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BBC, Endemol alum launches Objective prodco

Gavin HendersonFormats-logo-460_2Former BBC Natural History Unit and Endemol exec Gavin Henderson has set up an indie within All3Media production group Objective Media.

Henderson (pictured) was most recently creative director at Grant Mansfield’s Plimsoll Productions, where he worked, but is now launching Highwire Productions.

The indie will focus on “ambitious” male-skewed entertainment and adventures formats, as Objective, which All3 rebooted last year under Layla Smith, pushes into formats.

Highwire will be based at Objective’s County Hall, London, base to utilise the firm’s back-end support.

Henderson, who has produced classic British shows such as Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush and The Big Breakfast, will run the company as chief creative officer and founder.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me – to leverage my creativity within a supportive and experienced team at Objective,” he said. “TV should be exciting and scary, bring together ambition and originality, and that’s exactly what I believe Highwire will do. Combining the latest technology and techniques with brilliant storytelling to create shows that stand out from the crowd.”

Henderson was a launch exec at former Zodiak USA chief Mansfield’s Plimsoll in 2013, most recently working up ITV’s Extreme with Davina McCall and further back The Secret Life of the Family with Hugh Dennis for Channel 5.

Before that was head of programmes at Endemol Shine predecessor Endemol, where he oversaw a portfolio of reality and quiz formats such as Deal or No Deal. He went on to become creative director of Big Brother, relaunching the show for UK terrestrial Channel 5 after it switched from Channel 4.

He has also had two spells at the BBC’s famed natural history unit, the NHU. There he created BBC Three format Don’t Blame the Dog in London in 2009 before moving to Bristol to launch Planet Earth Live (24/7 Wild for National Geographic Channel) in 2012. He also executive produced Swarmchaser with George McGavin, Great Bear Stakeout and Tiger About the House.

“Gavin is in position to truly embrace cross-genre programming,” said Objective CEO Smith. “His range of experience is unique and with it comes a singularly exciting and original development slate.”

Another Objective prodco, Panda Television, yesterday named Stefan Iriarte as head of development and The Voice producer Ed Booth as editor of entertainment.