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Sarah Doole, former CEO of It’s a Sin producer Red, dies aged 63

Sarah Doole, the former CEO of Manchester’s It’s a Sin producer Red Production, has died of cancer at 63.

Doole had joined Paddington producer Anton last year after stepping down from Red in 2022 to focus on her own company Sow the Seed.

Prior to her spell at the Manchester production house, where she replaced Nicola Shindler and worked on show’s including Netflix’s Harlan Coben adaptation Stay Close and ITV’s No Return, Doole was director of global drama at Fremantle, where her work included the German hit Deutschland 83.

Fremantle Group CEO Jennifer Mullin said: “Those who had the pleasure of working with Sarah will know that she was a true creative, and a driving force. Her passion and her energy had no limits. She helped lay the strong foundations of our Global Drama business and was a brilliant leader. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.”

Anton TV head Sangeeta Desai told Broadcast Magazine: “Since her death, tributes have poured in from across the globe and I am overwhelmed by the number of people within the industry who have remarked on how she supported them and lifted them up in their careers. That sums up Sarah to a tee – she was a builder – a builder of content, people and companies, and she never looked for any recognition or commendation in return. She was the best colleague and friend that I could have asked for and I will miss her tremendously.”

Doole, a self-proclaimed “proud Northerner,” began her career as a programme researcher at Yorkshire Television. From there, she moved to BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios), where she worked on award-winning shows included Sherlock, Gavin & Stacey, Call the Midwife, Misfits and Life on Mars before landing the creative director job at Fremantle in 2013. There, she worked across huge European hits such as The Young Pope, My Brilliant Friend and Deutschland 83.

Doole stepped back from Fremantle in 2020, launching her talent incubator, Sow the Seed and then stepping onto the vacant role at Studiocanal-backed Red following Shindler’s departure later that year. There, she delivered shows including Netflix’s Harlan Coben adaptation Stay Close and ITV’s No Return.

Doole is survived by her husband Chris.

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