Rooke has worked at the production outfit for 24 years, first joining as a director in 1995, and rising to executive chairman in 2014.
Rooke’s responsibilities will be taken on by October’s managing director Adam Bullmore, director of production and operations Jane Manning and Matt Robins, the company’s creative director.
Rooke said: “For the past quarter-century October Films has been at the center of my professional life. The company has given me the opportunity to fulfill many of my greatest creative ambitions and I’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some of the most talented people in the television industry.”
As well as Barbarians Rising, October’s recent productions include This Is Football, the Amazon series made in association with Starbucks exploring soccer’s impact on global culture. It also had a hit with BBC One documentary Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out, in which Little Mix singer Nelson examined social media and mental health.
Rooke won the Prix Italia for executive producing The Beslan Siege, while he helped develop and produce longrunning series including the Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science.
October’s most recent earnings, for the financial year 2017, show that the production company posted a revenue of £22.6M ($27.8M), up 11% on £20.2M the year before. Its pre-tax profit was down 50% to £478,967.