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21 SEP 2017


Liam Humphreys, CEO FremantleMedia UK Unscripted, has today announced a raft of internal promotions, a series of new appointments and a restructure of the FMUK unscripted business.

The restructure sees the comedy entertainment label Talkback and entertainment label Thames rejoined as iconic brand Talkback Thames to cover all aspects of entertainment. Talkback Thames will be headed up by Managing Director, Leon Wilson (previously MD of comedy entertainment label, Talkback), who will report into Liam Humphreys.

Commenting on the restructure, Liam Humphreys said: “Establishing Talkback and Thames as a joined-up entertainment division again enables both teams to work together in a more cohesive way, sharing expertise and creativity, and encouraging cross-genre development. We have world-class entertainment talent and, under the creative leadership of Leon Wilson, this new structure will give both Talkback and Thames the freedom to work more closely together and create new world-class content.”

Talkback and Thames will continue to have individual heads, reporting into Leon Wilson. Amelia Brown (previously Head of Thames/Syco Productions) becomes Managing Director of Thames, overseeing all Thames entertainment output. For Thames/Syco shows (Britain’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got More Talent, The X Factor and Your Song) she will report directly to Liam Humphreys. Ed Sleeman is promoted to Head of Talkback and Jonno Richards is promoted to Director of Programmes for Talkback, overseeing such titles as Celebrity Juice (ITV2), The Keith and Paddy Picture Show (ITV) and Your Face or Mine (Comedy Central).

Dean Jones is promoted to Director of Production across FMUK Unscripted and Liz Holmwood to Head of On-Screen Talent, FMUK Unscripted. Both Dean and Liz will report into Liam Humphreys.

New appointment Phil Harris joins the business in the newly-created role of Creative Director, Thames, reporting into Amelia Brown. Phil was formerly Head of Entertainment at Lime Pictures and has produced hit shows across all major UK networks including The Only Way is Essex (ITV2) and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV) as well as creating and producing Celebs Go Dating (E4).

Leon Wilson, Managing Director, Talkback Thames, said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity to combine the strengths of both Talkback and Thames. It allows us to maximise the input of the incredible talent we have within each label, in a much more collaborative way.”

Amelia Brown, Managing Director, Thames, commented: “Thames programme output is world-renowned.  I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to build on that reputation, ensuring that the fantastic shows we already have continue to be as successful, whilst driving creativity further to develop new formats with global appeal. Creative Director, Thames, Phil Harris has a great track record of developing and producing entertainment formats and brings to Talkback Thames a fresh outlook to enhance a really strong development slate.”

Phil Harris, incoming Creative Director, Thames, added: “Thames are a global leader in entertainment, and I can’t wait to work with the industry’s top talent both on and off screen in creating new brands”.

Humphreys also announced plans to expand Factual label Boundless and grow its focus to produce more Factual Entertainment content with scale. Damian Pitman joins as Director of Development.  Previously Head of Development at betty, Damian developed the forthcoming Gone To Pot (ITV) and, in his former role as Head of Development for Optomen, Employable Me (BBC).  A new Managing Director of Boundless will be announced in due course.

Danny Carvalho, Creative Director, FMUK Unscripted and Kat Hebden, MD Shotglass Media, both continue to report into Humphreys.  The managing directors of FremantleMedia UK’s scripted labels – Kate Harwood at Euston Films and Jon Rolph at Retort – continue to report directly to FremantleMedia Group CEO Cécile Frot-Coutaz.