When it comes to cutting-edge drama, Nicky Shindler is one of the hottest independent TV producers around. The 31-year-old has a CV that reads like a BAFTA awards shortlist and regularly receives calls from the heads of drama at all the main networks. A scriptwriter on Cracker and Our Friends in the North and producer of award-winning Hillsborough, Shindler now runs her own production company: 'I wanted more control and your own company gives you that,' she says.
Since she set up the Red Production Company in Manchester in 1998, she has already scored two critical and ratings successes, the controversial 'gay soap' Queer as Folk and the pounds 1.8 million series Love in the 21st Century. But starting up wasn't easy. To begin with, it was 'just me and a phone', she says. But she adds: 'I did it at the right time. I knew commissioning editors wanted my work.'
Shindler is passionate about TV drama and has an eye for a decent script.
Good writers, she says, are vital and she encourages them to pursue their own ideas because 'they do their best work that way'. In February, a two-hour special of Queer as Folk hits our screens. And she also has two new series in the pipeline, one for Channel 4 and one for the BBC. 'I could get big quickly by expanding into soaps, but I won't compromise on quality,' she says. 'That's really all I am interested in - producing quality drama.'