Chalkboard Television has appointed award-winning director and executive producer Natalie Humphreys as managing director of Glasgow-based Storyboard Studios.
Storyboard is being launched by Humphreys with London-based Chalkboard and its founder and director Mike Benson, building on Chalkboard’s existing Scotland base. Storyboard, like Chalkboard, is part of independent production group, IZEN, which also includes Elephant from France, Zebra from Spain and iMagic from the Middle East.
Humphreys, who sat on the boards of BBC Television and BBC Scotland, joined the UK public broadcaster in 2011 as head of specialist factual, before going on to become UK controller of factual and daytime. In the latter role, she managed a budget of more than £100m and around 1,000 hours of UK-produced content from across the factual spectrum, including science, features, documentaries, arts, factual entertainment, history, religion and factual drama. Her portfolio also included the BBC’s flagship early-evening magazine and chat show, The One Show, and the BBC’s world-renowned Natural History Unit. Other iconic BBC shows include Planet Earth II, Countryfile, Britain’s Favourite Food, Handmade, The Big Painting Challenge, Prehistoric Autopsy, Trust Me, I’m a Doctor, Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week and What’s the Right Diet For You? During her tenure, BBC’s factual team won a string of BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards for, among others, BBC Two space-shuttle drama The Challenger and BBC One’s live-TV event Big Blue Live.
Before joining the BBC, Humphreys served as head of specialist factual at Shine Television. She has conceived and executive-produced original content for UK and global broadcasters, including ITV, Channel 4, Sky, PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet, France Television, NDR and ARTE.
Humphreys said: “It’s invigorating working with Mike and a team united by a clear and simple goal — to make the best shows possible. We see the launch of Storyboard as a natural evolution of the exceptional productions Chalkboard has already made in Glasgow. It also signals our intent to commit 100% to Scotland and its creative community. For me personally, Glasgow is my home and I’m passionate about creating world-class content here.”
Benson added: “I’ve known Natalie for more than 10 years and she’s quite simply one of the most respected originators and creative execs in the business. Her decision to partner with us and lead Storyboard Studios into the future is an endorsement of both our creative and commercial ambition. Under Natalie’s stewardship, Storyboard will continue to grow as a company, to the benefit of the group — but, more importantly, we’ll also make better, braver television.”
Storyboard Studios will develop and produce new content for the UK and international partners along with partnering with Chalkboard on existing and original concepts. Storyboard Studios also has significant funded projects in development for major broadcasters. Working alongside Humphreys in Glasgow is series producer Jon Willers, who moved from the BBC last October, with further hires to be announced in the coming weeks.
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