Scottish indie Bandicoot TV, part of Argonon, has made three major new appointments spanning the UK and US market.

The appointments follow the second series of RTS award-winning series The Masked Singer, which peaked at 10.6m and the recent transmission of The Masked Dancer on ITV, with further projects in the pipeline including Peckham’s Finest for ITV2.

Joining the group as Head of Entertainment is James Lessell with a brief to spearhead brand new UK formats and content. Lessell’s remit includes oversight of all new UK entertainment formats, reality and factual entertainment, including an upcoming new series commission and several other shows in the development pipeline.  James will work closely with Bandicoot Development Executive Jackson Townroe to co-develop projects for the UK market. Lessell has worked with Bandicoot as Executive Producer and continues to act as EP on his slate of productions.  He joins with an extensive background in entertainment; previous roles included Executive Producer at BBC Studios; Executive Producer at Thames TV for X-Factor and Series Producer at Lime Pictures on TOWIE and Celebs Go Dating.

With a US remit, Robert Cooke joins as Vice President, US Development to build a diverse development slate for North America. Cooke is responsible for overseeing the US development strategy with a focus on creating formats, IP, and entertainment specifically for the US market. Cooke joins from Renowned Films, where he spent six years in development.  Successes included Bravo’s hit reality home makeover format, Back Yard Envy and he played a key role in developing and pitching formats and docuseries including Cop Watch America (BET), The Drop (BBC Three), How To Be Anne Marie (YouTube), The Peng Life (C4) and Pranksters (ITV), as well as branded content for Adidas and Selfridges.

The third appointment sees Lucy Eagle join Bandicoot permanently as Head of Production.  Lucy, formerly Head of Production at Cactus TV, has been working as Production Executive across Bandicoot’s entertainment juggernauts The Masked Singer and The Masked Dancer, playing a key role in developing and delivering extensive protocols to ensure both productions were delivered safely during the pandemic.  Lucy’s remit covers all of Bandicoot’s UK production slate.

All three roles report into Bandicoot’s founders, Managing Director Derek McLean and Creative Director Daniel Nettleton.

Bandicoot MD Derek McLean and Creative Director Daniel Nettleton said:  “Despite the challenging backdrop, we’ve enjoyed a stellar 18 months with two of the biggest entertainment shows on UK television, and further exciting projects in the pipeline.  The regeneration of the entertainment genre, aligned with market growth driven by new streaming platforms, has scaled up our UK and international ambitions. We’re delighted to welcome the talented trio of James, Rob and Lucy to Bandicoot.”

Jon Creamer

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