Banijay UK appoints Leon Wilson as CEO of Shine and Zeppotron

16 November, 2023

New overarching role tasked with broadening output and supercharging growth of iconic indie companies

Ex Talkback and Thames Managing Director and Co-Founder of Great Scott Media, Leon Wilson, has been appointed by Banijay UK CEO Patrick Holland as CEO of Shine and Zeppotron.

This announcement follows the news earlier this month regarding Shine TV’s Managing Director Jon Swain’s decision to step down from his role at the end of the year.

This overarching, executive role is tasked with the management of Shine, developing and broadening the range of its original IP, as well as overseeing its established slate including BBC’s MasterChef super-brands, Hunted and Celebrity Hunted and new Channel 4 streaming hit, Banged Up.

Leon will work with Creative Director Tim Whitwell, MasterChef Executive Producer David Ambler and the wider Shine team as the company continues to expand across streamers and broadcasters within factual, reality and entertainment.

Meanwhile, Zeppotron Managing Directors Ruth Phillips and Peter Holmes will work closely with Leon as they push into the streamer market and establish their exciting new slate of comedy/ents/reality formats to sit alongside their existing much loved brands such as BBC One’s Would I Lie to You? and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK said of the appointment;

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

Leon 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.”

Leon was Managing Director of Talkback, followed by Managing Director of a combined Talkback and Thames between 2013 and 2019.

During this time, he consistently grew the businesses’ turnover and won a raft of new business;  creating, selling and overseeing shows including Too Hot to Handle (Netflix), Harry’s Heroes: The Full English (ITV1), multiple Leigh Francis projects (Celebrity Juice, Through The Keyhole, and The Keith & Paddy Picture Show), Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow (ITV), Jon Richardson’s Ultimate Worrier (Dave) and Your Face or Mine (Comedy Central).

Most recently, Leon founded Great Scott Media with Ed Sleeman backed by All3 Media. The indie quickly grew a yearly turnover to £14m, with commissions including Love Trap (C4) and 10-part Netflix reality series Dated & Related. Earlier in his career, Leon worked on The Graham Norton Show, Dame Edna, Fantasy Football and The Friday Night Project.

Leon takes up the role at the end of the month and will report to Patrick Holland.