Sarah Doole Dies: Respected British Exec & Former Fremantle Global Drama Boss Was 63

Sarah Doole, the respected British drama exec whose credits included The Young Pope, My Brilliant Friend and Deutschland 83, has died of cancer. She was 63.

The announcement was made by Anton, the Paddington producer-financier that Doole joined last year to run its London-based TV operation. She was previously CEO of It’s a Sin producer Red Production Company and, before that, Director of Global Drama at Fremantle.

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Fremantle Group CEO Jennifer Mullin said: “Those who had the pleasure of working with Sarah will know that she was a true creative, and a driving force. Her passion and her energy had no limits. She helped lay the strong foundations of our Global Drama business and was a brilliant leader. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.”

Anton TV head Sangeeta Desai added: “Since her death, tributes have poured in from across the globe and I am overwhelmed by the number of people within the industry who have remarked on how she supported them and lifted them up in their careers. That sums up Sarah to a tee – she was a builder – a builder of content, people and companies, and she never looked for any recognition or commendation in return.  She was the best colleague and friend that I could have asked for and I will miss her tremendously.”

Doole was a popular British drama exec who held some of the biggest jobs in UK production and had a reputation for being easy to work with and kind.

She went to Cambridge University on a scholarship before moving into TV as a programme researcher at Yorkshire Television.

From there, she worked her way up the ladder first at BBC Worldwide (now BBC Studios), where she was instrumental in deals with the likes of King’s Speech and Top of the Lake producer See-Saw Films.

She moved to Fremantle as Creative Director for Global Drama in 2013 and was promoted soon after. During her tenure, she worked across huge European hits such as The Young Pope, My Brilliant Friend and Deutschland 83 as she cemented a reputation as a talent spotter.

Doole stepped back from her Fremantle role in 2020 and launched a talent incubator, Sow the Seed, before moving on to run Studiocanal-backed It’s a Sin indie Red following the departure of Nicola Shindler. She delivered shows including Netflix’s Harlan Coben adaptation Stay Close and ITV’s No Return.

She joined Paddington financier Anton around a year ago and was forging a TV slate with Desai.

Doole is survived by her husband Chris.

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