BBC head of docs Emma Willis joins Twenty Twenty

UK prodco Twenty Twenty has hired Emma Willis (pictured), the head of documentary commissioning at the BBC, as its new creative director.
October 16, 2014

Twenty Twenty has hired Emma Willis (pictured), the head of documentary commissioning at the BBC, as its new creative director.

Willis will join the Warner Bros Television Production UK-owned production company early next year and focus on creating returnable, unscripted formats across a range of genres.

In 2006, she joined the British pubcaster as a commissioning editor for documentaries and became head of documentary commissioning for BBC1, BBC2 and BBC4 last year. Her credits include the hit cooking competition The Great British Bake Off, The Choir: Sing While You Work, Britain From Above and Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children. Prior to that, she was an executive producer at Wall To Wall.

In particular, Bake Off has been a huge success for Willis and the network. She commissioned the show from Love Productions in 2010 for BBC2 and last year the BBC moved it to BBC1. Earlier this month, the season five finale attracted upwards of 12 million viewers.

“Emma is the real deal,” said Twenty Twenty CEO Tim Carter in a statement. “It’s no coincidence her name is attached to some of the biggest and best shows on British television. She has an uncanny instinct and respect for what viewers want.”

“Tim and I have worked together on The Choir for some years and we have built a highly successful creative relationship,” added Willis. “I have always admired Twenty Twenty’s output and their values and I look forward to working with them on a range of new and exciting projects.”

Willis replaces Meredith Chambers who left earlier this year to join prodco Electric Ray as co-managing director.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.