Women Behind the Scenes Spotlight: Julie Gardner
Today’s Women Behind the Scenes spotlight is shone on Welsh TV producer Julie Gardner.
Julie was born in Neath, Wales, growing up in the Pont Walby area of Glynneath where her parents ran a local shop. She attended Neath Port Talbot College where she was an outstanding student in English, History and Drama. She studied English at the Queens Mary College, University of London.
She started out working at Rhondda College teaching English, but in the mid-1990s she decided to switch careers, going to work in the television industry.
Her first job was as a producer’s secretary for the acclaimed BBC Two drama Our Friends in the North (that starred future Doctor Who lead Christopher Eccleston). She then became a script reader and then script editor before working as a producer on BBC dramas like Silent Witness and The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries.
In 2000, Julie began working as a Development Producer at London Weekend Television where she produced dramas like Othello and Me and Mrs. Jones. It was on the updated version of Othello that Julie meet Russell T. Davies and she eventually began working with him on the period drama Casanova, a TV mini-series.
Three years later, Julie returned to the BBC as Head of Drama for BBC Wales. Her first assignment was to head up the revival of Doctor Who. She, of course, contacted Davies, who had expressed an interest in writing and producing the beloved series to her in the past. They began working together on Doctor Who, which debuted in March of 2005.
It was also during this time that she was a representative in the production of the romantic comedy The Girl in the Café and she commissioned the multiple personality disorder drama May 33, the domestic abuse-themed Dad, the courtroom reconstruction The Chatterley Affair and the time travel police drama Life on Mars.
She and Davis also oversaw the two Doctor Who spin-offs – Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
From 2006 to 2009 she held two jobs simultaneously with BBC Wales and BBC Television before joining the staff of the Los Angeles-based BBC Worldwide America acting as an executive producer in charge of scripted projects.
More recently, Julie has served as executive producer on the Starz period piece Da Vinci’s Demons and has several other projects in the works, including Us & Them, Getting On and Peter Panzerfaust.