LONDON — Nick Samwell-Smith, managing director of Endemol Shine-owned production company Initial, has decided to leave the company and will depart in May.
Samwell-Smith, who joined Initial in 1997, became the company’s creative director in 2006 before being promoted to managing director in 2013.
He will be succeeded in the role by creative director Mirella Breda, who joined Initial in early 2014 following a succession of senior roles in broadcasting and production at the BBC, ITV and RDF, among other places.
Additionally, Sandra Smith, Initial’s head of production since 2011, is promoted to a newly created role as director of production.
Samwell-Smith’s early work at Initial included producer roles on “Fame Academy” and “Big Brother,” co-creating and exec producing “The Match” for Sky, as well as launching and producing “Soccer Aid” for ITV. His credits include many high-profile entertainment shows including “Total Wipeout,” “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” “Dating in the Dark,” “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show” and, more recently, “The Almost Impossible Game Show.”
Samwell-Smith has overseen 15 successful series of “Big Brother” and “Celebrity Big Brother” since the format’s move to Channel 5 in 2011, when Initial took over its production.
Since joining Initial in 2014, Breda’s credits have included new commissions “Stars in Their Eyes,” “Big Box Little Box” and “Give a Pet a Home.” Prior to Initial, Breda was commissioning editor at BBC Entertainment, working across BBC One and BBC Two. Her commissioning credits include “MasterChef,” “Mary Queen of Shops,” “James May’s Toy Stories,” “Room 101” and “Total Wipeout.”