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Neame at an event for Downton Abbey cast and creators, May 2014

Gareth Elwin Neame OBE (born 8 March 1967) is a British Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning television producer and executive. He was the executive producer of the worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey, and originally proposed the idea to its writer/creator Julian Fellowes[1] As an executive at the BBC, Neame was responsible for bringing a new wave of popular dramas to the screen including Spooks (MI5), State of Play, Hustle and New Tricks. Neame’s strategy significantly enhanced the independent production sector as a source of quality and commercial scripted television programmes.


Early lifeEdit

Neame is the fourth generation of a family that has made a significant contribution to cinema and television over the past century.[2] His great-grandparents were the photographer and pioneer filmmaker Elwin Neame (1885-1923) and the film actress Ivy Close (1890-1968). Neame’s grandfather was the director, producer, cinematographer and writer Ronald Neame CBE (1911-2010), his great uncle was the author and screenwriter Derek Neame (1915-1979) and his father was the writer and producer Christopher Elwin Neame (1942-2011).

He attended the independent Seaford College in West Sussex.[3] He read English and Drama at the University of Birmingham.


Since 2004, he has been Managing Director of Carnival Films, the respected British studio which has produced popular television series such as Poirot, Traffik, Jeeves and Wooster, Hotel Babylon and Whitechapel. In 2008, Neame sold the company to NBCUniversal[4] as the cornerstone of its new international TV studios, producing shows such as The Philanthropist for NBC and the highly successful series Downton Abbey.[5] Neame executive produced all episodes of the show which has won numerous national and international awards, as well as receiving a Guinness World Record for the highest critical review ratings for a TV show ever. Neame was also honoured by The Producer's Guild of America with the David L. Wolper award for outstanding producer of long-form television. Under Neame’s stewardship, Carnival also produced the BAFTA award winning best mini series The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, and best drama serial Any Human Heart and was recognised at both the Broadcast awards and Bulldog awards as best production company in 2011 and 2012 respectively. In August 2015 Neame accepted a BAFTA Special Award in recognition of Downton Abbey's outstanding global success, alongside Julian Fellowes and members of the cast.[6]

Neame was named by GQ magazine as one of the 100 most connected men in Britain in March 2014 [7] and in December 2014 was announced by 10 Downing Street as an Ambassador of the GREAT Britain campaign.[8] Neame has also been interviewed as part of the Archive of American Television,[9] and has been listed in the Variety 500 index of most influential business leaders in the global entertainment industry [10].

Personal lifeEdit

Neame was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to drama.[11]

When Neame discovered that a portrait of his great-grandmother Ivy Close - which had been painted by Sir Arthur Hacker after she won the Daily Mirror's contest to find the World's Most Beautiful Woman, exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, and used to fill the newspaper's front page on 4 May 1908 - was in the collection of the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull but not on display because it required restoration, he paid for the necessary work.[12]

Neame is a Life Patron of The Landmark Trust and through his charitable foundation supports many causes including Together for Short Lives, music and drama scholarships, youth organisations, and the arts and veterans.


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  2. ^ Wilson, Stacey (June 19, 2013). "Emmy Roundtable with the Cast and Crew of 'Downton Abbey'" (video interview). The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  3. ^ "news". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  4. ^ Neate, Rupert (August 21, 2008). "NBC Universal snaps up Carnival Films". The Telegraph. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  5. ^ Philiana Ng (Jul 31, 2011). "'Downton Abbey': What to Expect From the Second Season". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
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  8. ^!/latest
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  11. ^ "No. 61608". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2016. p. B14.
  12. ^ Youngs, Ian (14 January 2017). "Britain's first beauty queen Ivy Close is back in the frame". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 14 January 2017.

External linksEdit