Factual indie, Rare Television, has appointed Fernando de Jesus as creative director, charged with further developing the London-headquartered company’s output of popular factual programming.

De Jesus previously served as creative director, UK and US, for Studio Ramsay Global. During his four-year stint at the Gordon Ramsay and FOX Entertainment co-owned prodco, he set the company’s strategy and creative direction, generating a string of hits including the relaunch of Kitchen Nightmares and Next Level Chef for FOX, The Savoy for ITV, and Trailblazers and Future Food Stars for BBC One, and the upcoming No Taste Like Home With Antoni Porowski for Nat Geo / Disney+.

He has also worked as a consultant creative director for a number of indies and organisations and prior to this De Jesus spent 7 years at ITV Studios working across a wide range of unscripted projects in production and development.

Alexander Gardiner, CEO of Rare TV, said: “Fernando has what we need to help deliver on our ambition to expand our output of landmark television and talent-driven factual – to refresh the parts other indies can’t reach, if you will. In a world that demands bigger and better, he is regarded as one of the most creative minds in television and crucially someone commissioners really enjoy working with. We want to tell real world stories with real people through ‘must watch’ popular factual in line with our core belief that any story can change the world. Fernando is very clearly cut out to join us in that mission.’

De Jesus said: “My experience in talent-led entertainment and formats brings an aspect to Rare Television that will allow us to enhance the foundations and future proof ourselves in a rapidly changing broadcast environment.  Rare already has a reputation for putting its people — its ‘smart storytellers’ — at the heart of its business, giving them the support and creative freedom to deliver intelligent and entertaining factual content. I can’t wait to join them and make some magic.’

De Jesus is the third key creative to join Rare TV in the last six months. In May, story consultant and executive producer Greg Chivers was appointed to the newly created role of US showrunner, while development producer Abigail Keyes joined the company’s Belfast-based team, reflecting Rare TV’s commitment to growing its presence in Northern Ireland.

This year Rare Television has delivered its first boxset to Sky Docs with The Russell Murders: Who Killed Lin and Megan? part of an extensive true crime slate that includes the third series of Expert Witness for BBC One. It has doubled its output in the US with series like Ice Airport Alaska with season 5 just starting production while BBC One’s Digging for Britain, fronted by Professor Alice Roberts, has just finished filming its 11th season.

Jon Creamer

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