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Lime Pictures, Lion TV and Wise Owl Films unscripted arms to merge


Lime Pictures, Lion TV and Wise Owl Films’ unscripted teams are being merged into a newly-created division.

Liverpool’s Lime Pictures, the successor to Mersey TV, is perhaps best known as the producer of popular soap Hollyoaks and reality format TOWIE. Leeds’ Wise Owl is well known in the music documentary sphere, most recently with The Hacienda: The Club That Shook Britain, while Lion is behind the Horrible Histories franchise.

The as-yet-unnamed factual arm will be led by a single chief creative chief who will take responsibility for unscripted output across the three labels, who are All3Media stablemates. The constituent companies will form a combined production and development team.

Wise Owl will continue to be led by Mark Robinson, with Hoot, its newly formed youth-orientated label reporting jointly to Robinson and the Chief Creative Officer, Unscripted.

The reorganisation comes as Lime head of unscripted Sarah Tyekiff departs after five years overseeing the likes of TOWIE and Geordie Shore. Former ITV exec Tyekiff plans to launch her own production outfit.

Although the hunt for a new creative chief for the new division remains ongoing, Lime creative director, unscripted, Rebecca Kenny-Smith, whose past credits include MasterChef and The Island, has been promoted to its director of programming, unscripted.

As part of the restructure, Horrible Histories and Sexy Beasts producer Lion TV, which had its back office subsumed by Lime in 2019, will focus solely on specialist, premium factual and kids TV. Lion’s creative director Emma Morgan and development consultant Jonathan Meenagh are leaving under the restructure, with Lion TV chief creative officer Richard Bradley remaining in post.

Lime joint-CEOs Kate Little and Claire Poyser said the restructure “enables the company to draw on the depth and breadth of experience and reputation across our labels as we look to create the next generation of globally relevant formats.”

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