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Sky adds six new creative voices through assistant commissioner programme

Clockwise from top left: Isaac Nartey, Sabrina Parmar, Leanne Cosby, Ziyaad Desai, Sholla Caramba-Coker and Gilberte Phanor

Pay TV broadcaster Sky has announced a raft of appointments to its new assistant commissioner programme, a two-year scheme designed to attract creatives from diverse backgrounds.

The new hires are Sholla Caramba-Coker (drama), Leanne Cosby (arts and entertainment), Ziyaad Desai (factual), Isaac Narty (kids), Sabrina Parmer (film) and Giberte Phanor (factual).

A seventh recruit working with Sky Studios’ comedy team will be announced soon.

The assistant commissioner programme was created as part of a £30m (US$36m) initiative to tackle structural inequality, while supporting diversity and inclusion.

By 2025, Sky is aiming for 20% of its employees in the UK and Ireland to be from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, with at least a quarter of these to be black.

“Across all genres, but particularly within comedy and drama, it is critical that we commission projects that reflect and represent the broadest range of lived experiences,” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of Sky Studios.

“Through the assistant commissioner programme, we have been able to bring in new talent that will help shape our scripted slate over the coming years.”

Caramba-Coker will report to Meghan Lyvers, director of original drama at Sky Studios. She began her career as a script runner on medical drama Holby City and most recently worked as a development producer for prodco Left Bank Pictures.

Cosby joins the Sky Arts and entertainment commissioning team, led by Phil Edgar-Jones. She headed up the Barbican’s artist development programme Open Lab.

Desai and Phanor report to Poppy Dixon on the factual team. Desai has produced and directed documentaries such as Bad Influencer, while Phanor was previously a development executive at Blast! Films.

Nartey joins Lucy Murphy’s Kids team and was most recently Sky’s manager of responsible productions. Finally, Parmer has been recruited to Julia Stuart’s original films department, having previously worked as a development editor for Paramount.

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