secured his services.”
Tommy Nagra began his television career at the BBC in 1993 before leaving to join the independent sector with Maverick Television as a Senior Executive Producer in 2005. In the last three years he has executive produced documentaries including Dispatches for Channel 4, Director’s Debut for BBC One, Ghetto Britain for More 4 and the Oscar-nominated feature length documentary, Jesus Camp, broadcast on Channel 4 in 2008.
He has also worked across a number of independent production companies including Crescent Films and CTVC as a freelance executive producer and has recently returned from a two-month stint in New York for a Channel 4 series on Islam in America post 9/11 in the run up to the forthcoming US Presidential Elections.
Tommy also developed Channel 4’s Seven Wonders Of The Muslim World series as part of their 2008 Islam season and was developing a season of faith programmes for the channel.
Prior to working in the independent sector he had a long and successful career at the BBC beginning with the Multicultural Programmes Department in the Nineties. He series produced and directed several international award-winning documentaries including The Sikhs, East, All Black, The Vibe, Network East, Café 21, Wedlocked, The Reel Mystery and Bindi Millionaires.
In 2001 he was awarded Carlton’s Multicultural Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting televised on ITV. In 2002 he worked as a Channel Development Executive for BBC Two under Jane Root before joining BBC Birmingham to be head of the BBC’s Asian Programmes Unit (APU), introducing a raft of new programmes including Desi DNA, Conflicts, Booty Queens, Pakistani Actually, Who Wants To Be A Mullah?, India’s Ladyboys, British, Paki And Proud and The Joy Of Curry.
Under his leadership the APU gained its highest ever viewing figures for a programme (The Joy Of Curry, 2004) and an unprecedented three RTS Midlands Awards in consecutive years for Best Current Affairs (Nuclear Paradise, 2003); Best Lifestyle Programme (Desi DNA, 2004); and Best Specialist Factual (Marrying My Cousin, 2005). He also initiated the development and commissioning of BBC Two’s landmark India-Pakistan season marking the 60th anniversary of Independence before leaving to join the independent sector.