Deadline understands that the pair, who are CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Twofour respectively, are in the concluding phase of talks with ITV Studios to back their new production business South Shore.
This comes four years after ITV acquired TwoFour Group, one of the largest non-scripted producers in the UK, in a deal that cost it £55M for a 75% stake.
South Shore will produce documentaries, popular factual programming and entertainment formats. Leach and Mackenzie are to continue to oversee Twofour until talks with ITV Studios close. Twofour CFO and COO Anthony Hughes will also join them at South Shore.
TwoFour Group was founded in 1989 by former BBC news producer Charles Wace with Leach becoming CEO in 2014. It also produces series including the Educating franchise, ITV2’s Ibiza Weekender, Channel 5 reality format Undercover Girlfriends and BBC Two’s The Real Marigold Hotel.
Leach and Mackenzie (left) said, “We’ve enjoyed every moment of growing Twofour into the brilliant brand that it is today. Now feels like the natural point to hand the company onto a new team and we’re leaving it in great hands. We’re very excited to be working with Julian and ITV Studios again as we embark on our next adventure.”
Julian Bellamy, Managing Director, ITV Studios, said, ”Mel and Andy have been the driving force behind Twofour’s huge success over the last few years and have been behind an array of brilliant shows from the Educating series to The Real Marigold Hotel. They’re a truly formidable creative partnership and leave the company in rude health with a great senior team in place, and I am looking forward to their next chapter and the immense potential of South Shore.
Twofour Group will continue with Tim Carter, Managing Director of ITV’s MultiStory Media taking charge of the company. The newly created role will see Carter at the helm of businesses, which will retain their separate identities and existing teams.
Carter will work with Twofour’s senior creative team including Dan Adamson, David Clews, Rachel Innes-Lumsden and Sam Grace at Boomerang as well as production and operations exec Shireen Abbott and finance exec Jake Roberts.
“I’m delighted that Tim has agreed to lead Twofour and MultiStory into this exciting new era. Tim has taken MultiStory to the next level since he joined in 2018 and his passion and creative vision makes him the ideal choice to build on Mel and Andy’s fantastic legacy,” added Bellamy.
MultiStory Media produces series including ITV’s Rob Lowe-fronted drama Wild Bill, Netflix commission The Big Flower Fight and BBC One primetime format You Are What You Wear.
Carter said, “Over the past decade, Twofour has created some of the landmark moments in British television. It’s synonymous with creative derring-do and I can’t wait to launch its next chapter with the talented people there.”