It goes without saying that you need to be bold to work in television, but CPL Managing Director Danielle Lux took that advice to the extreme when she carried out a management buyout of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Producers Celador, all while pregnant with her daughter Talia.
Lux studied French and Italian at Oxford before embarking on her television career, where her first job was as a reporter on BBC youth shows. She was promoted to producer just a year later by then-boos Janet Street-Porter.
After a brief flirtation with current affairs working on Dispatches (I was trying to be something that I wasn’t), in 1993 she was appointed Head of Young People’s Entertainment and Children’s at Granada and LWT, before moving to the BBC as Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, and then Channel 4 as Head of Entertainment.
In 2003, Lux was hired by Celador, where as Joint Managing Director, she was tasked with finding the company’s next big hit. She did, in the form of You Are What You Eat, a programme that brought controversial nutritionist Gillian McKeith and colonic irrigations to national attention.
Lux was pregnant with her second child when she was offered the opportunity of a management buyout of Celador in 2005.
Lux jumped at the chance, even though it meant remortgaging her home and bringing her young children along to negotiations.
SI turned up to the lawyer’s office with a pushchair looking like Waynetta Slob in a tracksuit, not knowing if I had brushed my teeth, my hair or neither, she told Television magazine.'Family law?’ they’d ask at the desk. ‘No, corporate.’
Since completing the buyout of Celador, now known as CPL Productions, with long-term business partner Murray Bolands, Lux has overseen the production of hits including ITV’s All Star Mr and Mrs and Sky 1’s A League of Their Own.
Red Arrow bought a controlling stake in Celador in 2012, where Lux continues to work as Joint Managing Director.
Career in brief:
Education: Putney High School; Oxford University (French and Italian)
1987 Reporter, BBC youth shows
1989 Researcher, TVF Productions (Dispatches)
1992 Producer, Planet 24
1993 Head of Young People's Entertainment and Children's, Granada and LWT
1997 Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, BBC
2001 Head of Entertainment, Channel 4
2003 Joint Managing Director, Celador, completing management buyout in 2006.