Left Bank Pictures
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryFilm and television production
FoundedJuly 2007; 16 years ago (July 2007)[1]
Key people
  • Andy Harries
  • Marigo Kehoe
  • Suzanne Mackie
  • Michael Casey
  • Grace Wilson
  • Simon Lupton
  • Thomas Messer
ParentSony Pictures Television

Left Bank Pictures (stylized as LEFT BANK Pictures) is a British film and television production company owned by Sony Pictures Television. It was formed in 2007[1] and was the first British media company to receive investment from BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC.

Left Bank Pictures' productions include the television series Wallander, Strike Back, DCI Banks and Outlander. Their production, The Crown, is the first British-American television series produced exclusively for Netflix. The series' first season was released on 4 November 2016.


Left Bank founders Marigo Kehoe (centre) and Andy Harries (right) with Wallander star Kenneth Branagh (left) in July 2009

Left Bank Pictures was founded in 2007 by Andy Harries, formerly controller of drama, comedy and film at Granada Productions, Francis Hopkinson and Marigo Kehoe.[1] The company was the first British media company to receive equity investment from BBC Worldwide, the commercial venture of the BBC. BBC Worldwide took a 25% stake, worth £1 million, in Left Bank in exchange for first-look distribution rights on all television productions,[2] in a five-year deal.[3]

In December 2008, Left Bank Pictures was one of many independent production companies to receive the production vision award from the UK Film Council.[4] The award part-funded Left Bank's film development slate. In February 2009, Suzanne Mackie, formerly head of development at Harbour Pictures, joined the company as head of film.[5]

Hopkinson announced his departure in 2011 to take up a new position with ITV Studios. Michael Casey joined the company, taking on the development slate, and Simon Lupton joined the comedy department.[6] The company was put up for sale for £40 million on 6 April 2012.[3][7] On 5 July 2012, Sony Pictures Television made a deal to acquire Left Bank for £40 million.[8] The sale was completed on 23 August 2012, with SPT becoming the majority shareholder, and BBC Worldwide, Harries and Kehoe reducing their stake in the company. BBC Worldwide reduced its stake from 25% to 12.2%.[9]


Left Bank Pictures' first television commission was Wallander, a television adaptation of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels. The first series was filmed on location in Skåne, Sweden in the summer of 2008, and broadcast in November and December 2008.[10] The series won the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series.[11] The BBC announced the commissioning of a second series in May 2009.[12] Filming ran over the summer again and the series was broadcast in January 2010. The final series as broadcast in 2016.

In March 2008, it was announced that Left Bank would be producing Strike Back, a six-part series for Sky1 based on Chris Ryan's novel.[13] The production, starring Richard Armitage and Andrew Lincoln, was filmed on location in South Africa in 2009 for broadcast on Sky1 and Sky1 HD in 2010.[14] Also in 2008, Left Bank produced its first feature film; The Damned United was directed by Tom Hooper from a script adapted by Peter Morgan from David Peace's novel The Damned Utd.

2008 also saw Left Bank's first commission for Channel 4; Kids School of Comedy, a pilot sketch show, was produced for the Comedy Lab strand, and was based on a stage show in which Andy Harries' son performed. A six-part School of Comedy series was commissioned by E4 and was broadcast in 2009.[15] A second series has since been commissioned. At the end of 2008, Left Bank received its first commission from ITV, to produce Frank Deasy's four-part serial drama Father & Son.[16] The drama was co-financed by ITV, the Irish broadcaster RTÉ and the Irish Film Board. The production was based in Dublin, where most of the programme was filmed, even though it was set in Manchester, England.[17] RTÉ broadcast the drama in 2009, and it went on to win the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Single Drama/Drama Serial category.[18] It was broadcast on ITV1 in June 2010.

In 2009, Left Bank produced the six-part romantic comedy series Married Single Other for ITV.[19] The series stars Ralf Little, Shaun Dooley, Lucy Davis, Miranda Raison, Amanda Abbington and Dean Lennox Kelly, and was filmed on location in Leeds. It was broadcast on ITV1 in February and March 2010.[20][21] In 2010, Left Bank produced an adaptation of Peter Robinson's Aftermath for ITV, starring Stephen Tompkinson as DCI Banks,[22][23] and Zen, an adaptation of three of Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen novels, which was filmed on location in Italy for BBC Scotland.[24] In 2011, Sky1 broadcast the first series of Left Bank's Mad Dogs, starring John Simm, Philip Glenister, Marc Warren and Max Beesley. In 2012 Optimum Releasing distributed the feature film All in Good Time.[25][26]






  1. ^ a b c Announcing LEFT BANK PICTURES a unique collaboration of film & television talent (10 May 2007) Press release. URL retrieved on 17 May 2008.
  2. ^ Harries, Andy (October 2008). "Memorandum submitted by Left Bank Pictures". Parliament of the United Kingdom. URL retrieved on 27 November 2008.
  3. ^ a b Rushton, Katherine (6 April 2012). "Left Bank Pictures put up for sale at £40m". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). URL retrieved on 6 April 2012.
  4. ^ [Staff] (11 December 2008). "Over £2 million Lottery funding awarded to UK production companies to make new British films Archived 29 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine". UK Film Council. URL retrieved on 24 March 2009.
  5. ^ Clarke, Steve (25 February 2009) "Mackie moves to Left Bank". Variety (Reed Business Information). URL retrieved on 25 February 2009.
  6. ^ Pickard, Michael (13 May 2011). "Left Bank makes comedy, drama hires". C21media.com. URL retrieved on 13 May 2011.
  7. ^ "The Telegraph" Left Bank Pictures put up for sale at £40m telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 7 September 2012
  8. ^ Jake Kanter "Screen Daily" SPT poised to snap up £40m Left Bank Screen Daily, retrieved on 17 December 2013
  9. ^ "The Telegraph" Sony takes stake in Left Bank telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 7 September 2012
  10. ^ Martin, Philip (26 November 2008). "On location: Wallander". Broadcast (Emap Media). URL retrieved on 26 November 2008.
  11. ^ "Television Awards Winners in 2009 Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. URL retrieved on 24 March 2009.
  12. ^ BBC Press Office (5 May 2009). "Shooting begins on three new feature-length adaptations of BAFTA Award-winning drama Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh". Press release. URL retrieved on 5 May 2009.
  13. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (19 March 2008). "Sky ploughs £10m into HD dramas". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). URL retrieved on 12 September 2008.
  14. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (24 August 2009). "This Life's Andrew Lincoln to star in Sky1 adaptation of Strike Back". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). URL retrieved on 24 March 2010.
  15. ^ Parker, Robin (12 September 2008). "E4 opens School of Comedy". Broadcastnow (Emap Media). URL retrieved on 12 September 2008.
  16. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (7 October 2008). "Queen producer Andy Harries to make drama for former employer ITV". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). URL retrieved on 24 March 2010.
  17. ^ Canning, Fiona (25 June 2009). "'Father & Son' Drama Premieres on RTÉ". Irish Film & Television Network. URL retrieved on 16 July 2009.
  18. ^ "Winners of the 7th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards". Irish Film & Television Awards. URL retrieved on 21 February 2010.
  19. ^ McMahon, Kate (25 February 2009). "Mackie reunites the Cold Feet team for rom-com". Broadcast (Emap Media). URL retrieved on 25 February 2009.
  20. ^ "Married Single Other Archived 26 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine". Screen Yorkshire. URL retrieved on 24 March 2010.
  21. ^ [Staff] (12 February 2010). "Married Single Other: Leeds landmarks feature on TV show". Yorkshire Evening Post (Johnston Publishing). URL Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  22. ^ Allen, Katie (20 July 2009). "Bank on it[permanent dead link]". The Bookseller. URL retrieved on 24 March 2010.
  23. ^ Webb, Sam (31 March 2010). "Stephen Tompkinson to star in ITV drama". Digital Spy. URL retrieved on 31 March 2010.
  24. ^ BBC Press Office (18 February 2010). "Rufus Sewell confirmed to play Aurelio Zen for BBC One". Press release. URL retrieved on 23 February 2010.
  25. ^ Deans, Jason (5 May 2010). "John Simm and Philip Glenister to star in Sky1's Mad Dogs". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). URL retrieved on 6 May 2010.
  26. ^ Cooper, Sarah (16 September 2010). "Rafta Rafta". ScreenDaily.com (Emap Media). URL retrieved on 3 January 2011.
  27. ^ "Winners 2011[permanent dead link]". Emap Awards. URL retrieved on 5 February 2011.