Zeppotron was a daft idea that somehow came good. Formed in 2000 from a core of the writing and production team behind The 11 O’Clock Show, it’s a company that has always had comedy at its heart, and a name that people find difficult to spell.
Over the years we went from passing the time by pretending to run a van hire business to winning some actual commissions. Charlie Brooker’s cult website TV Go Home became a TV series as did the Innovations catalogue parody, Unnovations. More commissions soon followed and Zeppotron now finds itself with a portfolio of non-scripted and scripted comedy hits including Would I Lie to You? (BBC One), 8 Out of 10 Cats (C4), 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (C4), Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night (C4), The Mash Report (BBC Two), Frankie Boyle’s New World Order (BBC Two) and The Rack Pack (BBC iPlayer original feature film).
Along the way we made Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe (BBC Four), The Law of the Playground (C4), Space Cadets (C4), Spoons (C4), A Touch of Cloth (Sky 1), You Have Been Watching (C4), John Cooper Clarke presents Clarkie’s Christmas Crackers (BBC Arts), the first series of Black Mirror (C4) and much, much more.
Zeppotron has a reputation throughout the industry for making brilliantly produced, high quality comedy and comedy-entertainment shows. We attract the very best talent, both on and off-screen, and pride ourselves on being a company that broadcasters can trust and that people like to work for.
Zeppotron: making some people laugh since the year 2000.
Joint Managing Director
Peter Holmes co-founded Zeppotron in 2000 and became joint Managing Director in 2012. He is a creative with a track-record in writing, producing and creating a wide range of comedy and entertainment formats. He devised the multiple award winning and four times BAFTA-nominated panel show Would I Lie To You? and has executive produced all 13 series of the show. His other exec producer credits include Frankie Boyle’s New World Order , Nigel Farage Gets His Life Back, Let’s Play Darts for Comic Relief, Spoons and the first original feature film for the iPlayer, The Rack Pack.
Peter began his career as a writer on The 11 O’Clock Show and has written for many shows including Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe, You Have Been Watching and 8 Out of 10 Cats. He co-wrote the second series of the much-loved Aardman claymation series Rex The Runt.
TV aside, Peter has contributed to the cult website TV Go Home and its spin-off book and co-wrote Would I Lie To You? Presents The 100 Most Popular Lies of All Time for Faber & Faber.
Joint Managing Director
Ruth Phillips became joint Managing Director of Zeppotron in 2012. She started her career at Hat Trick Productions cutting her teeth on Clive Anderson Talks Back, Clive Anderson All Talk and Whose Line Is It Anyway? before going to America for the US pilot and launch of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on ABC, which she then produced 8 seasons of. She went on to series produce The Adam and Joe Show and Adam and Joe Go Tokyo before joining Zeppotron in 2006 where she first launched 8 Out Of 10 Cats and went on to Exec Produce on Would I Lie To You, Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night and 10 O’ Clock Live.
As joint Managing Director of Zeppotron Ruth has been at the forefront of much of our output, with her further executive producer credits including Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, The Ranganation and The Mash Report. Ruth’s experience and boundless enthusiasm have seen her form great relationships with on-screen talent and production teams alike, with a particular interest in supporting both new emerging comedy talent and people having a right old laugh while watching the telly.
Director of Operations
Debra Blenkinsop started her career making sitcoms, dramas and entertainment programmes at various companies such as Humphrey Barclay, Discovery and LWT before moving to Talkback to work on The 11 O’Clock Show where she met the rest of the team that were to become Zeppotron.
She has been at Zeppotron as Head of Production since the company was founded in 2000, becoming Director of Operations in 2012.
She is the absolute linchpin of the company, being involved in every show Zeppotron creates, from development to delivery.
Richard Cohen started his career in the movie industry, working behind the till at Blockbuster video. He moved into television in 2006 and spent two years at Hat Trick Productions. His first job at Zeppotron was as a researcher on 8 Out of 10 Cats and he has worked full time for Zeppotron since 2010 as a producer, series producer and now exec producer.
He has series and exec produced 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown since the very first episode, as well as series producing three Bafta nominated series of Would I Lie To You. His other credits include 10 O’Clock Live, Charlie Brooker’s You Have Been Watching and Room 101, as well as spells on the development team at Zeppotron.
He’s a champion of new talent and makes sure that 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and 8 Out of 10 Cats continue to be some of the best places to develop new and interesting comic voices.
He’s perpetually on the lookout for snacks and absolutely refuses to look directly into a camera.
Chris Stott is an executive producer.
Chris joined Zeppotron in 2017 after creating BBC Two’s satirical comedy The Mash Report. He continues to run Mash whilst also developing new funny shows with emerging comic talent.
Head of Scripted Development
Rachel Ablett heads up Zeppotron’s scripted department, working with writers and performers both new and established to develop comedy and drama scripts for broadcast. She is a comedy producer who has worked for nearly two decades in comedy, entertainment and children’s television. For the last eight years she has series produced, executive produced and written for Would I Lie To You?, during which time the show has received four BAFTA nominations.
She began as a researcher on The Big Breakfast, then worked on a number of comedy shows including My New Best Friend, Monkey Trousers, Fanorama and Up Late With Sean Hughes. She became a producer at Bob Mortimer, Vic Reeves and Lisa Clark’s production company Pett Productions, then worked in the CBBC development team where she co-devised, amongst other things, hit entrepreneurial format Beat the Boss. She has worked as producer or executive producer on a number of shows including You Have Been Watching, Sound, Big Brother’s Big Mouth, The Channel 4 Mash Up, as well as Rob Beckett BBC1 sitcom Static and John Cooper Clarke Presents: Clarkie’s Christmas Crackers, both of which she developed at Zeppotron.
Head of Non Scripted Development
Chris Cohen is Head of Non-Scripted Development at Zeppotron.
Chris first met the Zeppotron team in the summer of 2012, when he helped develop a comedy studio pilot for Sky One, which he also presented.
Formerly a comedy sports presenter with a successful comedy YouTube channel (Cat vs Printer anyone?) – Chris joined the Zeppotron development team at the end of 2012 and now heads up the non-scripted development team, developing everything from panel shows to gameshows, comedy travelogues to big, multi-stranded studio shows.
He’s also the designated fire warden and fixes a myriad of IT related issues on a regular basis.
Scripted Development AP
Zoe Waterman is a Scripted Development Assistant Producer.
Zoe began as a trainee on the MAMA Youth Project, before progressing through BBC Comedy, working on various shows including Inside No. 9, Upstart Crow, and Brian Pern, and booking The One Show’s Edinburgh Showcase.
In 2016 she joined Zeppotron, developing various non-scripted and scripted projects. She is now focused on scripted development, working with a wide range of writers and comedians.
With her passion for comedy, she has developed strong relationships with stand-ups and comic talent, and is heavily involved in live comedy, producing live nights round London. In 2018 she was selected as a Broadcast Hotshot.
Specialist subjects : Frasier and mid-noughties emo music.
Non-Scripted Development Researcher
Amy Lawson is a part of Zeppotron’s Development team, working as a Non-Scripted Development Researcher. She has 5 years’ experience working in TV, Radio and Online Production, primarily in Comedy and Entertainment. She began working as a Production Assistant at the BBC on scripted and non-scripted shows including, W1A, Upstart Crow, Flat TV, Comic Relief and Children In Need.
As a Researcher Amy has worked on shows like; Vic and Bobs Big Night Out, Room 101 and Rob Beckett’s Playing for Time. She has had two stints in America studying Sketch writing and Improv Comedy at Chicago’s Second City and The People’s Improv Theatre in New York City.
Charlotte Hopkinson is one of two production executives at Zeppotron. She started her career in television way back in 1994 working as a Script Secretary on Drop The Dead Donkey. Over the years since then she’s worked as a Production Co-ordinator on sitcoms, dramas and feature films and as a Production Manager on studio shows like Have I Got News For You, Room 101 and They Think It’s All Over.
She joined Zeppotron in 2005 and, after 9 series of 8 Out of 10 Cats and 8 series of Would I Lie To You (with a few other shows along the way), she said goodbye to the freelance world and became a Production Exec in February 2016.
Helena Parkhill has been a Production Executive at Zeppotron since 2016, she does the early budgeting, scheduling and planning of Zeppotron’s productions and sees them through from production to delivery and transmission.
Starting her TV career as a Production Secretary on TFI Friday back in 1999, Helena then moved on to become a Production Manager working on a wide variety of productions, from single camera documentaries, to prime time chat shows, to live OB, multi camera music events.
Helena joined Zeppotron as a freelance Production Manager in 2009 and went on to work on many of their best known shows.
Lucy Pullinger joined Zeppotron in 2004, and we can’t get rid of her.