Argonon Group affiliate Bandicoot, the Scottish prodco behind ITV’s The Masked Singer UK and The Masked Dancer, has made three high-level strategic hires as it prepares to expand its entertainment, reality, and factual entertainment slate in 2022.
Kate Stannard (pictured), former head of development at the youth-focused indie Initial, has been named to the newly created position of head of development at Bandicoot, following a short period at Banijay’s RDF Television. In her role, she will initiate and oversee the development of all the label’s prospective projects in the entertainment, reality, and factual entertainment formats for both the U.S. and UK markets.
Stannard is joined by Liz Holmwood, former head of on-screen talent for Fremantle (Britain’s Got Talent) and previously a talent executive on The Masked Dancer, who will be assuming the role of head of talent for Bandicoot. Like Stannard and Bandicoot’s previously appointed head of entertainment James Lessell, Holmwood’s remit will cover both the U.S. and UK. All three will report to Bandicoot founders Derek McLean and Daniel Nettleton.
It was also confirmed that former ITV producer Ruchika Tagore would be joining Stannard’s team as development executive, overseeing UK formats. The U.S. side of Stannard’s slate will be overseen by her new report Rob Cooke, who joined Bandicoot last year as VP of U.S. development.
“As soon as Kate became unexpectedly available, we jumped through hoops to sign her up,” said Bandicoot co-founders McLean and Nettleton in a release. “She’s an amazing talent who brings creativity and leadership to the team.
“Liz is an ebullient character and a brilliant operator who fits the Bandicoot mould perfectly. Ruchika is an ideas factory who brings her infectious enthusiasm and unique perspective to every project.
“These three no-nonsense talent hires expand our horizons and raise our ambitions as we build on our growing UK and US pipeline.”
Bandicoot took home an International Emmy in the non-scripted entertainment category for the UK edition of The Masked Singer in November of last year. Its companion show The Masked Dancer has been commissioned for a second series in 2022.