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Lookout appoints ITVS, Sky execs

Louise Mutter and Francis Hopkinson

BBC Worldwide (BBCWW)-backed UK prodco Lookout Point has expanded its senior management team by adding execs from ITV Studios and Sky.

Francis Hopkinson is joining Lookout Point as executive producer and will build and develop his own slate of original drama.

Hopkinson, whose credits include Wallander and DCI Banks, will also produce the BBC’s forthcoming production of A Suitable Boy, which is based on Vikram Seth’s novel.

He will work alongside Lookout Point CEO Faith Penhale on Benchmark Television, the BBCWW and Access Entertainment funding scheme launched earlier this year that aims to fast-track production of premium scripted drama for global audiences.

Hopkinson joins after five years as creative director at ITV Studios. Prior to that, he was a founding partner and executive producer at Left Bank Pictures and has also served as commissioning editor at Channel 4’s drama department.

“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,” Hopkinson said.

Meanwhile, Louise Mutter has left her role as head of production for scripted at Sky after six years to take the same role at Lookout Point. Her credits include Riviera and forthcoming series Tin Star and Britannia.

“To join a company with such a unique mix of production, distribution and commissioning opportunities was too good to miss out on,” she said.

Lookout Point has also rejigged its creative team, promoting Laura Lankester, who was head of development, to executive producer and director of development. She will serve as exec producer on Lookout Point productions, including A Suitable Boy.

Elsewhere, development exec Will Johnston becomes head of development, while Stella Merz, a development assistant, becomes development script editor and will script edit Shibden Hall and A Suitable Boy.

Penhale, joint CEO of Lookout Point, said Hopkinson and Mutter’s “impeccable track records and real breadth of experience” would help the company produce “a bold and ambitious slate of drama.”

Simon Vaughan, Lookout Point’s chairman and joint CEO, added: “In the last 18 months, we have grown from being a financier and coproducer 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.”

Last year BBCWW agreed a deal that could see it take full control of Ripper Street prodco Lookout Point after extending its investment in the UK producer.

Vaughan set up the company to coproduce and finance international drama projects in 2009, having left transatlantic production outfit Alchemy, where he was partner and founder, as it wound down its UK arm.

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