Lookout Point, the BBC Studios-owned indie responsible for global hits such as Gentleman Jack, has today announced Laura Lankester and Will Johnston as joint CEOs. Lankester and Johnston have a decade-long working relationship, most recently as Executive Producers at Lookout Point. They will now drive the creative leadership of the company in its next generation, with current CEO Faith Penhale set to step down at the end of this year.
Lankester and Johnston take up their roles at a busy time for Lookout Point. The swashbuckling highwaywoman adventure series The Ballad of Renegade Nell is in production for Disney+. The indie recently wrapped the first series of gripping South African crime thriller Devil’s Peak, co-produced with Expanded Media, and the third and final instalment of the smash hit BBC One drama Happy Valley, co-produced with AMC.
Lookout Point have a minority stake in Boffola Pictures and are co-producers with the comedy outfit on the forthcoming BBC commission Undoing Martin Parker and the first series of Am I Being Unreasonable? which has recently been renewed by the BBC.
Laura Lankester and Will Johnston said:
“Our time so far at Lookout Point has been a big adventure. We are excited to continue alongside the brilliant wider team and with the support of BBC Studios. We are proud of our shared track record with Faith delivering ambitious drama for big audiences, and we have learned so much from her. The new opportunity for us now is to lead together, to continue to enrich and diversify our programming and to offer talent the solidarity and support that comes from our close creative partnership. We can’t wait to get started.”
On announcing the appointments, Mark Linsey, MD Scripted, BBC Studios said: “Laura and Will are both fantastic creatives, with a strong track record in delivering ambitious, talked-about TV that grips audiences all over the world. They embody the DNA of Lookout Point while also bringing a renewed dynamism, fresh thinking and complementary perspectives to their joint-CEO roles, and creating shows that will deliver against the insatiable audience appetite for high-end drama. I’m looking forward to working with them as they take Lookout Point on the next stage of its creative journey.”
At present for Lookout Point, Laura Lankester is Executive Producer on Devil’s Peak, while Will Johnston is Executive Producer on Happy Valley 3 with Penhale and The Ballad of Renegade Nell with Penhale and Louise Mutter.
Alongside Penhale they served together as Executive Producers of the event miniseries adaptation of A Suitable Boy for BBC One/Netflix on location in north India; also executive produced the RTS-winning BBC/HBO series Gentleman Jack from Sally Wainwright; and previously developed Andrew Davies’ BBC adaptations of Les Misérables and War & Peace.