Renegade Stories is run by award-winning Producers
of feature documentaries, factual series
and factual dramas.

We are passionate about telling urgent,
empowering and authentic stories.

We are a welcoming home that nurtures both new
voices as well as established talent.


To make award winning feature documentaries and limited series.

To build popular hit shows and brands in the travel, 
adventure, arts, and specialist factual genres.

To make noisy factual dramas.

To spot and develop new talent on and off screen.

To create a collaborative, vibrant and inclusive working culture.


Alex Cooke


CEO & Executive Producer

Alex Cooke co-founded Renegade Pictures and was its CEO and an active director and Executive Producer from its launch. As the company’s CEO she showed commercial acumen and an eye for an opportunity. She had previously co-founded and ran The Big Issue with John Bird.

As well as ensuring that Renegade Pictures was highly profitable, and supervising its sale to Warner Brothers, she also found time at Renegade to direct and produce award-winning documentary singles and series, and drama. Some of her work includes the true-life drama Doing Money for BBC2, Lost At Sea for Channel Doctrine, The Yes Men Fix The World.

As a director she made award winning current affairs films including Closing Guantanamo, Tea Party America and United Gates of America for the BBC. She produced the series Only in America directing episodes Gay Rodeo, The Real 8 Mile, Country Preachers and Fight Club for Discovery/Times and directed the feature documentaries, How Arnold Won The West.

Alex is Chair of the Sheffield Documentary Festival and a former Trustee of The Grierson Trust. She is well known to broadcasters, producers and distributors both in the UK and internationally, with a reputation as a tenacious, creative and innovative leader.

With over 30 years working in film and television, she remains passionate about making ambitious and thought-provoking work.

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Alan Hayling


Editorial Director

Alan Hayling co-founded Renegade Pictures and was the company’s Editorial Director from its launch in 2006. He executive produced some of the company’s most memorable factual output, including The Boys from Baghdad High, Marathon Boy, Drugs Live, and the Queen in 3D.

He had previously been Head of Documentaries at the BBC and a Commissioning Editor in the Documentary department at Channel 4.

At the BBC, he was responsible for a wide range of factual programmes shown across all the BBC’s television channels and co-created Mischief, a six-part investigative series which combined journalism with humour for BBC3. He also originated and executive produced the multi-awarding winning documentary Children of Beslan.

In between his time at Channel 4 and the BBC Alan was Editorial Director at Mentorn, one of the UK’s largest factual producers. There he initiated international formats including Britain’s Worst Driver, the reality show Paradise Hotel for Fox and the fact based dramas The Government Inspector and The Hamburg Cell for Channel 4 & HBO.

At Channel 4 Alan commissioned the strands Secret History, Secret Lives, Football Stories and Undercover Britain as well as a range of documentary series and single films. During that time he worked closely with some of top filmmakers in the field including Errol Morris (Dr Death), Phil Agland (Shanghai Vice), Molly Dineen (Geri), and Michael Moore (The Awful Truth and Bowling for Columbine).

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Livia Simoka


Creative Director

Livia Simoka is an award winning, BAFTA nominated film-maker who works both behind and in front of the camera. She met Alan and Alex at Renegade Pictures where they worked together for over a decade.

During that time Livia developed, produced, directed and executive produced a whole host of nonscripted television, from observational documentaries to natural history and specialist factual programming.

Some of her most treasured shows include Channel 4’s award winning documentary series The Tribe, the returnable Channel 5 hit Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild as well as The Great Polar Bear Feast (C4 / PBS) and Return of the Mammoth (C4/ Discovery).

With a passion for adventure, anthropology and immersing herself in remote locations, Livia presented Channel 4’s Extreme Tribe: The Last Pygmies, which saw her live with a hunter-gatherer tribe in the Congo for 5 months.

Most recently she had an ambitious natural history feature documentary commissioned.

When she’s not cooking up new TV shows Livia can be found at her house in Lamu, Kenya, which she built as her lockdown hobby.

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