“Well it was always possible. I remember when Children Of Earth launched, you always get asked, ‘Is this is the end or will it continue?’ and there’s no true answer to that because you’re always in a state of suspension – if it ends, it ends and if it carries on, it carries on. It’s too soon to give away the story, but I’ve always had this story in mind, and the whole existence of season four will make sense once you know what the story is. I’d already moved out here, and it’d sort of been half in development, and then once those viewing figures came in it went into proper development. Actually, Jane Tranter [head of BBC Worldwide's American arm] planned this more than I ever did. For many years she was going to move out here and do this job, and she’s always wanted dramas that could move onto that sort of scale and be funded in this way, so it all fitted with her plan really – it all just sort of naturally fell into place. And if no-one had ever bought it I’d now be telling you it was naturally dead!”
So tell us about the co-production deal – this is a very different way of doing things.
“It’s a new model for the future, of BBC Worldwide actually becoming a production partner and making stuff for themselves. Their big thing in America is Dancing With The Stars, which is the American Strictly Come Dancing. They sell that format all over the world, but they actually make that for American television and it’s hugely successful, more successful than Strictly is – this year it overtook American Idol for the first time ever. So that’s part of building up a production base here, of taking British ideas – and new ideas – and making them on a worldwide scale. It’s a really good ambition, I think, and it’s going to have to be the case more and more. If you look at things like Dickens adaptations and Cranford, they haven’t been able to afford themselves for decades – they’re all made with money from Boston and stuff like that. Co-partner funding has been the future for decades now.”