UKTV hires Simon Lupton in scripted entertainment drive


16 April 2014

UKTV, which boasts a portfolio of ten TV channels, has appointed award-winning commissioning editor Simon Lupton to work across its entertainment slate, as it commits to increasing its footprint in high-quality scripted content.

With more than 15 years' experience in comedy and entertainment production, plus three years working as Commissioning Editor for the BBC, Lupton will focus on the network's burgeoning slate of original scripted content. UKTV's scripted successes to date include Crackanory, You, Me & Them and Red Dwarf X.

As Commissioning Editor, Lupton will report into the newly promoted Director of Commissioning, Richard Watsham, who is charged with increasing the network's original scripted programming, as well as the creation of UKTV's first Commissioning Charter and leading the overhaul of Business Affairs.

Watsham said,

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. 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.

Lupton previously worked as Comedy Commissioning Editor, BBC, working across all four of the broadcaster's channels, plus online, where he looked after a variety of shows such as BAFTA-award winning British sketch comedy show Harry and Paul, as well as My Family, Green Green Grass, Getting On, and Grandma's House. Following this, Lupton undertook a similar role at Comedy Central, overseeing original comedy series Big Bad World made by Objective Productions.

In addition, Lupton has held roles as Series Producer, Producer and Development Producer for the BBC and ITV Studios, as well as with Indies including LeftBank Pictures, Retort, DLT Entertainment and Princess Productions.

Lupton has also worked on successful TV formats including Bustamove, a comedy show developed for MTV, which was then commissioned in Europe and the US. His experience compliments UKTV's successful move into direct international sales. The network has recently sold a number of titles globally following interest from broadcasters for its original content.

Lupton said,

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.

UKTV's recently re-commissioned scripted storytelling show for grown-ups, Crackanory, drew widespread critical acclaim and strong viewing figures when it premièred last year on Dave, the UK's most watched non-PSB channel. The network reported record-breaking ratings in 2013 and has maintained solid audience growth against increased programming investment in content across the past three years.


For more information please contact:

Kerry Parker, Head of Network Communications

Lara Feinstein, Corporate Communications Coordinator

About UKTV

UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers per month.

UKTV's ten imaginative channel brands - Watch, Dave, Gold, Alibi, Eden, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home and Good Food - include the most watched non-PSB channel, the most watched channel in the Factual genre and the most watched channels in the Lifestyle genre (Pay and Free). The company's most recent financial results showed a record-breaking year-end revenue of £262m, and operating profit at £71m.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC and Channel 4 content, and embracing technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV, TalkTalk, YouView, plus direct On Demand digital services. The network distributes its highly valued programmes to 200 territories around the world and supplies Sky with more hours of HD content than anyone else.

Now celebrating its 21st year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British broadcaster to be recognised by Best Companies. / / @uktv_press