Lucy Lumsden to leave Sky

Lucy Lumsden

Lucy Lumsden, Sky's Head Of Comedy, has announced she is leaving the network.

Lumsden, who was previously the BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning, joined Sky in 2009 to head up their strategy to move into original British scripted comedy.

During her tenure she commissioned over 40 different shows, including the award-winning sitcom Moone Boy, the long-running comedy drama Mount Pleasant and the critically acclaimed puppet comedy Yonderland.

Lumsden will now work on her own shows.

Below is the email that Sky's Director of Entertainment sent staff today:


I'm sorry to say that Lucy Lumsden has decided to leave Sky to work on her own shows.

It's really sad writing an e mail like this, as it will be a big loss for us, even though this is what she wants. Lucy is one of a kind, a real comedy genius, and we will miss her contribution to Sky enormously. She started here 6 years ago (on the eve of her 50th birthday) to an empty comedy cupboard, and in that time has built a formidable commissioning team. Between them, they have commissioned 63 series and 10 Sky Arts singles, from Mount Pleasant to Spy, from Hunderby to A Young Doctor's Notebook, from A Touch of Cloth to the incomparable Yonderland. Under her leadership, Sky comedy department has won 1 Rose D'Or Award, 2 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards, 2 Royal Television Awards, 2 Broadcast Awards, 4 British Comedy Awards, 3 BAFTA's and an International Emmy, bringing tears of joy to the Press team, and tears of relief to the Legal and Compliance departments.

However, her influence has been far greater than bringing us huge comic creations like Stella or Alan Partridge. As part of Sky's involvement with the Cultural Diversity Network, she was transformational in her support of new voices, and bringing on the next generation of diverse talent. We are right to be proud of the reputation she has helped build for Sky in this hugely important area.

As many of you know, she made a short film in her spare time this summer and it went on to win the Jury Prize at the Montreal World Film Festival. As with all great comedy talents, whatever she touches seems to turn to funny, and while today is unquestionably a bit miserable, I really hope we will continue to work with her in her new role, as much as we have until now.

Lucy says (in her high voice): "I leave Sky with a heavy heart after 6 wonderful years as Head of Comedy but I now feel it's the right moment to start a new chapter and get closer to the creative coalface. I'm very grateful to have worked with so many talented, smart and funny people in my time both inside and outside Sky. I'd like to thank my boss Stuart Murphy for his encouragement, revolutionary spirit and for being a constant source of inspiration. I'm extremely proud of what we have all achieved and will miss my team enormously. "

As Lucy is in a commissioning role I have the unenviable job of encouraging her - albeit lovingly - out of that revolving door fairly soon, with her last day being Friday 25th September.

She will continue to exec her current shows until Christmas, from her penthouse apartment in Shad Thames, and we will see her from time to time in the building, waiting at reception for a Guest pass.

We will have time to have drinks and celebrate her amazing track record at Sky over the next few weeks, but in the meantime please join me in offering congratulations to Lucy in this new chapter of her life and thanking her for her immense and brilliantly silly contribution.

With a busy line up of upcoming shows including After Hours, Rovers and Stella 5 on Sky1, Alan Partridge's Mid Morning Matters Series 2 and Hunderby Specials on Sky Atlantic and the Physical Comedy Season on Sky Arts, I'm pleased to say that, until we find a successor, Jon Mountague has agreed to work to me as Acting Head of Comedy.

Thanks, Stuart

Published: Wednesday 16th September 2015
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