Banijay UK has tapped Leon Wilson, former managing director of Talkback and Thames and co-founder of Great Scott Media, to serve as CEO of Shine TV and Zeppotron.
This appointment follows the recent news that Jon Swain will be stepping down from his role as Shine TV’s managing director at the end of the year.
As CEO of Shine TV, Wilson is tasked with the management of the company, developing and broadening the range of its original IP and overseeing its established slate, which includes BBC’s MasterChef super-brands, Hunted and Celebrity Hunted and the new Channel 4 streaming hit Banged Up. He will work with Tim Whitwell, creative director; David Ambler, MasterChef executive producer; and the wider team as it continues to expand across streamers and broadcasters.
There are no current plans to replace the managing director role.
As CEO of Zeppotron, Wilson will work closely with Ruth Phillips and Peter Holmes, managing directors, as the company pushes into the streamer market and establishes its new slate of comedy, entertainment and reality formats to sit alongside its existing IPs such as BBC One’s Would I Lie to You? and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
Most recently, Wilson founded Great Scott Media with Ed Sleeman, backed by All3Media. The indie grew a yearly turnover to £14 million, with commissions including Love Trap (Channel 4) and Dated & Related (Netflix).
Earlier in his career, Wilson served as managing director of Talkback, followed by managing director of a combined Talkback and Thames between 2013 and 2019. He grew the businesses’ turnover and scored new business, creating, selling and overseeing shows such as Too Hot to Handle (Netflix), Harry’s Heroes: The Full English (ITV1), multiple Leigh Francis projects (Celebrity Juice, Through The Keyhole and The Keith & Paddy Picture Show), Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow (ITV), Jon Richardson’s Ultimate Worrier (Dave) and Your Face or Mine (Comedy Central).
Patrick Holland, CEO of Banijay UK, to whom Wilson will report, said, “As well as being a brilliant creative, Leon has phenomenal amounts of energy, enthusiasm and insight. I’m so delighted that he’s chosen Banijay for the next chapter of his impressive career, and I know that the teams in Shine and Zeppotron will benefit greatly from his expertise.”
Wilson added, “I can’t wait to start in this new role and work with the fantastically talented teams at Shine and Zeppotron. I love prisons, being hunted, eating, lying and four-fifths of cats…as well as winning new commissions. It’s literally a dream come true.”