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Ex-Zodiak USA boss staffs up for new UK indie

Grant Mansfield, the former CEO of Zodiak USA, has launched his own indie and raided the BBC’s Natural History and Features units for factual execs to join him.

Grant MansfieldMansfield left Zodiak last year saying he would be returning to the UK and has now launched Plimsoll Productions, which will have offices in London and Bristol and focus on factual entertainment and wildlife programming for UK and US broadcasters.

Joining him are a trio of BBC unscripted production executives Gavin Henderson, Martha Holmes and Kate Beetham and former RDF Media colleague Christine Owen, who will be managing director.

Henderson comes from the BBC’s NHU, where he developed series such as Planet Earth Live, and will be creative director. Holmes will be executive producer, wildlife, also joining from the BBC’s NHU. Beetham, meanwhile, will be executive producer, factual, and comes to Plimsoll from BBC Features, where he credits include DIY SOS, and Bargain Hunt.

Mansfield will act as Plimsoll’s CEO. Besides Zodiak USA, where he executive produced shows such as Secret Millionaire and Hardcore Pawn, he was previously MD of RDF and head of programmes for Granada TV, where he launched I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here

Owen was previously head of production and managing director of Bristol-based RDF West.

“Between us, the Plimsoll team has a long track record for producing a raft of international hit series in the non-scripted space,” said Mansfield. “Working with our broadcast partners on both sides of the Atlantic, we’re confident that that there are plenty more to come.”