betty appoints new Creative Director and increases senior team
betty has appointed Neil Smith as its new creative director. Smith takes on the role following the departure of Walter Iuzzolino at the end of last year. He will work closely with CEO Liz Warner and head of operations Sophy Walker to drive betty through its next phase of growth.
Executive producers David Emerson and Vicky Hamburger have also been appointed to a beefed up senior team with Emerson taking on the role of head of features and Hamburger as head of documentaries. The new heads of departments and executive producers will report directly to Smith. betty is also looking to appoint a senior specialist factual exec and a factual exec.
The new appointments come at a time of growth for the company with production doubling in the past four years to more than 70 hours per year.
Liz Warner, CEO, said: “Neil has been instrumental in creating and winning some of our biggest shows in recent months. He understands the high quality demanded of factual shows at betty and has the charisma and robust humour needed to pitch and win business.
“His range of experience is rare; he is as good at making a fact ent food format as he is with an art show or a specialist factual or adventure show. This makes him a great fit for a portfolio company like betty with a growing range of genres."
Smith said: "betty is an exciting place to be and I'm delighted to be taking on this role. With the newly appointed senior team I am confident that betty will continue to attract the best creative talent and produce the highest quality programmes.”
Smith’s credits include Bear’s Wild Weekend with Stephen Fry, Country House Rescue, The Food Hospital, Shipwrecked and Big Art for Channel 4, Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell for Discovery and BBC Two’s Get a New Life.
His most recent commission is Best Chef Worst Chef (w/t), a 6 x 60 series for Channel 4.
Emerson was a director and series producer at Talkback Thames where he was responsible for shows including Property Ladder and How Clean is Your House. At betty he has executive produced The Food Inspectors and Rip Off Food for BBC One and Ultimate Shopper for Discovery and TLC.
Hamburger has executive produced series including Channel 4’s The Undateables. She also developed the new BBC One series Under Offer: Estate Agents on the Job. Before joining betty, she produced the first series of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and How The Other Half Live for Channel 4.
betty makes high quality, specialist factual, features and documentary shows including Bear’s Wild Weekends, Heston’s Great British Food and Under Offer: Estate Agents on the Job. It was set up in 2001 by Liz Warner, a former commissioning editor for Channel 4, and makes programmes for channels including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC three, Channel 4, Fox and Discovery.
Current productions include: Shopgirls for BBC Two, The Undateables, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and Best Chef Worst Chef for Channel 4 and The Food Inspectors for BBC One.