Tag Archive: Neale Simpson

  1. Sparks to fly: Lightning commissioned for BBC Two

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    The BBC has commissioned Fizz and Nice One TV to produce Lightning, a new teatime entertainment show hosted by award winning comic Zoe Lyons.

     

    Lightning sees the traditional quiz show collide with gameshow, in a fast-paced and frantic format designed to leave contestants’ nerves in tatters.

     

    Six challengers battle it out across six adrenaline-pumping rounds while a ruthless spotlight patrols the studio eliminating contestants. The challengers’ motivation is simple: do whatever it takes to stay out of the light.

     

    With dramatic lightning and a thundering soundtrack, Lightning will combine quick-fire questions with physical trials bringing a new pace and tone to the teatime quiz slot on BBC Two.

     

    Zoe Lyons will preside, supporting contestants as they strive to reach the ultimate goal of £3,000 prize money.

     

    Lightning is filmed in Northern Ireland with support from Northern Ireland Screen.

     

    Zoe Lyons said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be the host of Lightning. It’s a dream job for me as I’m a massive quiz fan and – unlike the contestants – I love being in the spotlight.”

     

    Carla-Maria Lawson, BBC Head of Daytime and Early Peak said: “The pace and the calibre of competition in Lightning along with Zoe’s energy and wit, will bring a real buzz to BBC Two teatimes”.

     

    Neale Simpson, Creative Director of Fizz said: “This show combines frenetic Q&A with physical challenges, putting contestants on the spot like no other, and it’s a joy to have Zoe on hand to restore calm after the storm when Lightning strikes!”

     

    Chris Jones, Nice One’s founder said: “BBC Two is the home of clever, funny quiz formats, and our hope is that the nation’s quizzers will really love Lightning.”

     

    Lightning is a 25×30’ series for BBC Two. The format was devised by Banijay Group’s Fizz (part of RDF) and Nice One. The Executive Producers are Neale Simpson (Fizz) and Chris Jones (Nice One).  It was commissioned by Carla-Maria Lawson, BBC Head of Daytime and Early Peak, and Muslim Alim, Commissioning Editor BBC Daytime and Early-Peak.

  2. Neale Simpson Takes Lead Role at RDF’s Fizz

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    Banijay UK today announces Creative Director of Fizz, Neale Simpson, is to take reins at The Crystal Maze and Tipping Point entertainment label. Tasked with growing the business and its output, he will step up to lead all development, production and operations.

     

    Having been with RDF for nine years and founded Fizz just under five years ago, Simpson has most recently been central to the UK productions and international roll-out of The Crystal Maze and Shipwrecked. In his new capacity, he will act as Executive Producer across all the label’s titles, while concentrating on expanding the entertainment label through a fresh development drive and streamlined approach to production.

     

    As Creative Director, Simpson is also set to further collaboration with umbrella brand RDF’s factual team across all genres. In a bid to build on Fizz’s success to date, and foster a strong and diverse slate, he will encourage cross-pollination across the two teams, while triggering a recruitment drive to attract new development talent.

     

    Alongside Fizz’s operations, the Creative Director continues to oversee the ongoing partnership with Nice One Productions. Since the co-development/production deal was signed last year, Simpson and the Northern Irish company’s Founder and Creative Director, Chris Jones, have worked up a strong pipeline of content, which resulted in the recent commission of Fight Dirty, a feel-good fact-ent format for BBC Three. A further commission announcement will follow in the coming weeks.

     

    Simpson continues to report to RDF’s MD, Jim Allen.

     

    Jim Allen comments: “Anyone who has worked with Neale knows he is infectiously enthusiastic, wildly creative, hugely committed and, only occasionally, quite tiring. He has done a brilliant job building up Fizz and leading from the front. Neale hasn’t got a backward step in his repertoire and we are lucky to have such an inspirational entertainment leader.”

     

    Neale Simpson comments: “Working with the immensely talented team at Fizz and RDF, and antagonising Jim, is a daily privilege. I’m delighted, and relieved, that no one has stepped in to end it all just yet. I’m very excited about the announcements we’ll be sharing soon and to see what new entertainment adventures we can create next.”

  3. Channel 4’s The Crystal Maze Unveils Brand-New Eastern Zone

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    The Crystal Maze will return in 2019 with all new celebrity episodes and an all new zone: The Eastern Zone. Influenced by the historic art, architecture and monuments of East Asia, the zone will feature five games rooms for eight new games, set around a lily pond, cherry blossom trees and ornate vases. The new zone will join the Futuristic, Aztec and Industrial Zones, with all four featuring a host of challenging new puzzles in the forthcoming series. It’s the first time a new realm has been added to the show since the Ocean Zone was introduced in the fourth series of the original 1990s run.

     

    Richard Ayoade as Maze Master will be again welcoming teams of five celebrity contestants, who will take on a host of skill, physical, mental and mystery challenges, in the hope of winning crystals that can be exchanged for time in the iconic Crystal Dome. The celebrity specials will once again see the teams aiming to win a prize sum for Stand Up To Cancer. The production of 13 new episodes will include a Christmas special, with filming taking place at the 30,000 sq. ft. studio space at The Bottle Yard Studios, Bristol.

     

    The Eastern Zone has been designed by production designer, James Dillon, who has designed all the zones featured on the series since its original run in the 1990s. He and the programme’s team of games designers have come together to create a fantasy microcosm of pre-modern East Asia complete with challenging themed games.

     

    James Dillon comments: “It’s very exciting to be asked to design a new zone for The Crystal Maze. The challenge, to create a zone referencing such an ancient and beautiful part of the world, and to bring those intense, rich colours and textures to the mix of zones that make up the Maze, has been most enjoyable.”

     

    Neale Simpson, Executive Producer at Fizz adds: “We’re thrilled to be back with more maze-based madness and especially excited to share our new zone, all-new games and some frankly ridiculous new nonsense involving an over-sized crystal.”

     

    The Crystal Maze is executive produced by Neale Simpson for Fizz, a Banijay Group company and is a Banijay Group format. The series is commissioned for Channel 4 by Tom Beck and Karen Murdoch, Commissioning Editors, Entertainment.

     

    The Crystal Maze will return to Channel 4 later this year.