Noel Tovey named as managing director at Sky Studios Elstree and first production announced as Wicked

Sky Studios Elstree managing director Noel Tovey

Noel Tovey has been appointed to the role of managing director at Sky Studios Elstree in Hertfordshire - Credit: © Sky UK Limited.

Sky have announced that Noel Tovey has been appointed managing director at Sky Studios Elstree, Hertfordshire's new state-of-the-art film and TV studio.

In this new role, Mr Tovey will take on overall responsibility for the management of Sky Studios Elstree as it becomes the Hertsmere home to a range of productions from Sky and NBCUniversal when it opens later this year.

Sky Studios Elstree

Sky Studios Elstree have announced the first production to film on site as Wicked, the feature-film adaptation of the record-breaking musical phenomenon. - Credit: © Sky UK Limited.

With 13 sound stages across 27.5 acres, the new studio complex, just off the A1 in Borehamwood, is set to attract £3bn of new production investment to the UK over the next five years alone, creating 2,000 new production jobs along the way.

A Sky spokesperson confirmed the studios are on track "to be operationally open with a few sound stages soon" and then "fully open in the autumn".

Earlier this week, it was also confirmed that Universal Pictures’ Wicked, starring Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo, will be the first production to take up residence at Sky Studios Elstree.

Prior to joining Sky, Mr Tovey held senior leadership roles at three of the UK’s world-leading studio facilities – Pinewood, Warner Bros. Leavesden and Shepperton Studios.

Noel Tovey has been named as MD of Sky Studios Elstree

Noel Tovey has been named as MD of Sky Studios Elstree - Credit: Sky

The new Sky Studios Elstree MD said: “Sky have been making waves in the industry since first announcing Sky Studios Elstree back in 2019. The fresh perspective and ambition meant I could not pass up this opportunity.

"I look forward to working with the talented team already in place and officially open the doors soon.”

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Most recently VP Sales at Leavesden in Herts, Mr Tovey has over 30 years’ experience in the industry, helping to develop Pinewood’s international expansion as well as overseeing operations and client services at Shepperton.

Sky Studios chief operating officer Caroline Cooper said: “Noel has a vast range of experience within the industry and a deep knowledge of what productions want and need.

"I am delighted he’s joined Sky to lead our brilliant and growing team as we prepare to launch Sky Studios Elstree, the UK’s newest studio, later this year.”

Sky Studios Elstree

Sky Studios Elstree - Credit: © Sky UK Limited.

The broader senior leadership roles at Sky Studios Elstree also include the recently appointed Tom Avison as director of operations and Roger Ferrin as director of client services.

Alongside the ambition to become the world’s most sustainable film and TV studio, Sky Studios Elstree is also becoming a state-of-the-art training ground for talent and will work to develop the next generation of film and TV talent.

Through Sky’s Content Academy, the Studio is currently recruiting school leavers or recent graduates to take up 12 new, year-long, fully-paid roles across its client services, operations and production services teams.

In addition, a ground-breaking talent and training partnership was announced last week through Sky’s sister company, NBCUniversal, in collaboration with The Mayor of London and Film London.

The traineeships form part of the ‘Below-the-Line’ initiative and will give young Londoners from underrepresented communities the opportunity to work behind-the-camera on high-end NBCU productions, including Wicked.

The feature-film adaptation of Wicked will feature Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba. John M Chu (In The Heights, Crazy Rich Asians) is set to direct.