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Hello Sunshine Launches U.K. Unscripted Unit Led by Former Channel 4 Executive Sarah Lazenby

Variety
Variety
 2022-08-19
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Reese Witherspoon ’s Hello Sunshine has launched an unscripted unit in the U.K.

The Candle Media-backed studio has appointed former Channel 4 head of features and formats Sarah Lazenby to lead the division as executive VP of unscripted U.K. She will report into Hello Sunshine’s head of unscripted Sara Rea, who joined the studio following the acquisition of her company SKR Productions .

As part of the expansion, Hello Sunshine Unscripted U.K. is currently developing its first production with “It’s a Sin” broadcaster Channel 4.

The move into the U.K., particularly for unscripted, is a sound move for Hello Sunshine, and follows similar drives by companies such as Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton’s HiddenLight Productions, which have similarly been keen to work with the U.K.’s world-leading factual and non-scripted production community.

At Channel 4, Lazenby was responsible for overseeing a large unscripted slate that included shows such as “The Great British Bake Off” and Jamie Oliver programming, as well as global formats such as “Flirting Dancing” and Netflix co-production “Crazy Delicious.” After five years, she left Channel 4 in January 2021 following a restructure at the public service broadcaster, which is currently on the sales block.

More recently, Lazenby was a producer on the Emmy-nominated “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” special for HBO.

In 2020, Hello Sunshine acquired award-winning showrunner Sara Rea’s SKR Productions, the production company behind unscripted series “Making the Cut” (Amazon’s Prime Video) with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. SKR also produced “Get Organized” on Netflix and are currently producing the competition series “My Kind of Country” for Apple TV+, as well as “To Paris For Love,” an unscripted romantic comedy feature for Roku.

Rea said: “We are thrilled to expand our global mission of innovative, unscripted, female-led storytelling to the U.K. Sarah Lazenby is perfectly poised to lead the charge, as her talent, passion, and sensibility for great storytelling, couldn’t be more in sync with our mission. This is a strategic and exciting moment for us as a company as we continue building upon our trusted relationship with talent and viewers around the world.”

Lazenby added: “Hello Sunshine’s unique global brand and inspirational mission to change the way women walk through the world through storytelling is one I have admired for quite some time. It’s a dream come true to join the talented team and I look forward to bringing the sunshine to the U.K. by creating the next generation of joyous and entertaining formats.”

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