Banijay UK today announces Creative Director of Fizz, Neale Simpson, is to take reins at The Crystal Maze and Tipping Point entertainment label. Tasked with growing the business and its output, he will step up to lead all development, production and operations.
Having been with RDF for nine years and founded Fizz just under five years ago, Simpson has most recently been central to the UK productions and international roll-out of The Crystal Maze and Shipwrecked. In his new capacity, he will act as Executive Producer across all the label’s titles, while concentrating on expanding the entertainment label through a fresh development drive and streamlined approach to production.
As Creative Director, Simpson is also set to further collaboration with umbrella brand RDF’s factual team across all genres. In a bid to build on Fizz’s success to date, and foster a strong and diverse slate, he will encourage cross-pollination across the two teams, while triggering a recruitment drive to attract new development talent.
Alongside Fizz’s operations, the Creative Director continues to oversee the ongoing partnership with Nice One Productions. Since the co-development/production deal was signed last year, Simpson and the Northern Irish company’s Founder and Creative Director, Chris Jones, have worked up a strong pipeline of content, which resulted in the recent commission of Fight Dirty, a feel-good fact-ent format for BBC Three. A further commission announcement will follow in the coming weeks.
Simpson continues to report to RDF’s MD, Jim Allen.
Jim Allen comments: “Anyone who has worked with Neale knows he is infectiously enthusiastic, wildly creative, hugely committed and, only occasionally, quite tiring. He has done a brilliant job building up Fizz and leading from the front. Neale hasn’t got a backward step in his repertoire and we are lucky to have such an inspirational entertainment leader.”
Neale Simpson comments: “Working with the immensely talented team at Fizz and RDF, and antagonising Jim, is a daily privilege. I’m delighted, and relieved, that no one has stepped in to end it all just yet. I’m very excited about the announcements we’ll be sharing soon and to see what new entertainment adventures we can create next.”