Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Media and Communication


The low-down on how to survive in the TV industry

Michael Sadler Building, Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre

Dan Isaacs and Diederick Santer are two University of Leeds graduates who are close friends and now each managing successful TV drama production companies (Kudos and Sister Pictures). In conversation, they will share stories about their careers, insights into the international world of TV drama, and give tips on how to break into this exciting industry.

Dan Isaacs is the Chief Operating Officer at Sister Pictures which has produced some of the UK’s biggest TV hits. Prior to joining Sister Pictures in 2016, Dan spent 13 years at independent production company Kudos latterly as their CEO. He looks after all the production, finance, commercial, legal and operational bits of Sister Pictures. Dan has a particular expertise in financing high end television and international co-productions, including: Humans (C4/AMC), River (BBC1/Netflix), Grantchester (ITV/Masterpiece), Flowers (C4 / Seeso), Broadchurch (ITV/BBC America), The Tunnel (Sky Atlantic/Canal plus France), Hunted (BBC/Cinemax), and Tsunami The Aftermath (BBC/HBO). Sister Pictures upcoming productions include Broadchurch season 3 (ITV), Flowers season 2 (C4/Seeso), The Bisexual (C4), and Abi Morgan’s The Split (BBC1). Dan is also an elected member of BAFTA’s Television committee. Before he started in television Dan worked as a dentist and as an actor.

Diederick Santer became Chief Executive of Kudos in 2015, having previously formed Lovely Day Productions with Kudos in 2010. From 2006 Santer served as Executive Producer of EastEnders, creating numerous characters and stories, earning awards recognition and delivering the live 25th anniversary episode. Joining BBC Drama in 2000, Santer went on to develop and produce a variety of series including Cutting It and the Emmy-nominated Jane Eyre. Santer retains a hands-on production role at Kudos, which is responsible for award-winning dramas including Humans, The Tunnel and Broadchurch, and as well as heading up the indie, he has executive produced a number of series including Grantchester for ITV, Flowers for Channel 4, Man in an Orange Shirt for BBC Two, Tin Star for Sky Atlantic and The Boy with the Topknot for BBC.

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