Label 1, the indie behind BBC2’s RTS winning doc series Hospital, has hired Barnaby Coughlin to the newly-created role of Head of Factual Entertainment.

Coughlin, the executive producer of Channel 4 shows First Dates and First Dates Hotel, will be tasked with leading a push into popular formats for the London- and Bristol-based indie.

Reporting directly to Label 1 founders Simon Dickson and Lorraine Charker-Phillips, Coughlin will be responsible for helping originate and produce a slate of returnable popular programming.

Before taking on the role as EP of First Dates, Coughlin’s career included stints on BBC One’s The Apprentice, ITV’s Pop Stars, and experimental Channel 4 formats The Audience and Seven Days. He also series directed BBC Two’s access doc Posh People: Inside Tatler, about the goings-on behind the scenes at Britain’s oldest magazine.

Label1 Creative Director Dickson and Coughlin first worked together on series three of First Dates, which was the first to feature maitre d’ Fred Siriex. Dickson said: "We’re over the moon to be bringing Barnaby to Label1. He’s got a knack for seeking out creative opportunities that stretch him and his teams, whilst allowing his natural joie de vivre to shine through. Best of all, he’s a one-off – a true original who hasn’t emerged from the same jelly mould as many of his contemporaries".

Director of Programmes Charker-Phillips said: "We have been looking to expand into factual entertainment for some time, but it’s been so important to get the right person – someone who fits with the culture and ethos of the company. Barnaby is that person and we can’t wait for him to start".

Barnaby Coughlin said: ‘I’m unbelievably excited to be joining Lorraine and Simon as they expand Label 1 into Factual Entertainment, harnessing the innovation that’s made the company such a creative dynamo. Throughout my career I’ve been drawn to working on some of the industry’s most distinctive and ground-breaking formats – from Wife Swap and The Apprentice to First Dates and First Dates Hotel. My passion has always been to make funny, characterful and transformative tv. I’m brimming with ideas for the future of Label 1’s output and can’t wait to get started.”

Coughlin will take up his new job in July and will report directly to co-founders Dickson and Charker-Phillips.

Jon Creamer

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