Banijay backs BlackLight Television

7 June, 2017

Ellen producers Trethowan and Bickerton launch new venture in Banijay scripted push

Banijay Group, the leading creator, producer and distributor of worldwide content, has today announced the addition of new scripted label BlackLight Television to its UK division, marking a renewed focus on the scripted genre for Banijay UK with further announcements expected in the coming months.

BlackLight is founded by Phil Trethowan and Ben Bickerton who bring over twenty years experience in both the broadcast and independent sectors to the new company, having produced award-winning shows such as Being Human, The Curse of Steptoe and most recently Ellen for Channel 4/Touchpaper, winner of Best Single Drama at the Broadcast Awards 2017.

Ellen received widespread critical recognition, including the Writers Guild Award for Best Short Form Drama for debut writer Sarah Quintrell, and most recently receiving a British Academy Television Craft Award for Director Mahalia Belo in the Breakthrough Talent category.

With a history of delivering award-winning and popular television they will be developing ideas for the UK and International market with the UK’s best established writing and directing talent, whilst continuing to help the very best emerging talent find their voice. In 2017 BlackLight Television will be running Channel 4’s Coming Up scheme, as well as producing the new talent scheme 4 Stories, a three-part serial to be written and directed by the best diverse talent in the country.

Ben Bickerton has been working in television drama as a script editor, producer and writer for nearly twenty years. He started his career at Company Television before joining the BBC where he became a producer and an integral part of the BBC in-house development team.  After leaving the BBC Ben worked on several award-winning dramas as both script consultant and creator, including An Englishman in New York (John Hurt) and Excluded (BBC2), before joining Touchpaper in 2014.

Phil Trethowan has worked in TV drama for almost 20 years, script editing, producing and executive producing shows for all the UK broadcasters.  He was executive producer of the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning Being Human, which ran for 5 series (BBC Three/Touchpaper), and last year executive produced the aforementioned Ellen for Touchpaper, where he was Head of Touchpaper Wales.

Trethowan and Bickerton said:
“At BlackLight we want to make television that stands out and has to be watched, dramas that are entertaining, engaging and thought-provoking… We are always excited by the endless possibilities of story-telling.”

Peter Langenberg, COO Banijay Group said:
“We’re thrilled to help bring BlackLight TV into existence as we expand the Banijay UK scripted family; our ambition is to create a thriving entrepreneurial environment for talented people and we are absolutely delighted that Ben and Phil, two of the UK’s leading scripted producers, have decided to be a part of our vision.”

Takis Candilis, Head of Fiction, Banijay Group said:
“The launch of Blacklight TV marks the beginning of Banijay’s expansion in the scripted arena as we significantly increase our capacity to produce drama, not only in our existing territories but also beyond. We’re thrilled to be able to offer all the strength and support of the Banijay Group to new talent such as Blacklight TV.”