C5′s Raikes to lead Red Planet factual arm

Former Channel 5 commissioner Simon Raikes (pictured) has been named creative director of UK indie Red Planet Pictures' newly launched unscripted division.
May 19, 2015

Former Channel 5 commissioner Simon Raikes (pictured) has been named creative director of UK indie Red Planet Pictures’ newly launched unscripted arm.

The indie – which is known for such British dramas as BBC1′s The Passing Bells and Death in Paradise - has created a division that will initially focus on factual and factual entertainment formats. Raikes, who has served as commissioning editor for factual at Channel 5 since 2012, is to develop new ideas and grow the company’s unscripted slate both in the UK and internationally.

During his time at the broadcaster, Raikes – who is to begin the position this summer – oversaw a number of documentary and factual titles, including 10,000 BC, Miracle Babies, Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away and Inside Broadmoor. He previously worked as creative director of Wildfire TV, where he developed factual and specialist factual series and worked as series editor for the factual series Time Team.

“We are in the business of stories – whether they are fictional or factual – [and] it is about creating an engaging narrative,” said Red Planet Pictures MD Tony Jordan in a statement. “Simon has a track record in producing and commissioning hit factual programming and has the expertise to grow our new business.”

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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.