Fremantle UK today announces the new Managing Directors for unscripted labels Naked and Thames following two internal promotions.
Current Acting Managing Director of Naked Tom O’Brien has been appointed the position on a permanent basis. While at Thames, Charlie Irwin steps up from Director of Programmes to Managing Director. Both will be tasked with driving the strategic direction of the labels, overseeing both the creative and commercial output. The positions will report directly into Amelia Brown, who was appointed CEO of Fremantle UK in April 2023.
Tom has worked at Naked since 2016 where he has led on the creation and development of all new content and helped define Naked’s presence in the unscripted genre, winning an EMMY, RTS and Broadcast Award. He has been responsible for creating and/or executive producing programmes which include The Rap Game UK (BBC Three), Secret Crush (ITV2), The Secret Science of Home Alone (Sky Max), Brian Cox: How the Other Half Live (Channel 5), The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It? (Channel 4), The Day We Picked Our Parents (A&E), and Indian Summer School (Channel 4) – with two new reality series currently in production.
Prior to his time at Naked, he led development teams at UK independent production companies Remarkable Television, TwoFour and Electric Ray – and co-created shows which include I Can See Your Voice (BBC One), Party House (E4) and The Weekender brand (ITV2).
Charlie Irwin started his career over 20 years ago at Thames on the first series of The X Factor. Having worked at various companies producing shows such as I’m A Celeb…, Saturday Night Takeaway and The Brits he returned to Thames to executive produce both The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent winning two BAFTA’s along the way. He went on to become Director of Programmes in 2019. Since then, he has overseen all of Thames output including the revival of Blankety Blank and Family Fortunes as well as Thames’ expansion into reality television with shows such as Too Hot To Handle for Netflix, The Big Celebrity Detox (E4) and upcoming MAMMA MIA! I Have a Dream for ITV.
Fremantle UK also today announces two further senior internal promotions. Leilah Mason has been appointed Head of Production and Helen Moore Deputy Head of Production at Thames, both reporting to Charlie Irwin. Both Leilah and Helen first joined the label in 2000 as Production Co-ordinators, rising through the ranks on a long list of Thames’ entertainment successes.
During her time at Thames, Leilah has worked across Pop Idol (ITV), The X Factor (ITV), Take Me Out (ITV), The Greatest Dancer (BBC 1), The Real Dirty Dancing (E4), The Road to Afro Nation (You Tube) and I Can See Your Voice (BBC 1). In between her time at Thames Leilah worked at Endemol on the likes of Big Brother (Channel 4), Big Brother’s Little Brother (E4) as well as at Lime Pictures on The Only Way Is Essex (ITV2) and Geordie Shore (MTV).
Helen’s credits include Blockbuster (Sky One), Family Fortunes (ITV), Supermarket Sweep (ITV 2), Blankety Blank (BBC 1), The X Factor (ITV), Too Hot To Handle (Netflix) and most recently MAMMA MIA! I Have a Dream (ITV).
Amelia Brown, CEO, Fremantle UK says: “I am beyond thrilled to be able to promote Charlie and Tom into these roles. Both have spent a long time helping their respective labels become the best in class, and I am so excited to see where they will take them.
Tom has been paramount in growing Naked from a smaller factual entertainment label to one of the biggest in the business. He’s hugely creative and his ability to create and sell formats is second to none.
Over at Thames, Charlie is an expert in entertainment production and also a fantastic leader. After two decades with the business, he is the heart of all Thames programming and is extremely passionate about what we do. Thames is also so lucky to have Leilah and Helen make up the senior team – they are two of the most brilliant production minds who can run any show, of any size.”
Tom O’Brien, MD of Naked says: “I am happy and excited to take on a more senior leadership role at Naked. The company has grown at light-speed from a start-up eight years ago, into one of the most dynamic unscripted production companies in the UK. Working with the exceptional team here, UK networks and the streamers, I know we can propel further and higher still.”
Charlie Irwin, MD of Thames adds: “I am so excited to be offered this opportunity at Thames, a company that I’ve called home for over 20 years. It has a remarkable history, leading the industry in entertainment for over 50 years. I’m also delighted that Leilah and Helen are part of the team – they bring a huge wealth of skill and commitment to everything they do, and their combined experience and energy is unmatched. Working with this incredible team at Thames, I’m confident we can grow and expand on Thames’ success in the future.”