Studio 71 UK, part of the Red Arrow Studios group, has hired Joe Varley as Director of Development.

Varley will lead the expansion of Studio71 UK’s development slate, across comedy entertainment, factual and scripted comedy, reporting to Jody Smith, Studio71 UK VP Creative Director.

Previously Varley has held Development Executive roles at Fulwell73 and Wonder TV Productions, and Head of Development at Endemol-owned Zeppotron and Tiger Aspect. His credits include BAFTA-winning Fonejacker (E4/C4) and Facejacker (C4) as well as developing BAFTA-winning Murder in Successville (BBC Three), Drunk History UK (Comedy Central), viral hit Little Prankers (BBC Three), and he is the creator of ITV’s Dinner Date format. Other production credits include Room 101 (BBC), Britain Today Tonight (C4) and Alan Carr: Chatty Man (C4).

Jody Smith, Studio71 UK VP Creative Director, says: “Joe’s passion for new talent and ability to develop smart, funny ideas makes him the perfect fit for Studio71. Through our talent agency Moxie, we work with some of the UK’s best entertainers for young, diverse audiences, creating fun factual and comedy entertainment. In Joe we have found someone who knows how to build exciting TV projects around this type of talent, and make use of the detailed knowledge we have of their audience’s behaviour.”

Varley adds, “While it may be a while before we can all brainstorm in the same room again, now is an incredibly exciting time to join such a fresh thinking company. As TV is increasingly being challenged by online and new platforms, Studio71 is brilliantly positioned to bridge that gap, and with my passion for working with new talent and creating fun formats, I hope to bring more inventiveness and escapism to screen.”

Pictured: Studio 71’s Countdown to I Do for TLC UK

Jon Creamer