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Betty hires Optomen development chief

Formats-logo-460_2 Damian PitmanDiscovery Communications-owned indie Betty has hired Optomen Television’s head of development.

Damian Pitman will take the same post at the Bear Grylls: Mission Survive producer, where he will work closely with managing director Neil Smith.

At Optomen, he helped develop the upcoming primetime series The Miracle for ITV and Employ Me for BBC Two.

In his new post, Pitman will be tasked with expanding the features and factual slates. Besides its Bear Grylls title, the London-based prodco has also produced Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners and The Undateables.

Pitman has also worked at Blast! Films, where he developed the Web of Lies format for Investigation Discovery and at RDF Media, where he created Storage: Locked & Loaded for Channel 5.

His hire comes after Betty added adventure programming showrunner David Harrison and executive producer Kate Morey to its ranks in October 2015.

Smith, who replaced Betty founder Liz Warner at the top of the company in March last year, said of Pitman’s hire: “We’ve strongly invested in our traditional features, fact-ent and doc formats along with our newer male-skewing adventure conten,t and Damian traverses them beautifully. He’s a ball of creative energy who fits perfectly into the Betty culture.”