Essential Media and Entertainment

About Us

Brendan Dahill - General Manager Australia and NZ and Executive Producer

Brendan joined Essential Media in October 2018 as General Manager, Australia and New Zealand and is overseeing the company’s scripted and non-scripted slates.

He has over 25 years’ experience in the television industry including roles as Director of Television at BBC Worldwide Australasia, plus roles at the ABC (Head of Non-Scripted Production, Head of Network Programming and ABC1 Channel Controller), the BBC, ITV and UKTV in the UK, and the Discovery Channel Europe.

Prior to joining Essential Media, Brendan set up Gordian Media which signed a joint venture deal with Matchbox and NBC Universal in 2018. Before this, he was Managing Director of Keo Films Australia, during which time Keo produced the award-winning hit documentary series War on Waste for the ABC, in addition to a broad range of factual and entertainment programs including River Cottage Australia (for SBS / Lifestyle Channel), Struggle Street for SBS and Bullied for the ABC.

Brendan is also a member and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Chairman of his local community Radio station (Triple H 100.1fm).

David Alrich - Head of Factual

David is an Executive Producer/show runner with more than 25 years experience in the industry, having created and produced factual and live programs for all the major TV networks in Australia, as well as for Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, TruTV and Travel Channel in the US.

As Head of Factual, he oversees the factual production and development slate. Recent credits include: EP on Coast Australia (History Channel), EP and Development on Boy To Man (Travel Channel USA, 7 Network), EP on Village Vets (Lifestyle Channel), EP/Director/Development on South Side Story (ABC-TV), EP/Development on Addiction (ABC); EP Beyond Tomorrow (Seven Network); EP of live event Cool Aid (Ten Network), EP/Creator Damage Control(Seven Network); and EP of The Best Job In The World for National Geographic Channel.

David began his television career with the Nine Network, producing the Today Show, Midday Show with Ray Martin, Changing Rooms, Survivor Australia and was Senior Producer at 60 Minutes Australia.
Before a career in television, David explored his passion for wildlife and natural history as PR Officer at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

Michelle Hardy - VP of Scripted

Michelle has produced award-winning screen content across multiple formats and genres for almost two decades. Her scripted broadcast credits include 6x30 minute sketch comedy series Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am for the ABC and Seeso (NBCU), half hour narrative comedy Timothy for ABC, comedy entertainment series Back Seat Drivers for ABC2, and the International Emmy® Award winning multi-platform comedy series #7DaysLater. Prior to moving into scripted, Michelle worked across numerous lifestyle programs for the Seven Network Australia including The Great Outdoors, New Idea TV and Better Homes and Gardens as well as producing branded content for agencies, networks and production companies. She also recently produced a soon to be released low budget feature film, Wild Woman, in Los Angeles.

Denise Anderson - Associate Producer and Head of Marketing

Denise works across Essential's complete slate, dealing with development, financing and distribution as well as overseeing marketing and publicity.
She brings a wealth of international experience having held business affairs and marketing roles in France with Studio Canal + and Luc Besson's EuropaCorp, and Buena Vista International in the US. Denise was also a film programmer for Cinema Science - an annual film festival held in Bordeaux and continues to manage the Festival du Cinéma des Antipodes, held in France annually.