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.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.