Thames Launches New Factual Entertainment Label


The Fremantle company Thames has unveiled Upstream, a brand-new factual entertainment label.

Neale Simpson will serve as creative director of the label, which will allow Thames to diversify its slate and expand its client base as it looks to broaden its reach across other genres. Simpson joins Upstream from Banijay, where he most recently served as creative director of Fizz and RDF.

For Fizz and RDF, Simpson led on development and operations and executive produced series across both labels. He worked on such titles as ITV’s Tipping Point, BBC Two’s Lightning, E4’s Shipwrecked, BBC Three’s Fight Dirty, Craig & Bruno’s Great British Drives for ITV and The Crystal Maze for C4 and Nickelodeon in the U.S.

Amelia Brown, managing director at Thames, said: “Neale is a creative force and we’re delighted that someone with his talent has joined Thames. He will be a huge asset to us and our brand-new label, Upstream, as we look to diversify and produce formats across multiple genres.”

Neale Simpson, creative director at Upstream, added: “Thames produces the biggest and best entertainment shows on British television, combined with an enviably rich slate of much-loved brands. The launch of Upstream presents a fantastic opportunity to join Amelia and the immensely talented team at Thames with a shared ambition to create feel-good formats that aim to put a smile on people’s faces—and don’t we all need a bit more of that right now?”