UK indie Pioneer Productions has hired former Channel 4 commissioner Nav Raman and BBC producer Simon Barnes for director of development and executive producer roles, respectively.
The pair were appointed by creative director Ailsa Orr (pictured), who joined Pioneer from the BBC in November and was charged with growing the prodco’s creative team.
Raman was previously at prodco Nutopia, where she oversaw U.S. and UK development strategy, and exec produced the series She’s Having a Baby for Sky Living, documentary Siege in the Sahara for PBS; and a factual entertainment pilot for ITV. During her six-year post as Channel 4 commissioning editor, Raman was responsible for a slate that included Brat Camp, The Unteachables, Supernanny and Child Genius.
Barnes, who is tasked with diversifying Pioneer’s factual output with a focus on the UK, was formerly an undercover journalist for Channel 4′s Dispatches’ Third Class Post and went on to produce a number of strands and series for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC. Barnes is coming from a two-year term at BBC Belfast, where he exec produced daytime strands.
“The last three months for me have been about cherry-picking the best talent available and aligning that with the company’s new creative ambitions,” said Orr in a statement.
“[Nav's] track record and expertise in producing peak time factual entertainment series will really boost our international and domestic offering. Equally, Simon’s talent for creating and delivering a very diverse portfolio of factual output has earned him a great reputation in the industry, and together, he and Nav complete our team of creatives.”
Kirsty McLure, Pioneer’s managing director, added: “Ailsa and her team are focused on building on our backbone of science and adventure programming, whilst adding a new contemporary twist. We have a fantastic opportunity to apply Pioneer’s expertise in new areas like live, formats and wider factual series to increase not only the range of content we are producing, but to produce even more global hits of real scale.”