ITV Studios Entertainment has rebranded as Lifted Entertainment, and Syco Entertainment’s Lee McNicholas is joining as creative director, north.
ITV Studios Entertainment is the label behind blockbuster shows “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!,” “Love Island,” “Dancing On Ice,” “The Voice,” “Countdown,” “University Challenge” and “Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.”
Similarly, Simon Cowell’s Syco is behind hit brands “The X Factor” and the Got Talent franchise. McNicholas spent a decade there as creative director and executive producer.
Lifted has been commissioned to produce “Secret Gameshow,” a new primetime pilot for U.K. broadcaster ITV hosted by comedian and “The Masked Singer” host Joel Dommett. The show is a spin on the hidden camera format, in which celebrities compete for bragging rights as they take on hidden camera stunts to fool unsuspecting members of the public into helping them.
At Lifted, McNicholas will create and lead production and development to drive commissions. He will be based out of Lifted Entertainment’s northern base in MediaCityUK located at Salford, near Manchester. He will work alongside managing director Angela Jain, director of entertainment Richard Cowles, creative directors Tom Gould and Fiona Clark, and Kat Hebden, head of development.
McNicholas has overseen both “Britain’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor,” and had a key role in the international rollout of both formats.
Prior to Syco, McNicholas worked across several shows, including Channel 4’s “How Clean is Your House” and the BBC’s “The Apprentice.”
“Lee brings a wealth of experience and expertise on huge global entertainment shows which, when added to the depth of the brilliant creative team we have here in Manchester, means he is in the perfect position to spearhead the next phase of growth in the north,” Jain said.
McNicholas added: “As a teenager growing up in Liverpool, I remember going on the Granada Studios tour and thinking one day, I want to work here. To think after all these years I’ll be joining the incredible team in Manchester, really is a dream come true. I’m a huge fan of everything that Lifted Entertainment produce and hope to add some more hits to their already impressive roster.”