BBC Worldwide commissioner Julie Swanston heads to Merlin Entertainment
BBCWW VP of commissioning Julie Swanston (pictured) is leaving the distributor after three years to take up a post at Legoland and Madame Tussauds operator Merlin Entertainment. She joined the company from UKTV in 2014. The company is restructuring its original commissioning team and has promoted Kirsty Hanson and Hannah Demidowicz to commissioning editors. The pair will be responsible for developing and commissioning factual entertainment series for BBC Earth and BBC Brit.
“We will be very sorry to see Julie Swanston leave BBC Worldwide and wish her well in her exciting new role. She has done a superb job as VP commissioning and formed a strong team who have already secured five compelling new series for our global channels BBC Earth and BBC Brit,” said BBCWW’s genre director for factual entertainment and entertainment content, Tracy Forsyth, in a statement.
Barcroft Media short films to air on Sky Q platform
Factual producer and distributor Barcroft Media has inked a deal with Sky to make 400 short-form films on the European broadcaster’s Sky Q OTT platform, launched in November. The London-based producer makes five mini-news documentaries each week, with topics spanning natural history, wildlife and adventure sports. The films are a mix of new and old, and will be viewable on Sky Q early this year. Barcroft’s YouTube channel has more than 1.7 million subscribers. Last year, the company launched the online, free-to-air platform Barcroft TV.
Greece’s Alpha TV acquires Capturing the Moment from Gil Formats
Greek entertainment channel Alpha TV has licensed Gil Formats’ Capturing the Moment format. The series focuses on people over 75 who share experiences around topics such as love, family, careers and sex. Each episode focuses on a specific subject and personal tale that is summed up by an old photo, which is then recreated by a photographer. Alpha TV has ordered 12 episodes that will begin airing later this year. The format has also been picked up by Germany’s ZDF and Israel’s IBA, which will begin airing a six-episode season in the first half of this year.