BBC Studios has added TV format creators Amanda Wilson and Elliot Johnson to its production business to lead creative development across Managing Director Suzy Lamb’s Entertainment and Music department.
The department produces over 300 hours of content and some of the biggest brands including Strictly Come Dancing, Comic Relief, Glastonbury and A Question of Sport.
Reporting to Lamb, the duo, behind such formats as The Chase, Four Weddings, Strictly Come Dancing, The Waiting Game, Who Dares Sings and RTÉ One Ireland’s, Raised by the Village, will be charged with devising and advancing original format ideas through to commission for a variety of broadcasters and platforms in the UK and globally including the BBC – expanding and enhancing the unit’s award-winning production slate.
Wilson and Johnson will provide editorial direction and strategic business leadership for the development team, working alongside three other Creative Directors (Mel Balac, Pete Ogden and James Payne) for content production. They will also help BBC Studios Production transform its programme offering and accelerate its pace of change in diversity and inclusiveness both on and off screen.
Johnson and Wilson set up Sharp Jack Media in 2011 and developed a range of shows for the UK and Ireland including Four Heads, Scorchio, Queer as Pop and dating show Always the Bridesmaid for TLC UK. They joined the then Endemol Shine UK in 2017 as joint Managing Directors of Sharp Jack TV, taking their existing IP and developments to build the label within the media company’s production group across entertainment and factual entertainment. At Banijay they created and exec-produced a number of new titles including E4 gameshow Darling What Have You Done To Your Hair, Tough Old Landlords for NPO Netherlands, an exciting new gameshow for CBBC and the award-winning Raised by the Village.
Wilson’s extensive work in entertainment and Saturday night game shows has seen her head up the BBC team that developed and formatted the corporation’s domestic and global smash Strictly Come Dancing and she also devised The Waiting Game for Hat Trick Productions. Johnson began his TV career at BBC music entertainment working on Top of The Pops, Glastonbury and Bowie at the Beeb. He then joined Fremantle Media developing ideas for Thames and Syco, creating and producing The Jack Osbourne show for Channel 4 as well as contributing to the development of The X-Factor.
Suzy Lamb, MD for Entertainment & Music Production at BBC Studios, says: “Amanda and Elliot are a creative powerhouse. Their fingerprints can be found on some of TVs most popular contemporary formats so the prospect of them creating in the BBC Studios Entertainment and Music space is thrilling. Developing new content that’s popular and representative for all audiences is vital and I can’t wait to see what they dream up for us.”
Amanda Wilson commented: “Last time I was at the BBC we had success with Strictly Come Dancing. It’s great to be coming back to bust some new moves and I hope the formats we create will also get 10/10 from the judges!”
Elliot Johnson added: “I started my TV career in BBC Music Entertainment under the stewardship of Chris Cowey and had an exciting time producing performance shows and music documentaries. So when we were approached with this opportunity it was a no brainer to be part of a revitalised BBC Studios hungry for new entertainment formats and ambitious music projects.”