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Fulwell 73 poaches ITV comedy controller

London- and LA-based indie Fulwell 73 has hired the controller of comedy at UK commercial broadcaster ITV as its new head of scripted.

Saskia Schuster

Saskia Schuster is joining the prodco behind The Late Late Show with James Corden, Gavin & Stacey and Carpool Karaoke in May.

Based in London, Schuster will report to managing partner Leo Pearlman and will launch a new scripted department in the UK.

Schuster joined ITV in 2014 as controller for comedy and her commissions and re-commissions included The Trouble With Maggie Cole, The Keith & Paddy Picture Show, Benidorm, Birds of a Feather, Bad Move, Kate & Koji and Harry Hill’s Alien Fun Capsule for ITV.

She has also been behind Celebrity Juice, Plebs, Shopping with Keith Lemon, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Don’t Hate The Playaz and Timewasters for ITV2.

During this time, Schuster also founded Comedy 50:50, an initiative aimed at addressing gender imbalance in comedy by implementing practical measures to achieve equal representation in writing rooms and production teams for women.

As part of this, Schuster was responsible for a change in ITV’s terms of commissioning, stipulating that no comedy entertainment shows with all-male writing teams would be ordered and that scripted comedies must demonstrate best endeavours to employ women in the writing room.

Before joining ITV, Schuster was commissioning editor for comedy at UK satcaster Sky, where her orders included Yonderland and Little Crackers for Sky1, Psychobitches, Nixon’s The One and A Young Doctor’s Notebook for Sky Arts and Ronna & Beverly for Sky Atlantic.

Prior to that, Schuster was head of development at Toff Media, the drama and comedy production company founded by Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller, where she executive produced The Armstrong & Miller Show. She was also head of scripted comedy at Objective Productions, where she worked on shows including Peep Show, Star Stories and The Peter Serafinowicz Show.

Fulwell was set up in 2005 by lifelong friends Ben Winston, Leo Pearlman, Ben Turner and Gabe Turner. In March 2017, James Corden joined the company as a fifth full partner.

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