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SBS Appoints Bethan Arwel-Lewis Commissioning Editor, Factual

SBS Australia has announced the appointment of Bethan Arwel-Lewis as Commissioning Editor, Factual, joining SBS’s award-winning Unscripted commissioning team.

Arwel-Lewis will work across original factual commissioning for SBS, bringing more than 20 years of experience to the role, having worked on a diverse range of projects for major networks in Australia including SBS, ABC and Seven, and in the United Kingdom with Channel 4 and the BBC. Her career has included a number of senior production roles working with leading production companies, across a host of award-winning documentary series and factual formats.

As Commissioning Editor of Factual, she’ll commission and oversee delivery of innovative, engaging, entertaining and distinctive content for SBS, exploring the diversity of contemporary, multicultural Australia. As a member of SBS’s Unscripted team, she’ll contribute to SBS’s reputation for compelling and impactful factual series, as SBS prepares to deliver its biggest ever locally commissioned original program offering across the network in 2023.

Arwel-Lewis comes to SBS most recently from Southern Pictures where she was Series Producer on the AACTA Award winning documentary series, Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked (ABC). Among the other award-winning projects she has series produced are Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds (Endemol Shine for the ABC) which collected the AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program in 2021 and was also the GRAND Award winner at New York Festivals, and Murder in the Outback: The Falconio and Lees Mystery (Cordell Jigsaw for Seven and Channel 4) which also picked up the AACTA Award for Best Documentary or Factual Program in 2020. She was also Series Producer for SBS’s Look Me in the Eye, and prior to coming to Australia, worked with the Welsh language broadcaster S4C – a language she speaks – where roles included Series Producer on Welsh language documentary series Iolo ac Indiaid America (Iolo’s Native American Journey).

Joseph Maxwell, Head of SBS Unscripted, said: “We’re so thrilled to have Bethan joining the team, bringing her extensive experience, creativity and natural flair for authentic storytelling to our unscripted offering at SBS. Having worked across such a diverse collection of distinctive and award-winning series, both here in Australia and in the UK, Bethan’s got a track record of stories that connect with audiences and, coupled with her passion for the work we do at SBS, will be a great asset as we continue to explore new ways to surprise and delight Australians through our original factual programming.”

Arwel-Lewis added: “SBS is renowned for its distinctive documentaries and factual series which have shown to have the power to provoke meaningful debate and trigger change, something I am very passionate about. It’s a privilege to be able to play a role in sharing these important stories with Australians, and I’m looking forward to working with this respected team as we engage audiences with programs that challenge, explore and celebrate contemporary Australia.”

Having worked in the TV industry for 20 years, Bethan has been responsible for multiple award-winning documentary series and factual formats, both in Australia and in the United Kingdom. She has worked extensively with major international networks making a wide variety of programs including large fixed-camera productions, authored documentaries, formatted and factual entertainment shows.

As the speaker of a minority language, Welsh, Bethan started her career making programs for the Welsh language broadcaster S4C and has gone on to have a strong track record for making distinctive and thought-provoking documentaries. This has been recognised with her recent accolades, having won an AACTA award for ‘Best Factual Program’ for the past three years running – in 2020 for the documentary series Murder in the Outback for Seven/Channel 4 UK, in 2021 for ABC series Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, and in 2022 for Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked for the ABC.

She commences with SBS on 16 January.


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