Focusing on in-house production, Gupta will work with new and established talent to develop scripted comedy projects for Sky Studios.
Gupta’s credits include Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42, Citizen Khan and comedy drama Mutual Friends. As Executive Producer he helped create global hit The Office, for which he won two BAFTA TV Awards and was Emmy-nominated. Outside of television, Gupta co-wrote a modern-day adaptation of Molière’s Tartuffe for the RSC and co-created the popular BBC Radio 4 comic fantasy series Elven Quest, starring Stephen Mangan.
Gupta’s remit to develop in-house projects complements Sky Studios’ ambition to increase investment in both in-house and commissioned comedy from the UK’s thriving indie sector. Gupta will report to Jon Mountague, Sky Studios’ Director of Comedy, working closely with Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content, Sky UK.
The appointment further strengthens Sky Studios’ comedy team who have had a string of original comedy hits including Brassic, Two Weeks to Live and Code 404. The last 12 Sky Original comedies have all debuted to an audience of over 1m on launch in the UK, showing how much Sky customers value great original comedy. Sky has also picked up multiple BAFTA wins and nominations for its original comedy content, including Sally4Ever (Winner, Scripted Comedy, 2019) Brassic (Nominated, Danny Brocklehurst for Comedy Writer, 2020) and Frayed (Nominated, Sarah Kendall for Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, 2020).
Sky Original comedy is also finding strong following around the globe with Intelligence, Hitmen and Code 404 all premiering on Peacock this year, while Frayed, Brassic and Idris Elba’s In the Long Run have debuted on US platforms HBO Max, Hulu and Starz respectively.
Anil Gupta, Creative Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, said: “It is an exciting time to join Sky Studios as it increases its ambition to produce more original scripted comedy. I can’t wait to get working with our best writers and performers, as well as uncovering the next generation of great British comedy talent. Mostly from my spare bedroom.”
Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, said: “Sky Original comedy has really been on a roll recently and we’re doing more! Anil’s reputation speaks for itself. A unique ability to spot and nurture talent as well as his eye for a brilliant script, make him the perfect person to lead our in-house creative development. Sky Studios works with the best indies and producers in the country and Anil compliments them perfectly. We aim to get bigger, better and funnier – cementing Sky’s place as the home of comedy.”