Superindie Argonon is to launch Studio Leo, a new indie headed up by producer Claire Collinson-Jones, who takes the role of Chief Creative Officer.
Collinson-Jones’ track record includes nearly a decade at Hat Trick Productions, where her roles included Head of Factual and Formats and Executive Producer.
Collinson-Jones was responsible for creating and delivering the long-running Channel 5 hit format Rich House, Poor House. The series won the TV Moment of the Year award at the Edinburgh TV Awards and was nominated for Best Constructed Documentary at the Griersons and Best Formatted Documentary at the RTS Programme Awards. Further credits included nine series of Dinner Date (ITV), Lost and Found (Channel 4) and the original format for Rich Holiday, Poor Holiday (Channel 5).
Based in London, the indie will focus on popular factual content both as standalone projects and collaborations across the group.
Studio Leo’s first network commission, 101 Years of Tesco, is a 3 x 60’ series for Channel 5, executive produced by Collinson-Jones and commissioned by Channel 5 Commissioning Editor Denise Seneviratne.
101 Years of Tesco tells the story of the retail giant’s rise, from post-World War 1 market stall to the supermarket giant of today, with unseen archive, insider interviews and exclusive access to the people and teams currently working for Tesco. The series follows two distinct narratives spanning over a century; it charts the history from Tesco’s humble beginnings through the story of Jack Cohen, a 20-year-old ex-soldier who used his post WWI pay to set up a market stall in London. The documentary follows his rise through the decades as the pioneer of “pile it high, sell it cheap” which attracted a loyal customer base to Tesco and helped expanded its operation into multiple stores. Today, the show meets people across all areas of the company, from the long serving cashier who has just celebrated 40 years working for the store to the UK CEO charged with running its 3,627 stores and 23 distribution centres employing 300,000 staff.
On the launch of Studio Leo, Argonon CEO James Burstall said: “Leopards have always thrived in the engine of Argonon. Claire’s idea to create a new factual formats studio at the heart of the Group just felt right. She is a gifted exec and is drawing together the strong heritage of the Leopard brand with a fresh new attitude. She is also helping us further converge our group with inter-company co-productions across UK and US, genres and brands. Talent is king at Argonon and we are delighted Claire has joined us.”
Studio Leo Chief Creative Officer Claire Collinson-Jones said: “As a truly independent group, Argonon offers both the creative freedom to develop a slate of popular factual series and exciting collaboration possibilities on both sides of the Atlantic. Studio Leo has a diverse range of ideas in development from documentaries to features, purpose-driven formats and factual entertainment. I’m looking forward to creating innovative, engaging content for broadcasters, networks and platforms.”
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