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Veteran factual exec Leon Wilson tapped as CEO of Banijay UK’s Shine and Zeppotron

Banijay UK has appointed veteran factual exec Leon Wilson, formerly MD at Talkback and Thames before co-founding Great Scott Media in 2020, as CEO of two of its labels, Shine TV and Zeppotron.

Leon Wilson

The appointment comes following the recent announcement that Jon Swain is stepping down from his role as MD of Shine TV at the end of the year.

The new position is described as an “overarching role” aimed at “broadening output and supercharging growth” of the two indies.

Wilson will be responsible for the management of Shine, developing and expanding its slate of new properties and overseeing its current slate, which includes the MasterChef franchise, Hunted, Celebrity Hunted and new Channel 4 docuseries Banged Up. He will collaborate with Shine’s creative director Tim Whitwell and MasterChef executive producer David Ambler, among others.

At Zeppotron, he will work alongside MDs Ruth Phillips and Peter Holmes as the company, which produces shows such as Would I Lie to You? (BBC One) and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), looks to push further into the streaming market with a new slate of comedy, entertainment and reality formats.

Wilson will begin the role at the end of the month, reporting to Banijay UK CEO Patrick Holland, who made the appointment. Banijay UK said there are no current plans to replace the MD role at Shine TV.

Wilson served as MD at Talkback and later MD of the combined Talkback-Thames company between 2013 and 2019. During that time, he sold and oversaw series including Too Hot to Handle (Netflix), Harry’s Heroes: The Full English (ITV1), several Leigh Francis projects (Celebrity Juice, Through the Keyhole) and Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow (ITV).

He co-founded All3Media-backed Great Scott Media with Ed Sleeman almost four years ago, producing shows including Love Trap (C4) and Dated & Related (Netflix). The company closed earlier this year, with Sleeman recently joining Mitre Studios, the production company formed by British presenting duo Ant & Dec, as MD.

“As well as being a brilliant creative, Leon has phenomenal amounts of energy, enthusiasm and insight,” said Holland.

“I’m so delighted that he’s chosen Banijay for the next chapter of his impressive career and I know that the teams in Shine and Zeppotron will benefit greatly from his expertise.”

Wilson added: “I can’t wait to start in this new role and work with the fantastically talented teams at Shine and Zeppotron. I love prisons, being hunted, eating, lying and four fifths of cats … as well as winning new commissions. It’s literally a dream come true.”

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