Rebecca Parkinson, previously Head of Production since January 2018 will become Managing Director of the London based TV Division and a member of the Merman TV Board. Since joining Merman from Fremantle Media UK, Parkinson has overseen some of Merman’s most significant productions, working alongside co-founders Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan. Key shows include two series of BBC One’s ever popular Motherland, two series of the BAFTA- winning and Broadcast-Award nominated There She Goes (BBC/BritBox), in addition to Women on the Verge for UKTV, Frayed (SKY/ABC) and This Way Up starring Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan (Channel 4/Hulu)
In a second key hire, Jackie Sidey becomes Merman’s Finance Director and fellow Board member, having already overseen accounting for all of Merman’s output since its creation. Sidey has previously worked with a number of high-profile production companies including Tiger Aspect, Brown Eyed Boy, and King Bert and has held roles from production accountant to Head of Finance. A small number of the productions she has worked on include Mr Sloane (Sky), Rev (BBC), Gavin & Stacey(BBC), Him & Her (BBC), Catherine Tate Series (BBC), Vicious (ITV), and Turn Up Charlie (Netflix).
Finally, Rebecca Kerley takes the role of Head of Production, having first worked with Merman in 2018 as a Line Producer on a number of shows including award-nominated Frayed (Sky/ABC) before becoming Production Executive. Prior to Merman, Kerley worked as a freelance Line Producer on a wealth of prime time hit shows including This Time with Alan Partridge, Inside No 9 Live, Murder in Successville, and TFI Friday. Rebecca trained at the BBC for 14 years, where she progressed her career working on shows such as Top of the Pops, Ab Fab, and Comic Relief.
Clelia Mountford, Merman co-founder, said: ‘ We’re delighted to welcome these three dynamic women to help run the Merman ship. With the TV business in these very safe and knowledgeable hands, we can explore more creative opportunities and grow our roster of talent even further.’
The appointments follow the recent news that Sky have signed a two-year overhead funding and first look distribution deal with Merman. The deal builds on the recent success of Frayed, the Sky original co-production with ABC now nominated for 5 AACTA’s (The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts) and will see Merman TV expand its UK scripted team to develop brand new drama and comedy for Sky audiences and beyond. The company expect to announce further hires and expansion in the scripted team next year. The full Merman TV board consists of Chairman Jeremy Rainbird, Sharon Horgan, Clelia Mountford, Rebecca Parkinson, and Jackie Sidey.
Merman TV has won multiple accolades over recent years including three BAFTAs, and numerous Emmy and RTS nominations since its creation in 2014. Merman’s most recent success stories include This Way Upfor Hulu/Channel 4, There She Goesfor BBC/BritBox and Motherlandfor BBC2. In the last few weeks the firm has also announced a raft of projects for development at various US networks and platforms, including Shining Valefor Starz, Therapy Dogfor Fox, Gurufor Amazon and Delilah for HBO Max. The wider Merman Group spans Film, TV, Advertising and Branded content operating out of offices in London, New York and LA.