Channel 4 commissioner Fatima Salaria is joining the production ranks, moving to Fremantle-backed “Indian Summer School” producer Naked as managing director.
Salaria takes over for former Naked CEO Simon Andreae, who was recently appointed CEO of Fremantle U.K. Her role will be both creative and commercial, and she will work closely with creative director Tom O’Brien and COO Susie Dark.
Salaria most recently served as head of specialist factual for Channel 4 — a department whose wide-ranging credits include everything from “SAS: Who Dares Wins” to award-wining documentaries “100 Vaginas” and “Three Identical Strangers.”
The commissioner supervised hit series “My Grandparents War” and “Putin: A Russian Spy Story,” greenlit specials including “Ramadan in Lockdown” and “Race Against the Virus,” and shaped the broadcaster’s response to the killing of George Floyd with the “Take Your Knee Off My Neck” series of shorts.
Prior to joining Channel 4, Salaria was commissioning editor for religion and ethics at the BBC, where she acted as the principal commissioner for “Who Do You Think You Are?,” commissioned the BAFTA and multiple award-winning “Muslims like Us,” and curated the “Black and British” and “Big British Asian Summer” seasons.
Prior to her commissioning role at the public broadcaster, she served as a producer-director with the BBC, working on “Andrew Marr’s History of Britain” and creating shows including “The London Riots: In Their Own Words,” “Underworld Rich List” and “Women in Black.”
Andrae said: “[Fatima] is an exceptional next generation leader with a bold and broad vision that melds perfectly with Tom and Susie’s ethos and with Naked’s growing brand for smart and popular shows with strong characters and great stories. “
Salaria added: “I’ll be sad to leave Channel 4; I’ve enjoyed working with so many creatives, especially my colleague Danny Horan and so many brilliant indies who’ve been a pleasure to collaborate with. This is a great chance to develop my career in a new direction with Simon Andreae at Fremantle, someone who I’ve long admired who shares my creative vision and supports the drive for greater diversity in the industry.”
Danny Horan, head of factual at Channel 4, said: “We’ll miss Fatima hugely…she has helped set a different course for Factual: ideas we have commissioned, the talent — both on and off screen and what we stand for. I have learned a lot and am incredibly grateful for her honesty, making us think differently and her mischievous humour. Naked is lucky to have her.”
Naked’s slate of factual and entertainment programs include the BAFTA-nominated “The Rap Game U.K” and “21 Again” for BBC Three, “Harry Redknapp’s Sandbanks Summer” and “Manson: The Lost Tapes” for ITV, “Indian Summer School” and the upcoming “Ghost” for Channel 4, “100% Hotter” and “Secret Admirer” for Channel 5 and 5 Star, “My Hotter Half” for E4, and the Emmy-nominated “The Day I Picked My Parents” for A&E Networks. The outfit is also partnered with sister label Thames on BBC One’s recently announced “I Can See Your Voice.”
Fremantle acquired a minority stake in Naked in 2015 and in Feb. 2020 took 100% ownership of the business.
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