Serious Lunch’s Genevieve Dexter
By Joanna Padovano Tong
London-based distributor Serious Lunch was founded six years ago by Genevieve Dexter, who also serves as CEO of animation studio Eye Present. The company’s most widely sold property is Operation Ouch!, a live-action factual series that sees twin doctors Chris and Xand help young viewers understand their bodies. The BAFTA-winning Maverick production is headed into its sixth season on CBBC in the U.K. It has been sold to a number of broadcasters worldwide, including ABC, YTV, KiKA, JCCTV and Noga, and has been adapted for DR and NOS.
Serious Lunch CEO Dexter speaks with TV Kids Weekly about the success of Operation Ouch! She also discusses the company’s evolution and what broadcasters look for in a children’s show today.
TV KIDS: How has Serious Lunch evolved since its inception in 2011?
DEXTER: It’s evolved much in the same way as I developed CAKE Entertainment, in that it started off as an executive production company raising money for other people’s projects, and then evolved into a distribution company. So very much the same trajectory except that our IP development and production takes place within the Eye Present animation studio in London, which is a joint venture between Squint/Opera and myself.
TV KIDS: What is the best-selling title in the company’s catalog and why do you think it has been so successful?
DEXTER: The most widely sold property is Operation Ouch!, partly because it’s matured now. It was the first title that I took on [at Serious Lunch] and so you would hope to see that. But also it’s now in production with its sixth season, so it’s proved to be an ongoing brand as opposed to a single series, which is like night and day, really.
I don’t think anybody can say that there’s a show like [Operation Ouch!]. There are many that touch on the same topics—the series is all about the body and how it works—but it’s presented by these incredibly funny and charismatic twin doctors who have a few PhDs between them and who, for example, went to Africa during the Ebola crisis and also went to work in the refugee camps in Calais to study the effects of living long-term in a refugee camp. So they’re very passionate about their subject and we’re just very lucky to have them presenting the show. Not only are they great at their subject, they’re very good at being able to communicate it. The sibling rivalry, especially when they’re experimenting on each other, is pretty funny. We will announce a deal in Germany very shortly, which is exciting.
This interview continues here.
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