Former Blast! Films Creative Director James O’Reilly has been appointed as Creative Director of Twenty Twenty.

Reporting to Leanne Klein, Managing Director of Wall to Wall and Twenty Twenty, O’Reilly’s brief will be to oversee the creation and production of new programmes across Twenty Twenty’s slate, as well as continuing to nurture the company’s existing slate of returning series. O’Reilly will move to Bristol, in line with the company’s commitment to relocating the business to the UK regions and helping to grow creative talent outside London.

Twenty Twenty will establish its new headquarters in Bristol from 2021, whilst retaining a production base in London.  Last year, Twenty Twenty announced that its casting, story editing and post-production teams for award-winning format First Dates would be based out of Bristol, following the show’s move out of London to a new restaurant in Manchester. The company also launched a new training scheme, in partnership with Channel 4, to train up 24 Bristol-based production staff, who are now working on First Dates in areas including casting, research, editing and directing.   New BBC two jewellery-making competition series ‘All That Glitters’ is also being made by a regionally-based team out of the company’s Bristol office.

James O’Reilly said: “I couldn’t be more excited to be joining one of the best unscripted indies in British TV. Leanne and the team have got a brilliant slate of shows already in the works, and I can’t wait to start working on their next generation of popular factual hits.”

In more than ten years at Blast! Films and as creative director for the past four, O’Reilly has overseen the company’s development slate, working across multiple titles including The Secret Life of the Zoo and the award-winning Jade: The Reality Star Who Changed Britain at Channel 4, to Forensics: The Real CSI, The Big Hospital Experiment and Reported Missing at the BBC. He has also led the company’s growth into the US market, winning series on networks including A&E, Investigation Discovery, Nat Geo Wild and HGTV, as well as the company’s first, as yet un-announced SVOD commission. He will take up his new role at Twenty Twenty in Spring 2021.

Leanne Klein said: “I’m utterly delighted to be welcoming Jim to Twenty Twenty.  He has an incredible track record as a creator of some of the most compelling and successful factual series on British television and around the world.   His commitment to moving to Bristol takes us one step closer to making Twenty Twenty a truly regional business.”

Twenty Twenty is part of the Warner Bros. International Television Production group.

Shows Twenty Twenty have created include First Dates, The Choir franchise, A House Through Time and First Dates Hotel, five series of which have aired on Channel 4 and it was recently announced that HBO Max have commissioned a US version of the format. Forthcoming projects include All That Glitters, a brand new series fronted by Katherine Ryan which seeks to find Britain’s most talented new jeweller.

Jon Creamer

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