Banijay UK has expanded the remit for Neale Simpson, creative director at its entertainment label Fizz.
Simpson (pictured) will now be responsible for expanding the prodco’s factual output, which currently includes The Crystal Maze and Tipping Point, while also leading all development, production and daily operations.
He has been part of the RDF Television team, Banijay UK’s largest production outfit, for nine years and has played a crucial role in the UK production and international roll-out of The Crystal Maze and Shipwrecked. Simpson launched Fizz in January 2015 and continues to report into RDF’s managing director Jim Allen.
In his new capacity, he will executive produce all of the label’s titles, while also ushering in continuous growth at the indie through “a fresh development drive and streamlined approach to production.” He will additionally push further collaboration with RDF’s factual team across all genres and encourage cross-pollination across the teams, while triggering a recruitment drive to attract new development talent.
Finally, Simpson will continue to oversee the enduring co-development and production partnership with Belfast-headquartered Nice One Productions. The deal – penned last year – has already resulted in the commission of fact-ent format Fight Dirty for BBC3.
“Anyone who has worked with Neale knows he is infectiously enthusiastic, wildly creative, hugely committed and, only occasionally, quite tiring,” Allen said in a statement. “He has done a brilliant job building up Fizz and leading from the front. Neale hasn’t got a backward step in his repertoire and we are lucky to have such an inspirational entertainment leader.”