Jun 18 , 2020

Lunch with a Commissioner: Simon Downing, SVP Head of Factual and Sport & Victoria Noble, VP Original Content, Factual at Discovery

  • When: 18th Jun 2020, 13:00-14:00
  • Organised by: ScreenSkills
  • Location: Online
  • Price: Free
  • Age: 18+

Grab your homemade sandwich of choice and get ready to dine with a different commissioner every day. At 1pm from Monday to Friday, participants will be able to join a commissioner and listen to their insights as well as ask questions at the end of the hour.

These are great sessions for our freelance community who don’t normally get the opportunity to chat to commissioners. So, if you’re a head honcho who normally has all the commissioners on speed-dial this session isn’t for you! Please keep this in mind when booking. Thanks for your support and understanding.


Simon Downing is SVP, Head of Factual & Sport, Discovery UK & Ireland, overseeing strategy for Discovery’s 11 factual and sports channels including Discovery Channel, Eurosport, Quest and DMAX, which combined reach over 20 million viewers every month.

He has led Discovery’s factual and sport portfolio to record growth, recently achieving its best ever quarter for male share in Q1 2020. He was instrumental in the launch of Quest in 2009 and has led it to record successive growth, recently becoming the number one non-PSB owned channel for men.

In 2019, he successfully led the transition of DMAX as a free-to-air brand, strengthening Discovery’s factual and entertainment offering. In 2016, he took over leadership of Eurosport UK which has been supercharged under the ownership of Discovery, signing landmark deals including the Pay-TV rights for the Olympic games till 2024.

Simon joined Discovery in 2008 as the Vice President of Marketing where he was responsible for the UK consumer marketing strategy and brand development across Benelux, Germany, the Nordics and Southern Europe.

Before joining Discovery, he was Head of Marketing and Digital at Channel Five, and Head of Marketing and Communications at MTV Networks UK.

Victoria Noble joined Discovery 13 years ago and is currently Vice President, Original Content, Factual for Discovery.

Based in London, Noble commissions content for Quest, Discovery Channel and dplay. She develops and executive produces some of Discovery’s most successful factual and specialist factual programming for its male-skewing channels, including Discovery Channel which reaches viewers in more than 220 countries and territories around the globe.

Victoria has been instrumental in broadening the reach of Discovery’s brands with the introduction of female faces in traditionally male environments in shows like Goblin Works Garage, a show that goes beyond a focus on cars. She’s also been influential in building a number of successful long-running returning series including Wheeler Dealers, Aussie Gold Hunters, and Salvage Hunters which is currently in its 13th series.

Noble’s recent credits include Ed Stafford: Man Woman Child Wild, Richard Hammond’s BIG, Idris Elba: Fighter, Ed Stafford: First Man Out, Born Mucky: Life on The Farm, Salvage Hunters, spin-off series Salvage Hunters: The Restorers and Salvage Hunters Classic Cars, Aussie Gold Hunters, Outback Opal Hunters, Combat Dealers, Slider: Ice Warrior Challenge, Body Bizarre, Goblin Works Garage, Wheeler Dealers spin-off Wheeler Dealers Dream Car, and Wheeler Dealers Trading Up.

This session will be chaired by Nick Catliff, MD Lion Television

This event is supported by the ScreenSkills Television Skills Fund which invests in training for the freelance television workforce thanks to contributions from the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

It is part of a ScreenSkills programme managed by the Indie Training Fund to support freelancers to upskill and stay connected, helping keep the industry resilient in these difficult times.

This session will take place online via Zoom. Click ‘get ticket’ to reserve your place: you must login or register before you are able to get a ticket for this event. A booking confirmation with a joining link to the session will be sent to you via email.

If you are no longer able to use your ticket, we ask you to please contact support@screenskills.com so that we can release your place. Our sessions are often oversubscribed, so we’d like to give other freelancers the opportunity to fill available spots. Thank you for your consideration.