Fremantle’s Thames backs former Fizz chief Neale Simpson’s new fact ent label

Neale Simpson

Fremantle-owned UK production outfit Thames has partnered with the former creative director at Banijay-owned label Fizz to launch a new factual entertainment label.

Upstream is to be run by Neale Simpson and will allow Thames “to diversify its slate and expand its client base”. Amelia Brown, Thames’ MD, said the label would enable her company to produce formats across multiple genres.

Simpson joins Thames nine months since stepping down at Fizz, where he had been creative director since 2019 with a remit over shows ranging from Shipwrecked and Crystal Maze to Tipping Point. He had helped to launch the label with the backing of RDF Television in 2014.

His departure came amid an overhaul of Banijay’s UK operations, which saw Jim Allen, MD at RDF Television, stepping down. New creative chiefs from Banijay stablemate Definitely were then installed to oversee RDF’s labels, namely Fizz and Little Wonder.

Simpson added: “The launch of Upstream presents a fantastic opportunity to join Amelia and the immensely talented team at Thames with a shared ambition to create feel-good formats that aim to put a smile on people’s faces – and don’t we all need a bit more of that right now?”

Read Next