MEET THE COMMISSIONERS NETWORKING LUNCH

Delegates meet commissioners from terrestrial, digital and international channels for one-to-one discussions at lunchtime on each day of the festival. Following is the list of commissioners that took part in 2016, we will announce the 2017 line up in the coming weeks.


 

WEDNESDAY LUNCHTIME COMMISSIONERS

Koulla Anastasi, Director of programming, Lifetime and CI, A+E Networks UK

As a long-standing member of A+E Networks UK’s programming team, Anastasi has been integral to the expansion and growth of the portfolio. In her current role she is responsible for developing and driving the programming strategy for Lifetime and CI, across commissioning and acquisitions for the brands in the UK & Ireland, Benelux, Nordics, Central & Eastern Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.

Anastasi played a key role in the international rollout of Lifetime in the UK, SA and Poland in 2013 and 2014, extending her remit across scripted and unscripted programming, with key acquisitions including the premiere of hit US reality show, Real Housewives of New Jersey and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Reporting to Heather Jones, UK General Manager at A+E Networks UK, Anastasi has commissioned, developed and produced some of the biggest successes on Lifetime and CI including Lifetime’s most successful UK launch to date; Dance Mums with Jennifer Ellison and Four Weddings South Africa, Lifetime’s first local production of the ITV hit global format.

Under Anastasi’s stewardship, CI is the fastest growing factual channel, winning a Broadcast Digital Award in 2013 and has produced over 150 hours of original UK programming, including the channel’s flagship series Britain’s Darkest Taboos and Crimes That Shook Britain, both with multiple season orders A+E Networks UK acquires over 600 hours of international programming each year and produces an additional 100+ hours of original commissions and co-productions to complement its varied factual slate.

A+E Networks UK, a joint venture between A+E Networks and BSkyB, is a leading broadcaster representing a portfolio of high-quality, ground-breaking factual and entertainment channels including HISTORY, HISTORYHD, Lifetime, Lifetime HD, Crime & Investigation Network, Crime & Investigation Network HD and H2. A+E Networks UK launched in November 1995, and has channels available in 76 countries across the UK, Scandinavia, Benelux, Central & Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and is available in more than 85 million homes.

   Kirsty Hanson, Commissioning editor, BBC Worldwide


Kirsty Hanson is commissioning editor for BBC Worldwide, working closely with BBC Worldwide’s international channels network to develop and commission original factual and factual entertainment content for new genre brands BBC Earth and BBC Brit and BBC Worldwide’s distribution pipeline, through both securing the international rights to new commissions and seeking UK and US co-production partners for BBC Worldwide’s slate of original commissions.

 Kirsty has successfully commissioned titles Ice Town: Life On The Edge, Round Planet, Extreme Weather: The Survivors and Meet The Humans (working title) for BBC Earth.

She joined BBC Worldwide from Twenty Twenty where she executive produced The Restaurant Man for BBC Two and The Hoarder Next Door and How Not To get Old for Channel 4. Previously, Kirsty worked as executive producer at many of the top indies and broadcasters including Talkback, RDF, Silver River and ITV where she has worked across series such as What Not To Wear, Would Like To Meet, The Dinner Party Inspectors, Turn Back Your Body Clock and Challenge Anneka.

Her experience has also seen her work as a show-runner, pitching, developing and overseeing a number of prime-time factual feature series for all the main terrestrial channels.

 

Rachel Job, Director of Programming, HISTORY and H2

Rachel Job is director of Programming, HISTORY and H2, for A+E Networks UK and is responsible for acquired and commissioned content for both channels across the UK, Scandinavia, Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Since joining the company in 2007, Job has acquired, commissioned and executive produced numerous hours of factual programming for HISTORY and was integral to the launch of sister channel MILITARY HISTORY in 2008. In 2013, new channel H2, which replaced MILITARY HISTORY, was added to her remit.

Job’s most high profile commissions to date are: Mud Men, presented by Johnny Vaughan and Steve Brooker, which was nominated for a Broadcast Digital Award; 2013’s Shaun Ryder on UFOs, which was nominated for a Broadcasting Press Guild award; and Grave Trade, the most successful local commission on HISTORY to date.

Other recent commissions include Great Martian War, Pawn Stars UK and Pawn Stars South Africa, locally-commissioned spin-offs of the top-rating US format. In September 2014 Rachel also ordered two new series of Fifth Gear to broadcast in 2015.

Job reports into Heather Jones, General Manager, UK, for A+E Networks UK. Prior to working at A+E Networks UK, Job held the position of head of acquisitions and marketing at indie distributor/producer 3DD Entertainment.

 

Simon Young, Commissioning executive producer, National Geographic Channel

Simon Young has a wealth of experience in UK, US and international programming. Before joining the commissioning team at NGCI, he oversaw the production of Channel 4’s headline-grabbing documentaries about the discovery of Richard III, including The King in the Car Park, the highest-rated specialist factual programme in the channel’s history. Simon has worked as a producer, writer and director for companies such as Darlow Smithson, Pioneer, Brook Lapping and Atlantic Productions, where he has helped to develop or deliver a range of specials and returning series such as Atlas 4D and Egypt’s New Tomb Revealed for Discovery, WW1: Finding the Lost Battalions for Channel 4 and Nazi Megastructures for National Geographic Channel.

 

Kevin Dickie, Senior Vice President of Channels, Scripps Networks Interactive, UK & EMEA

Dickie is responsible for content and brand strategy for the region’s portfolio of channels including Food Network, Travel Channel and Fine Living, which are broadcast in 23 languages and reach nearly 120 countries and territories throughout UK & EMEA. Based in London, Dickie was appointed in September 2015 but joined Scripps Networks earlier that year in a consultancy role to evaluate the region’s programming and brand strategies. He now has direct oversight of production and development, programming, scheduling strategy, marketing, creative services and communication. He leads his team to create strong and vibrant content and brand campaigns. Dickie also sits on the UK & EMEA leadership team and plays an integral role in identifying strategic brand extension opportunities beyond television.

Prior to Scripps Networks, Dickie spent 15 years with Discovery Communications, based in Singapore. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President, Content Group, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific. In that role, he was responsible for shaping the overall vision and direction of the region’s portfolio of eight brands lead by Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. Dickie successfully launched TLC and Discovery Kids across the region. He also held additional marketing and communications leadership roles with the organisation.

 
THURSDAY LUNCHTIME COMMISSIONERS

David Brindley, Commissioning editor, Documentaries, Channel 4 

David Brindley joined Channel 4 as a documentaries commissioning editor in 2013. He is jointly responsible for 9pm series and has recently worked across The Tribe, Educating Cardiff, 24 Hours in A&E and The Secret World of Lego. Prior to joining C4, he was co-series director on the Emmy award winning Educating Yorkshire. Other directing credits include One Born Every Minute, Channel 4, The Kid’s Speech, BBC One as well as producing on Cage Fighting Women, Storyville, The Fallen and Beautiful Young Minds, BBC Two.

 

Bill Hobbins, Commissioning editor, non-scripted, Sky Entertainment

Bill Hobbins joined Sky in 2015 from Lion Television where he was entertainment executive, co-executive producing Sexy Beasts for BBC3 and the new series of Horrible Histories specials for CBBC. As creative director at CBBC, he ran the in-house development team, creating the BAFTA award-winning Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom. Hobbins also held roles at Mentorn, producing Robot Wars for BBC2, and at RDF where he looked after several series of Scrapheap Challenge for Channel 4. At Sky, Hobbins oversees Wild Things for Sky 1 and Landscape Artist of the Year for Sky Arts.

 

Lucinda Axelsson, Commissioning executive, BBC

Lucinda is a Commissioning Executive working on Specialist Factual content for the BBC which includes Science and Natural History. Recent ratings winning commissions include New Zealand: Earths Mythical Islands, Snow Chick, Tribes Predators and me, Cats v Dogs, Tigers About the House and Japan: Earths Enchanted Islands. Having previously worked as a programme maker in the BBC’s natural history unit, she’s been working in Natural history for many years and created popular brands including Meerkat Manor with OSF and Natures Weirdest Events with the BBC.

 

Satmohan Panesar, Commissioner, factual, ITV

Satmohan Panesar got his first opportunity in television with a stint of work experience at Princess Productions, where over a period two years he was fortunate enough to work on some of their biggest shows as a researcher, including the first three series of The Friday Night Project. Continuing to  ocus on entertainment, Satmohan went on to AP on shows such as Big Brother’s Little Brother and My Super Sweet. 

In 2011, he moved from production to factual development  and was a development producer for companies including: Silver River, Betty, Watershed and most recently Boomerang. While at Silver River, Satmohan was part of the team responsible for developing the first of Nick and Margaret's BBC documentary series, The Town That Didn't Retire, he later produced on Nick and Margaret: We Pay Your Benefits. At Betty, he helped develop the second Baker Brother’s series and Discovery’s Sex Hospital and at Boomerang had the documentary Million Pound Movers commissioned.

Joining ITV factual as a Commissioner in summer 2015, Satmohan oversees a diverse slate of programming for both the main and digital channels; including Sugar Free Farm, Britain’s Busiest Airport and Celebrity Home Secrets for ITV1 and Ibiza Weekender (ITV2), Dating In The Dark (ITV2) and The Big Fish Off (ITV4) for the digital channels. 

Hilary Rosen, Deputy director commissioning, UKTV

Hilary Rosen is deputy director of Commissioning at UKTV, commissioning and executive producing high profile and award-winning shows for the network, including Taskmaster, Singing in the Rainforest, Monty Python Live and Crackanory.

Prior to joining UKTV Hilary was creative director at Silver River devising formats including The Town That Never Retired, BBC 1 and overseeing Inside Gatwick, Sky 1. Her career has also encompassed ten years as a senior executive producer at Lion Television where credits include The Real Cherie, BBC1, Bad Behaviour, Channel 4, Mum’s on Strike, ITV1, Ann Robinson’s Travels With an Unfit Mother, BBC 1 and Going Straight, Channel 4. Hilary began her career with a decade in BBC News and Current Affairs, including stints on Panorama and Newsnight. Hilary has also acted as a consultant for BBC Academy, training the factual development teams and helping to launch idea portal iCreate.


 

Sean Doyle, Commissioning editor, Channel 5

Sean Doyle joined Channel 5 team in 2015 and has worked on a range of projects, from super sizing Police Interceptors to green lighting The Secret Life of Puppies. Forthcoming orders also include The Dales and Moors: A Year in the Wild and A Year In The Wild: Alaska from Bristol's Tigress. Before Channel 5 Sean was BBC's Daytime and Features Head of Development for projects being made in Northern Ireland.

 

 

Rob Coldstream, Commissioning editor, history, Channel 4

Rob Coldstream joined Channel 4 as commissioning editor for History in 2014 after 15 years as a documentary director/producer. His brief includes the Secret History strand, which aims to provide revelatory and entertaining insights into stories from ancient history to the 20th century. He is also currently looking for eye-catching and innovative events, series and specials with broad popular appeal but strong underlying content. He also commissions more widely across Specialist Factual.

Meet the Commissioners

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