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Vaughan to leave Lookout Point

Simon Vaughan founded Lookout Point in 2009

Simon Vaughan, chairman and joint CEO of BBC Studios-backed Les Misérables producer Lookout Point, is stepping down from the company he founded 10 years ago.

Following Vaughan’s departure, Faith Penhale, the former BBC exec who left the UK pubcaster to join Lookout Point in 2015, will continue as the company’s sole CEO, having previously shared the role with Vaughan.

Founded in 2009 by Simon and Justine Vaughan, Lookout Point initially worked with financing and production partners on innovative deals for scripted projects such as Ripper Street, The Collection, The Living & The Dead, Parade’s End and Titanic.

In recent years, and with the arrival of Penhale, the company has established itself as a full-service producer of high-end scripted projects. Production credits so far include the adaptations of War & Peace and Les Misérables, both written by Andrew Davies.

BBC Studios (then BBC Worldwide) took a 35% stake in the business in 2014 and extended that to 49% in 2016 in a deal that could eventually see it take full ownership of the business.

Faith Penhale

Its slate also includes Sally Wainwright’s To Walk Invisible and forthcoming drama Gentleman Jack, as well as Press, written by Mike Bartlett. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Vikram Seth novel A Suitable Boy will go into production later this year.

Lookout Point’s executive team includes Damian Keogh, who was promoted to MD in 2017, and Saul Venit as chief operating officer. Laura Lankester is executive producer and director of development, Louise Mutter is head of production and Will Johnston is head of development and executive producer.

Vaughan said: “It’s been 10 years this year since we started the company and I couldn’t be prouder of all that Lookout Point has achieved in that time, but now felt like the right time to move on. I am very much looking forward to watching it grow and flourish under Faith’s inspiring leadership and as part of the BBC.”

Penhale added: “Simon has played a huge role in the building and success so far of Lookout Point. We all owe him a debt of gratitude and he will be missed. Looking forward, I am excited at the opportunity to create more unforgettable drama. We have ambitious projects on the go, a first-class team and the privilege of working with the best writers in the business.”

Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios, said: “Simon’s time at Lookout Point has been characterised by an extremely high-quality body of work and exciting growth. He leaves with our heartfelt thanks and the very best of wishes for his next round of ventures and adventures.

“I am delighted that Faith will lead Lookout Point into its next stage. She heads a team that is now a proven force in production, with fantastic talent relationships and a very promising pipeline for the future.”

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