UKTV has hired former BBC and Comedy Central exec Simon Lupton to help spearhead their push into scripted originals, TVWise has learned.
Lupton has joined UKTV as Commissioning Editor and will work across the company’s slate of scripted entertainment projects. He joins the commissioning team with more than 15 years of experience in the field, having served as a Commissioning Editor for the BBC for three years where he oversaw such series as My Family, Green Green Grass and Getting On; before segueing to a similar role at Comedy Central. Prior to the BBC, he held roles at ITV Studios, LeftBank Pictures, Retort, DLT Entertainment and Princess Productions.
Simon Lupton’s appointment comes shortly after UKTV appointed Richard Watsham, to whom Lupton will report, as their new Director of Commissioning, following the departure of Jane Rogerson. The hire also signifies the rising importance of scripted originals at the broadcaster, with UKTV stating at the time of Watsham’s appointment that they would be ramping up development of scripted originals. Previous success stories in this area have included Red Dwarf X and You, Me & Them; while UKTV is also prepping their first original drama series, Legion, which hails from Tony Jordan and Red Planet Pictures.
“The commissioning team benefits from considerable programme-making experience and Simon’s scripted expertise on both the production and commissioning sides will be a great addition”, said Watsham. “He has a hugely important part to play as we ramp up our scripted originations. I look forward to him taking on the exciting projects we have in the pipeline, and generating a raft of fresh content for the network.”
While Simon Lupton added: “This feels like a really great time to be joining UKTV. There are some very interesting programmes in development and preproduction right now, from scripted comedy for Dave through to Tony Jordan’s drama for Watch, Legion. Richard and the commissioning team have helped UKTV’s channels go from strength to strength over the last few years, and I’m thrilled to become a part of it.”