Lookout Point, the independent drama production company backed by BBC Worldwide, today announces a series of significant appointments and promotions within its core senior management team. This expansion supports the latest stage in the company’s growth and its evolution as a market-leading producer and financier of global British drama.
Francis Hopkinson, whose extensive production credits include Wallander and DCI Banks, is joining the senior management team at Lookout Point as Executive Producer. He will build and develop his own slate of original drama and produce Lookout Point’s prestigious forthcoming production of A Suitable Boy, Andrew Davies’s adaptation of Vikram Seth’s epic novel, for the BBC. In addition, he will assume a senior role alongside Faith Penhale, Danny Cohen, Simon Vaughan and Helen Jackson as part of the core team for Benchmark Television, which aims to fast-track production of premium quality scripted drama for television audiences around the world.
Francis joins Lookout Point from ITV Studios, where he has served as Creative Director for the last five years. Prior to that, Francis was a founding partner and Executive Producer at Left Bank Pictures and has also served as Commissioning Editor of Channel 4’s Drama Department.
Francis says: “I’ve had a great time at ITV but it is time for a new challenge and it doesn’t get much more exciting than the chance to bring Vikram Seth’s magnificent book to the screen. Lookout Point is a dynamic company and I am looking forward to working with the brilliant people there.”
Louise Mutter joins the senior management team at Lookout Point as Head of Production, departing her role as Head of Production, Scripted at Sky. Louise is widely recognised as one of the most well respected and experienced executives in the sector and at Sky has been responsible for overseeing a number of the most ambitious drama projects ever produced for British television.
Louise says: “After six years at Sky, culminating in delivering its biggest shows, including Riviera and the upcoming series of Tin Star and Britannia, I am really excited to be joining Lookout Point and being back on the floor with such a great slate of productions to get my teeth into. To join a company with such a unique mix of production, distribution and commissioning opportunities was too good to miss out on.”
The growing strength of Lookout Point’s creative team is also reflected in the promotion of the company’s existing creative talent. Laura Lankester, currently Head of Development, will continue to be on the senior management team and be promoted to Executive Producer and Director of Development, and will serve as Executive Producer on Lookout Point productions including A Suitable Boy. Will Johnston, currently Development Executive, becomes Head of Development and will oversee projects across the development slate. Stella Merz, currently Development Assistant, becomes Development Script Editor and will script edit Shibden Hall and A Suitable Boy.
Faith Penhale, Joint CEO of Lookout Point, said: “We’re so excited that Francis and Louise, both with impeccable track records and a real breadth of experience, have chosen to join us on our journey as we continue to build Lookout Point and produce a bold and ambitious slate of drama. I’m also really proud to be promoting the next generation of creative leaders, Laura, Will and Stella, into new roles where they will flourish and continue to play a crucial role as we grow.”
Simon Vaughan, Chairman and Joint CEO of Lookout Point, said: “In the last eighteen months, we have grown from being a financier and co-producer into a fully-fledged and very active production company under Faith’s inspiring leadership. Attracting and nurturing the best talent is core to the future success of Lookout Point and these new appointments and promotions position us with enormous strength”.
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