Studio71 UK Hires for Director of Development Role


The Red Arrow Studios company Studio71 UK has tapped Joe Varley to fill the newly created director of development position.

In his new role, Varley will lead the expansion of Studio71 UK’s development slate across comedy entertainment, factual and scripted comedy. He will report to Jody Smith, Studio71 UK’s VP creative director.

Varley has previously held development executive roles at Fulwell73 and Wonder TV Productions and was head of development at Endemol-owned Zeppotron and Tiger Aspect. His credits include Fonejacker (E4/C4) and Facejacker (C4), as well as Murder in Successville (BBC Three), Drunk History UK (Comedy Central) and Little Prankers (BBC Three). He is also the creator of ITV’s Dinner Date format.

Smith said: “Joe’s passion for new talent and ability to develop smart, funny ideas makes him the perfect fit for Studio71. Through our talent agency Moxie, we work with some of the U.K.’s best entertainers for young, diverse audiences, creating fun factual and comedy entertainment. In Joe we have found someone who knows how to build exciting TV projects around this type of talent, and make use of the detailed knowledge we have of their audience’s behavior.”

Varley added: “While it may be a while before we can all brainstorm in the same room again, now is an incredibly exciting time to join such a fresh thinking company. As TV is increasingly being challenged by online and new platforms, Studio71 is brilliantly positioned to bridge that gap, and with my passion for working with new talent and creating fun formats, I hope to bring more inventiveness and escapism to screen.”