Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm.

Friends for years, Tony Ayres and Andrea Denholm had long wanted to work together but did not have the opportunity – until now.

Denholm is joining Tony Ayres Productions (TAP) next week as head of development after finishing up tomorrow as a producer/partner at Princess Pictures.

Ayres tells IF: “I was looking for a head of development and asked Andrea for her advice. Her advice was ‘hire me,’ which was music to my ears. She is great with talent and is one of the most impressive creative producers in the country. We have similar views on the shows we want to make.”

After a happy 10 years at Princess Pictures with the company’s founder Laura Waters, Denholm was up for a new challenge. “Tony is a superstar and a beautiful human being,” she says.

“The content he creates and champions reflects his brilliant imagination, curiosity, humour and humanity. It’s a privilege to be in his orbit and incredibly exciting to be working with him across TAP’s distinctive and diverse slate of original projects and adaptations.”

Denholm will collaborate with Ayres and TAP development assistants Neil Triffett and Adrian Chiarella. The company’s first projects are expected to be announced next month.

Her producer and executive producer credits at Princess Pictures include How to Stay Married, Wrong Kind of Black, It’s a Date, The Divorce and 8MMM Aboriginal Radio.

She will serve as an EP on the second season of Network 10’s How to Stay Married, a co-production with creator Peter Helliar’s Pablo Pictures, which is in pre-production and will be produced by Jenni Tosi, Princess Pictures MD who is departing in November.

Denholm serves on the Film Victoria board and is deputy chair of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.

Ayres launched TAP last year, backed by NBCUniversal International Studios and Matchbox Pictures, after leaving Matchbox.

He was an EP on the final series of Glitch, which he co-created with Louise Fox, and he co-created the Matchbox/ABC refugee detention centre drama Stateless with Cate Blanchett and Elise McCredie.

Ayres is also an EP on the six-part drama which stars Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Fayssal Bazzi and Asher Keddie and is directed by Emma Freeman and Jocelyn Moorhouse.

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