Ben Stephenson’s Poison Pen adds Left Bank, Hachette & Heyday alums to UK team

L-R: Luke Woelhaf, Oluchi Ezeh & Fern McCauley

Poison Pen Studios, Ben Stephenson’s ITV Studios-backed transatlantic scripted label, is expanding its London team with a trio of new appointments.

Left Bank Pictures’ Luke Woellhaf has been hired as director of development, working alongside newly arrived creative director Preethi Mavahalli and Stephenson to build the international drama slate.

While at Left Bank, Woelhaf developed several projects to greenlight, including the ITVX thriller Without Sin, which he also assistant produced, before becoming head of development.

Luke began his career on BBC drama Holby City, working his way up from story researcher to story producer before script editing the Netflix series Behind Her Eyes and Sitting In Limbo.

Fern McCauley, meanwhile, joins the team as head of IP acquisitions, leading the strategy for sourcing IP across publishing, podcasts and gaming.

Most recently, McCauley was head of media development at Hachette where she oversaw book, film and TV rights deals as well as IP development across a slew of publishing houses.

Also joining the Poison Pen team is Oluchi Ezeh as development co-ordinator, who arrives from Heyday TV where she was development assistant. Prior to this, she worked in talent at B-Side Management as well as the former talent agency, Troika.

The London and LA-based Poison Pen Studios formally launched earlier this month, after being first announced last summer, with the firm focusing on high-end drama.

Stephenson, who serves as president, is the former head of TV for Bad Robot Productions and former BBC scripted chief. Distribution of its shows will be handled by ITV Studios.

“It’s so great to have Luke, Fern and Oluchi join us at Poison Pen. Ben and I feel very lucky to have built such a talented, young and inspiring team. We can’t wait to get started and look forward to this adventure together,” said Mavahalli.

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