Since October 2016, Ben has been CCO of IZEN group. IZEN is the largest, producer owned, content production group in the world and represents the formal coming together of some of the TV world’s biggest independent producers. The group consists of Imagic TV from the Middle East; Zebra Productions, Spain; Elephant Group, France, Elephant Italy and Chalkboard TV in the UK. Until taking on his new role, Ben was MD of Chalkboard which has grown quickly from its launch in Sept 2013, backed by the IZEN companies, to become one of the UK’s leading producers of factual, entertainment and reality formats. In his current role, it is Ben’s job to add creative and commercial value across all of the non-scripted and scripted format conversations within the group.
Before forming Chalkboard, Ben was one of the Managing Directors of Shine Group. He was MD of The Hatch, Shine’s innovative social enterprise production company that set out to give young people from more diverse backgrounds a unique opportunity in this intensely competitive industry. Prior to this, Ben was Managing Director of Shine Groups’ formats business, Shine Network. Here he managed format development, acquisitions and content strategy across the Shine group of companies and also oversaw all aspects of the global production of hit format, Masterchef. Before joining Shine, Ben was Creative Director for Format Development at BBC Worldwide, overseeing the creation of new formats for BBC Worldwide’s growing global network of international production offices.
Ben made his name in the formats business as Creative Director and Managing Partner of The Chatterbox Partnership, one of the UK’s first and most successful TV format creation businesses. With co-founder, Tom Ellemann, Chatterbox developed more than 30 formats from initial idea through first commission and onto international success generating more than 1300 hours of original production (and counting!) along the way. Before founding Chatterbox in 1996, Ben was a TV journalist and presenter working on consumer affairs and travel programmes on BBC1 and BBC2. In his current role, it is Ben’s job to add creative and commercial value across all of the non-scripted and scripted format conversations across the group. He is also a qualified yoga teacher!