Nick Samwell-Smith – the boss of Big Brother UK and managing director of Endemol production company Initial, has decided to depart the company and will leave in May.
Samwell-Smith joined Initial in 1997 and became the company’s creative director in 2006 before being promoted to managing director in 2013.
He will be succeeded in the role by creative director Mirella Breda, who joined Initial in early 2014 following a succession of senior roles in broadcasting and production at the BBC, ITV and RDF, among other places.
In addition to this, Sandra Smith, Initial’s head of production since 2011, is promoted to a newly created role as director of production.
Samwell-Smith has overseen 15 successful series of “Big Brother” and “Celebrity Big Brother” since the format’s move to Channel 5 in 2011, when Initial took over its production.
The news comes as Endemol waits to find out if it’s planning application to build a new extension to the house will be approved by Hertsmere Borough Council – if approved, the Big Brother compound in Elstree will see it’s biggest revamp since the house moved there from Bow in 2002.