Twenty Twenty (a Warner Bros. Television Production UK ltd company) have hired the BBC’s Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four, Emma Willis, as their new Creative Director. Emma will join “The Choir” and “First Dates” production company in the new year with a brief to focus on creating new returnable formats across the board in different genres.
Emma joined the BBC as a Commissioning Editor, Documentaries in 2006 and became Head of Commissioning, Documentaries in early 2013. Alongside purely observational documentaries such as “The Tube,” “Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children” and BAFTA nominated “Honour Kills,” Emma has a remarkably diverse body of work crossing factual genres and always searching for the new and distinctive.
Highlights include award winning and returning documentary formats such as “The Choir: Sing While You Work,” “The Farm” franchise which reinvented living history, the acclaimed and innovative social history series, “The Secret History of Our Streets” and “Britain From Above.” She has been responsible for a new wave of highly successful factual formats such as “The Great British Bake Off” and “The Great British Sewing Bee.” Before joining the BBC, Emma was Executive Producer at Wall To Wall where she oversaw some of their most ambitious and critically acclaimed programmes such as “Edwardian Country House” for Channel Four and Emmy and Grierson award winning “George Orwell - A Life in Pictures” for BBC Two. She began her career as a researcher at Yorkshire Television and has worked with many of the major broadcasters. She believes passionately in the power of television to change lives.
Tim Carter, CEO, Twenty Twenty, said: “People talk about creativity but Emma is the real deal. It’s no coincidence her name is attached to some of the biggest and best shows on British television. She has an uncanny instinct and respect for what viewers want.”
Emma said ‘‘I am absolutely delighted to be joining Twenty Twenty as Creative Director. Tim and I have worked together on ‘The Choir’ for some years and we have built a highly successful creative relationship. I have always admired Twenty Twenty’s output and their values and I look forward to working with them on a range of new and exciting projects.
I would like to pay tribute to all my wonderful colleagues at the BBC and all the indie and in house producers that I have worked with. I leave the Documentaries Department in tremendous shape with a fantastic range of new titles coming.
I have had a brilliant time in Commissioning and the huge success of ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and its move to BBC One is most definitely the icing on the cake. Tim and I share the same creative vision for Twenty Twenty’s future and I look forward to working with the BBC and all broadcasters.”
Emma Swain, BBC Controller, Factual Commissioning, said “During her time in Commissioning at the BBC, Emma has delivered some really outstanding, popular and award-winning programmes. It's been a pure pleasure to work with Emma over so many years. She is utterly passionate, brimming with ideas and is a real believer in the power of public service television. I wish her every success in her new role.”
Emma will join the Twenty Twenty team in 2015 tasked with generating the next hit returnable non-scripted formats for the company. She will report into CEO Tim Carter.
Twenty Twenty is one of the UK’s leading producers of popular factual and entertainment formats. Their programmes have a reputation for big contemporary ideas, wit and heart.