Banijay Rights today announces BritBox UK, available as part of ITVX Premium, has acquired Fat Friends, the renowned Kay Mellor comedy-drama that first aired on British TV screens 23 years ago.
Produced by Mellor’s Rollem Productions (The Syndicate, In the Club, A Passionate Woman) in association with Tiger Aspect Productions (a Banijay UK company) and Yorkshire Television, Fat Friends debuted on ITV1 in 2000 and follows the lives of a group of Leeds-based slimming club members and their attempts to lose weight.
With an ensemble cast featuring Alison Steadman, Gaynor Faye, Ruth Jones, James Corden and Josie Lawrence, the series went on to be nominated for two BAFTA TV Awards: Best Drama Series and Best Actress for Steadman.
Following a launch on BritBox Australia, BritBox UK has acquired all four seasons of Fat Friends from Banijay Rights, which handles global distribution for the series. The agreement was brokered just a year after Kay Mellor passed away, aged 71.
Chris Stewart, SVP Sales, UK and Eire Banijay Rights, who negotiated the deal with BritBox UK, said:“With incredible writing from Kay Mellor and a cast featuring established actors and soon-to-be stars, Fat Friends was one of those once-in-a-generation shows that simply galvanised the UK nation. A year on from Kay’s untimely death, this deal with BritBox will ensure a whole new generation of viewers get to enjoy her work.”
Yvonne Francas-Mellor, Managing Director, and Gaynor Mellor, Creative Director at Rollem Productions, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Banijay Rights for the first time and have found the right home for the distribution of Fat Friends. It’s wonderful that Kay’s work continues to be enjoyed by audiences across the world, shining a spotlight on Leeds and Yorkshire where Rollem has its home and continues to produce content.”
Kully Kaur-Bains, ITVX Editorial Manager, said: “We are very much looking forward to bringing this beloved series back to audiences in the UK, and continuing our relationship with the great team at Banijay.”