BAFTA-winning writer and producer Anil Gupta has joined Sky Studios, Sky’s development and production arm, as Creative Director for original comedy in the UK.
Focussing on in-house production, Gupta will work with new and established talent to develop scripted comedy projects for Sky Studios.
Gupta’s credits include Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42, Citizen Khan and comedy drama Mutual Friends. As Executive Producer he helped create global hit The Office, for which he won two BAFTA TV Awards and was Emmy-nominated. Outside of television, Gupta co-wrote a modern-day adaptation of Molière’s Tartuffe for the RSC and co-created the popular BBC Radio 4 comic fantasy series ElvenQuest, starring Stephen Mangan.
Gupta’s remit to develop in-house projects complements Sky Studios’ ambition to increase investment in both in-house and commissioned comedy from the UK’s thriving indie sector. Gupta will report to Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy, working closely with Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content, Sky UK.
The new home of British comedy
The appointment further strengthens Sky Studios’ comedy team who have had a string of original comedy hits including Brassic , Two Weeks to Live and Code 404. The last 12 Sky Original comedies have all debuted to an audience of over 1m on launch in the UK, showing how much Sky customers value great original comedy. Sky has also picked up multiple BAFTA wins and nominations for its original comedy content, including Sally4Ever (Winner, Scripted Comedy, 2019) Brassic (Nominated, Danny Brocklehurst for Comedy Writer, 2020) and Frayed (Nominated, Sarah Kendall for Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, 2020).
Sky Original comedy is also finding strong following around the globe with Intelligence, Hitmen and Code 404 all premiering on Peacock this year, while Frayed, Brassic and Idris Elba’s In the Long Run have debuted on US platforms HBO Max, Hulu and Starz respectively.
Anil Gupta, Creative Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, said: “It is an exciting time to join Sky Studios as it increases its ambition to produce more original scripted comedy. I can’t wait to get working with our best writers and performers, as well as uncovering the next generation of great British comedy talent. Mostly from my spare bedroom.”
Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, said: “Sky Original comedy has really been on a roll recently and we’re doing more! Anil’s reputation speaks for itself. A unique ability to spot and nurture talent as well as his eye for a brilliant script, make him the perfect person to lead our in-house creative development. Sky Studios works with the best indies and producers in the country and Anil compliments them perfectly. We aim to get bigger, better and funnier – cementing Sky’s place as the home of comedy.”
Notes to Editors
Sky Studios: Harrison.Kelly@sky.uk / +44(0)7817476365
About Sky Studios
Sky Studios brings to screen unique stories from the very best talent in Europe.
We develop, produce and fund original drama, comedy and documentary for Sky’s 24m customers and beyond, with 52 scripted shows already in production. Building on the success of critically-acclaimed Sky originals including Emmy-winning Chernobyl, Bafta-winning Patrick Melrose and international hits Babylon Berlin and Riviera, Sky Studios is the new creative home of Sky Originals, such as The Third Day with Jude Law, ZeroZeroZero from the makers of Gomorrah and The New Pope directed by Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino.
We’re an agile Studio, seeking out the best untold stories from new voices while working in creative partnership with today’s best writers, producers and on-screen talent to bring viewers stories they wouldn’t find anywhere else.
With commissioning talent and production capability across the UK, Germany and Italy, we understand local tastes across Europe better than anyone else and have plans to more than double our investment in original content by 2024, fully supported and backed by Comcast NBC Universal.
We’re also developing a new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which is expected to lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in UK creative sector in the first five years alone.
Sky Studios invests in the cultural economy and global production sector with equity stakes in several production companies in the UK and the US, including Great British Bake-Off creator Love Productions, and the premiere reality crime producer in the US, Jupiter Entertainment, creator of long-running hit Snapped. Sky Studios has invested in high quality factual specialists Blast Films and True North Productions; entertainment and format expert Znak & Co (US & UK); natural history producer True to Nature; drama producers The Lighthouse and Longboat Pictures; and growth businesses Sugar Films, Chrysalis Vision, and Talos Films (US).
Sky Studios launched in June 2019. The senior leadership team is Chief Executive Officer Gary Davey, Chief Content Officer Jane Millichip, Chief Operating Officer Caroline Cooper, Director of Drama UK Cameron Roach, Director of Comedy UK Jon Mountague, Director Original Production Sky Italia Nils Hartmann, and Director Original Productions Sky Deutschland Marcus Ammon.