Drama indie Kudos has announced that ceo Diederick Santer has decided to step down from the role after four years at the helm.

Chief Creative Officer, Karen Wilson and Chief Operating Officer, Martin Haines are to step up as joint Managing Directors to lead the company.

Under Santer’s leadership, Kudos, part of Endemol Shine UK, had a string of hits including Grantchester, now in its fourth season, International Emmy Awards-winning Man in an Orange Shirt, Channel 4 and AMC returner Humans, International Emmy-nominated Apple Tree Yard, Gunpowder for BBC One, now in over 140 countries, BBC Two’s The Boy With The Topknot, and Sky Atlantic hit, Tin Star. 

Coming up is the six part, female-led ensemble series, Deep Water for ITV, the recently announced four part crime drama for Channel 4, Deadwater Fell (w/t), Sky One comedy CODE 404, and the US remake of Utopia for Amazon.

Diederick Santer said of his decision, “It’s very hard to step away from the brilliant people and programmes of Kudos.  It’s been the best nine years, and I am very proud of what we have created together, but it’s time for a new challenge. Karen and Martin will make a great team and I have no doubt that under their leadership Kudos will continue to thrive.” 

Chief Creative Officer, Karen Wilson and Chief Operating Officer, Martin Haines, now joint Managing Directors, will take over the leadership, creative and strategic direction and day to day running of the company. Wilson has over two decades of production experience. Joining Kudos in 2001, she has executive produced a range of shows including Hustle (BBC One), Spooks (BBC One), Utopia (Channel 4) and The Tunnel (Sky Atlantic). Haines has 20 years of commercial experience in television starting his career in the media sector as a lawyer before becoming a Commercial Director at Warner Brothers Television UK in 2014. He joined Kudos in 2016 as Chief Operating Officer responsible for the strategic direction of the company and overseeing all operational functions.

Richard Johnston, CEO, Endemol Shine UK said; “I’m incredibly sorry to see Diederick go. His passion and instinct for the scripted genre, and ability to inspire those around him, have helped to deliver a raft of outstanding work and ensured that Kudos is a go to production company for quality scripted in the UK.

However, I’m delighted that Karen and Martin, will be taking on the leadership role. The combination of their creative skills and commercial acumen make them a brilliant team, who will grow the company and build the next generation of Kudos hits.”

Diederick became Chief Executive of Kudos in March 2015 having previously formed Lovely Day Productions with Kudos in 2010. From 2006 Diederick served as Executive Producer, EastEnders, creating numerous characters and stories in over 700 episodes, and delivering the live 25th anniversary episode. He first joined BBC Drama in 2000, developing and producing a variety of series including Cutting It and the Emmy-nominated Jane Eyre.

Jon Creamer

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