Poppy Dixon is to join Sky in the newly created role of Director of Documentaries and Factual Commissioning, where she will be responsible for original documentaries and factual programmes across Sky’s portfolio of services.
The appointment follows the news that Sky is to launch two brand-new factual channels, Sky Documentaries, which will be the home of world class, real life stories, and Sky Nature, which will be home to breath-taking natural history programming, along with Sky HISTORY, a co-branded venture between Sky and A+E Networks previously known as HISTORY. All channels will launch on 27 May 2020.
Dixon will be responsible for commissioning premium, original features and multi-part series for Sky Documentaries, a limited number of landmark original natural history series for Sky Nature and premium true crime original series for Sky Crime. She will also oversee the expansion of original series for Sky HISTORY.
Alongside original series, Dixon will also be responsible for overseeing co-production titles across all of Sky’s factual channels. In her new role, Dixon will work on the future direction of the factual services with Managing Director of Content Zai Bennett and Director of Programme Strategy Jamie Morris.
Dixon has worked in TV and film for over 15 years starting out in factual entertainment before moving into documentaries in 2008. She spent more than seven years at Raw, based both in the UK and in the United States, where her accolades in development and as a producer include, Bart Layton’s BAFTA-winning feature, The Imposter and acclaimed hybrid movie American Animals, as well as BAFTA-nominated Three Identical Strangers. During her time at Lightbox, Dixon produced Ursula Macfarlane’s Untouchable, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content commented: “Poppy brings a wealth of experience in producing quality factual programmes and documentaries and she knows exactly what makes a gripping documentary. She is the perfect fit to help us build a world class slate of original factual shows for our customers.”
Since early 2019, Dixon has been Development Executive at Arrow Pictures, where she and John Smithson have been building a slate of documentaries, premium factual and scripted content. She is also currently producing a feature documentary with Met Film, directed by Sam Hobkinson, which will be completed in early 2021.
Dixon added: "When I first heard about the launch of Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, I was immediately thrilled for the industry to have these new platforms on which to showcase their work. Of course, I'm now doubly thrilled to be given the opportunity to help shape the direction of these new channels. I can’t wait to get started with Zai and the team at Sky, as well as with filmmakers and producers, to create a slate of compelling, must-see documentaries.”
Sky Documentaries will be the home of world-class, real life stories from award-winning film makers, including HBO and SHOWTIME® documentaries and new Sky original documentaries. With a mix of feature length documentaries and series that will challenge, provoke and entertain, the channel will explore a broad range of topics from sport and real-world controversies through to biographies of some of the world’s most famous and infamous people.
Sky Nature will be home to breath-taking natural history programming, dedicated to exploring the beauty and wonder of the natural world and inspiring us all to do more to look after it. The channel will feature landmark Sky original series, including Sky’s existing David Attenborough collection, and be the home of Love Nature programming in the UK.
A+E Networks® UK and Sky, as part of their successful 25-year joint venture, will launch a co-branded channel in May 2020 when A+E Networks UK channel HISTORY®, becomes Sky HISTORY. Building on the success of 2019, Sky HISTORY, will have further investment in locally commissioned original programming in 2020 and beyond. The additional titles will showcase premium factual series and specials delivered by a range of UK production companies.
The introduction of the two new services follows on from Sky’s recent launch of Sky Studios, a new Europe-wide development and production capability. This is the latest development in Sky’s commitment to investing in original British content, offering customers more of the content they love, that they can watch where they want, when they want.