BBC’s IONE WELLS appointed as Chair of The Production Exchange’s new-look Board

July 20, 2023
The Production Exchange has appointed Ione Wells, the BBC’s youngest Political Correspondent, to its Board of Trustees as Chair.

Ione Wells replaces Baroness Angela Smith, the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. Baroness Smith has chaired the charity through its first decade of activity which has seen it become a champion, mentor and representative of a wide variety of creative practitioners.

Under the Artistic Directorship of Colin Blumenau, the hybrid production company and management agency, based in Somerset House, has developed a reputation as a contemporary and forward-thinking organisation. It is expanding to meet demand in its representation of a diverse community of artists, whilst increasing production activity to include development of new work and integrated creative access.

In particular, the charity champions the work of under-represented communities. The agency represents a burgeoning list of d/Deaf and disabled, trans and non-binary artists whilst the production arm has developed significant work from the Global Majority community.  

The success of its recent production of ON THE ROPES at Park200 has led to plans for a middle-scale tour of the musical show in early 2024. This timely musical drama focuses on the travails of Vernon Vanriel, one of the UK’s most successful lightweight boxers in the 1970s and 80s, who became entrapped in the Windrush Scandal and won a historic High Court judgement against the UK Government.

The agency has clients working with many of the country’s leading theatres, TV and film companies. Notable clients include - JOSH BARROW playing Jordan Pickford in DEAR ENGLAND at the National Theatre, LJ PARKINSON currently seen in THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH on Paramount+, and JAZZY PHOENIX joining the cast of EASTENDERS as a multi-episodic guest character. SHAHID IQBAL KHAN is currently under commission to GRAEAE and the Royal Court Theatre.

To ensure a broad skill base and diverse representation on the Board the charity welcomes the following new members alongside Ione Wells:

HARRISON KNIGHTS - Producer, creative and trans activist

CARL MILLER - Writer, director and dramaturg.

SIMON STARTIN - Director, actor, playwright and disability rights campaigner

MARCIA TUCKER - Actor and business facilitator

JOSEPH WINER - Producer, director and drama facilitator

These will join the existing Board members:

GISELLE ALLIER – Legal Advisor

JON HARRIS – Accountant and Business Change consultant

CHLOÉ NELKIN – Public Relations consultant

VIK SIVALINGHAM – Director and teacher

Casting Director CAROLYN MCLEOD sits on the Board as an expert adviser.

Ione Wells says: “Theatre, film, music, and creative writing have always been huge passions of mine. I'm incredibly excited to work with The Production Exchange as it supports people at the early stages of their career to enter these fields. It can be daunting starting out in the creative industries, and The Production Exchange does important work in breaking down barriers to it and nurturing the next generation of artists. I've been really impressed by the diverse range of talent I've already seen who have come through The Production Exchange and look forward to being part of the team as the organisation grows and expands to increase its presence in mediums like podcasting and on-screen work.”

Colin Blumenau says: “We have always championed early-career practitioners and how better to acknowledge their significance than by appointing someone of Ione’s talents and experience to the Chair? I couldn’t be more excited about her involvement and look forward to working with her.”