Tag Archive: Banijay UK

  1. Conker Pictures to open Belfast base

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    Conker Pictures, the scripted start up from ex BBC Commissioning Editor Tommy Bulfin and ex Apple TV+ Drama Commissioner Kim Varvell, is to open an office in Northern Ireland, Conker Pictures NI.

    Building on their experience of working in the Nations & Regions on high profile dramas (Tommy commissioned the hit Belfast based police drama Blue Lights when he was at the BBC), their ambition is to make contemporary and original series, with global appeal, from Northern Ireland working with local writers, talent and crews.

    The London office will remain the company headquarters, with the new central Belfast office launching next month. Tommy will be based in London, while Kim is relocating to Belfast. However, the Co-MDs will continue to oversee the business jointly.

    Kim Varvell said: “I am hugely excited to be relocating to Belfast and to be opening Conker’s first regional office. Professionally, the region is teeming with creativity, inspiring story tellers and incredible talent. Personally, I am going to be incredibly proud to call Belfast my home. We can’t wait to get going and are grateful for the support and advice of Northern Ireland Screen and the BBC in helping us make this move.”

    Tommy Bulfin added: “I have had the good fortune to work on many productions in Northern Ireland and I have always been blown away by the talent and professionalism on show there. Having a base in Belfast will allow Conker to really make roots in the region and nurture creative relationships. Northern Ireland is home to some of the very best crews and creative talent in the industry. I am very excited by the potential and know that Irish stories and talent will resonate worldwide.”

    Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen commented: “As the TV/Drama sector locally goes from strength to strength, we are delighted to welcome Conker Pictures to Northern Ireland, under the esteemed leadership of Tommy Bulfin and Kim Varvell. Their combined experience in commissioning high-profile dramas and their commitment to cultivating local talent will undoubtedly bolster opportunities for our local writers, talent, and crews.”

    With support from Northern Ireland Screen and the BBC, Conker Pictures NI is recruiting a Development Assistant Trainee to work from Belfast. Applications are now open here https://northernirelandscreen.getgotjobs.co.uk/listings

    Conker Pictures launched in April 2023 with backing from Banijay UK.

  2. Banijay UK Acquires Caryn Mandabach Productions, Prolific Producers of Critically Acclaimed Global Hit ‘Peaky Blinders’

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    Banijay UK has today announced its acquisition of independent scripted production company Caryn Mandabach Productions Limited (CMP). The company, founded by award-winning producer Caryn Mandabach produces the BAFTA-winning global, hit drama series and brand, “Peaky Blinders”.

    Mandabach, whose list of credits is extensive, will pivot to a first-look development and producer agreement with Banijay UK under her newly formed Conduit Productions umbrella.

    Under the agreement, CMP’s slate of projects and back catalogue transfers to Banijay UK. Moving forward, the group will manage all future series, spin-offs, and brand ventures resulting from that IP including the recently announced Peaky Blinders movie greenlit by Netflix (which Mandabach remains attached to as a producer alongside Steven Knight, Cillian Murphy and Guy Heeley). CMP’s Creative Director Jamie Glazebrook will remain in post with the company, which will continue to operate, post-acquisition, under the new name of Garrison Drama Limited. Banijay Rights will continue to distribute and exploit existing and new programmes produced by Garrison Drama Limited.

    Prior to starting CMP in the UK, Mandabach developed and produced seminal hits “The Cosby Show”, “Roseanne”, “3rd Rock From The Sun,” “That ’70s Show” and “Nurse Jackie” in the U.S.

    Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK, said; “Caryn Mandabach is one of the legends of the UK/US drama markets and Banijay has been hugely privileged to work with her over the years (through Peaky Blinders co producer Tiger Aspect and via Banijay Rights), especially on the global phenomenon that is ‘Peaky Blinders’. Steve Knight’s truly unique vision found a similarly maverick spirit in producer partner Caryn and the series redefined TV drama.  We are so excited to be announcing that Caryn’s company, CMP, is being fully acquired by Banijay, and are delighted that she’s agreed to a separate development deal with us and we look forward to future collaborations”. He added: “Steve has plans for future chapters of the ‘Peaky Blinders’ universe and CMP’s other development projects will also come to Banijay as part of the deal.  Jamie Glazebrook will continue to work across this slate.”

    Mandabach said: “As a serial entrepreneur, I have fortunately been able to help conjure up and maintain rights in hits that resonate with global audiences. ‘Peaky’ was such a show.  And imagine my delight in being able to work with Cillian Murphy for ten years!”

    She added: “I know that Patrick and everyone at Banijay are fully aware of the power of this franchise, and they will continue to expand upon the intrinsic value of this uniquely wonderful IP. With Conduit, I look forward to partnering with Banijay on new and equally thrilling ventures.”

    “Peaky Blinders,” written by Steven Knight, is the multi-award-winning, epic gangster drama set in the lawless streets of Birmingham over a period spanning the end of World War One to the early 1930s. Series 1 aired on BBC Two on 13 September 2013 and debuted on Netflix a year later. It moved to BBC One in 2019 for its fifth series with the sixth and final series launching on BBC One/ iPlayer in February 2022 and on Netflix June 2022.

    Banijay UK label Tiger Aspect, has worked alongside CMP as a coproducer for all six series.

    The deal was orchestrated by Patrick Holland for Banijay UK, part of content powerhouse, Banijay Entertainment, with Simon Muirhead Burton LLP steering the deal to conclusion, as instructed by Banijay UK General Counsel Jacqueline Moreton.  CAA Evolution, DLA Piper, Gina Marcheschi for 6th St Creative, and Nicole Finnan for CMP and Mandabach.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

  3. The next great music group will be formed sight unseen in Building the Band (w/t)

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    Netflix commissions Building the Band (w/t), a brand new music competition show from Remarkable Entertainment (part of Banijay UK).

    Building the Band (w/t) brings together 50 of the most talented singers for a truly unique competition show where building the perfect band is all about chemistry. The singers are in complete control as they seek to form their very own bands without ever seeing each other. All they have to go on is musical compatibility, connection, chemistry and merit. What will happen when the bands finally meet and… looks, choreography, and style come into play? Incredible performances, compelling drama and one big goal: find the next great music band

    The series was created by Remarkable Entertainment Director of Development Simon Crossley and joint MD Cat Lawson, who also acts as Executive Producer alongside US showrunner Alison Holloway. The series Executive Producers are Katrina Morrison & Clara Elliot with Series Editor Milly Fraser.

    Director of Production for Remarkable is Susan King and Production Executive is Sophie Bowdery with Casting Executive Producer Helen Finnimore.

    Remarkable Entertainment is a Banijay UK company

  4. Surgeons: At The Edge Of Life Commissioned For Further Two Series

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    BBC Factual and BBC Scotland have commissioned a further two series of award-winning medical documentary Surgeons: At The Edge of Life from Dragonfly Film and TV (part of Banijay UK), following its recent successful run on BBC Two and iPlayer.

    The new series will be filmed in Edinburgh and The Lothians at some of the region’s leading centres of medical excellence – NHS Lothian’s The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital and St. John’s Hospital.

    With unprecedented access to surgeons, anaesthetists, theatre staff and patients, the series will once again offer a unique insight into to the innovative and cutting-edge surgeries taking place on the frontline of medical science.

    Series six, which recently broadcast on BBC Two and iPlayer, consistently performed well. The 28-day figure for episode 1 is 2.5m, well above the average for Factual on BBC Two. A high proportion (around one fifth) of its audience watch via iPlayer, while it performs above average with 16-34s.

    Sreya Biswas, Head of BBC Commissioning, Natural History said: Surgeons: At the Edge of Life is a key brand for BBC Specialist Factual and has continued to grow audiences across BBC Two and iPlayer, showcasing boundary pushing surgery, and the incredible medical teams who make it possible. Deep diving into the most complex surgical procedures is what makes the brand so special. It is very exciting to be co-commissioning with BBC Scotland and to be based in Edinburgh for the coming series.

    David Harron, BBC Scotland said: “BBC Scotland is delighted to be bringing Surgeons: At the Edge of Life to Scotland. It is a compelling series and these next two series will bring audiences unique insight into the work of some of Scotland’s top medical teams, shining a light on the dedication and skills employed in theatres every day.”

    Richard Bond, Managing Director of Dragonfly said: “After successfully transferring production of Ambulance to Dragonfly North in Manchester, I’m thrilled that the BBC have supported us in moving Surgeons to Scotland with this bumper two series order, and I can’t wait to see how it evolves under the stewardship of our new and fantastically talented local production team.”

    Surgeons: At the Edge of Life is made by Dragonfly Film and TV for BBC Two and iPlayer. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual. The BBC Commissioning Editors are Sreya Biswas, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and David Harron for BBC Scotland. The Executive Producers for Dragonfly Film and TV are Ros Ponder and Ross Harper.

  5. 100 players, only one winner – ITV commissions brand new gameshow – 99 To Beat

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    ITV1 and ITVX has commissioned Initial (part of Banijay UK) – the production company behind Celebrity Big BrotherBig BrotherSoccer Aid and Tenable – to produce a brand-new gameshow, 99 to Beat.

    Already successful in seven countries with multiple series in Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Poland, 99 To Beat is the gameshow that anyone can win, but there’s one rule that players must follow if they’re to be in with a chance of walking away with the cash prize – Don’t. Come. Last.

    The eight-part series starts with 100 contestants, and viewers will follow as players go head-to-head in a range of visually distinctive and often hilarious games. After each round, the number of players is gradually whittled down, with only one person taking the top prize.

    Whether it’s trying to find a dummy hidden in a vat of jelly or putting on a frozen t-shirt, the only aim of the game is to not come last. If they do, they’re out.

    Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning ITV said:99 To Beat brings 100 people together to set upon this extraordinary game where there is really only one rule, Don’t Come Last. As the contestants compete they also form tight bonds and as they get to know each other, we get to see who plays well, who buckles under the pressure and who has lasting power.”

    Katy Manley, MD of Initial, said: “We are really excited about 99 To Beat. What’s brilliant about it is that anyone has a real shot at winning. Whether you’re 18 or 80, players don’t need to be experts in one particular skill. Winning is not important – it’s not coming last that counts! The human stories that sit alongside the gameplay will provide heart, humour and drama throughout.”

    99 To Beat is an Initial (part of Banijay UK) production for ITV. It was commissioned by Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning ITV and Kevin O’Brien, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment Commissioning ITV. Katy Manley is Executive Producer for Initial, alongside Paula Thomas.

    In a deal struck with Belgium distributor Primitives, Banijay represents the format in three English-language territories. 99 To Beat is a format developed by Belgium broadcaster VRT and production company De Chinezen.

  6. Zeppotron signs development deal with David Earl and Joe Wilkinson

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    Zeppotron, a Banijay UK company, has signed an exclusive development deal with David Earl and Joe Wilkinson’s production company, Big Oval Plate. The two-year deal will see the comedians work with Zeppotron to develop new unscripted television formats.

    David and Joe are frequent collaborators having created, written and starred in the sitcoms Rovers (Sky One), The Cockfields (Gold & BBC2) and working together on screen in 3 series of Ricky Gervais’ After Life (Netflix).  David also co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed 2022 comedy drama film Brian and Charles, while Joe’s numerous acting credits include both Sex Education(Netflix) and Him and Her (BBC3).

    In 2020 the pair launched their production company Big Oval Plate, through which they produce and host their successful podcast series Chatabix.

    Working with the team at Zeppotron, David and Joe will develop funny non-scripted formats from travelogues to factual entertainment and reality shows.  Joe has a long-standing relationship with Zeppotron, having first appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats in 2011 and been a key cast member on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown since its inception.

    Ruth Phillips, Co-Managing Director of Zeppotron said; “As well as being brilliant comedic performers and writers, Joe and David are also blessed with wonderfully inventive minds and an astute knack for coming up with unusual, funny ideas that nevertheless have a big, mainstream sensibility.   We’ve loved working with (and laughing with) Joe for many years on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and can’t wait to now join forces with both him and David to make great programmes together.”

    David Earl said: I’m very chuffed to be working with Zeppotron. The fact that me and Joe can now come up with stupid ideas for TV and they have to at least be polite and listen to them is a lovely feeling. I do hope they remain patient with us though.”

    Joe Wilkinson added; “I am very very very excited to be collaborating with the Zeppotron. It’s been a joy to work with them over the last ten years on some of their brilliant shows. They are so fantastic at making ideas come to life and I’m really looking forward to having more fun with them on some new ideas.”

  7. Banijay UK signs development deal with Create Anything

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    Banijay UK has signed a two-year deal with Glasgow-based production company Create Anything, that will see Banijay UK labels Workerbee (Manchester based) and The Comedy Unit (Glasgow based) team up with the indie to develop and produce unscripted and scripted content.

    Established in 2019, Create Anything was founded by Bafta nominated, black filmmaker and director Stewart Kyasimire. His ground-breaking work on the BBC documentary Black and Scottish with Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who) received two Bafta nominations. Through his leadership and activism, Stewart has been instrumental in transforming Create Anything into a prominent Scottish production company, specialising in both scripted and unscripted content.

    Other recent Create Anything projects include The Wedding (BBC), Bash The Entertainer: Behind The Smile (BBC Scotland) and Black & Scottish (BBC Scotland).

    Patrick Holland, CEO and Executive Chairman of Banijay UK, said: “Stewart is a hugely talented filmmaker and champion of underrepresented voices. Pairing his passion and energy with the brilliant teams at Workerbee and The Comedy Unit is a hugely exciting prospect, and I can’t wait to see the results.”

    Stewart Kyasimire, MD of Create Anything, added: “This development deal with Banijay UK opens up an incredible new opportunity for Create Anything in Scripted and Unscripted. Our goal as a company is to push the boundaries of diverse, multi-platform and multi-genre content, so with the support of Banijay UK we’re excited to bring forward a new slate of drama docs, entertainment and impactful dramas to international audiences. Working with Banijay as the Series Director for Amazon Prime’s ‘Four Kings’ confirmed that we would have a great working relationship. I’m excited to see what the future holds for us.”

    Rick Murray, CEO Workerbee Group, said: “Stewart is a creative visionary, something we discovered while making our upcoming Four Kings project for Amazon. With this deal Workerbee are excited to develop a slate of unscripted titles with Create Anything that utilise their skills in both feature and drama documentaries.”

    Rab Christie, MD The Comedy Unit, added: “At the Comedy Unit we are big fans of Create Anything and thrilled to be collaborating with Stewart Kyasimire and his team. It’s terrific to be working with top talent in Scotland and we’re very excited about a range of projects in the pipeline.”

  8. David Tennant to front ITV’s Genius Game

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    BAFTA and Emmy award-winning actor, David Tennant is inviting the country’s most brilliant minds to take part in the ultimate TV challenge.

    Genius Game is a brand-new reality game show that will see strategically minded players, chosen not just for their high intellectual prowess but also their social IQ, face the ultimate battle of survival. To win, contestants will participate in a host of never before seen games all designed to not only test their intellectual acumen but encourage them to carefully and creatively use the art of manipulation to outfox their opponents and win a cash prize.

    Produced by Remarkable Entertainment (part of Banijay UK), viewers will see David take on the role of The Creator in the eight-part series which originates from South Korea, and guide players as they attempt to navigate each uniquely crafted challenge. But who has what it takes to deceive, collude & outsmart their opponents to become the first UK winner of ‘Genius Game’?

    Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment at ITV, said: “This exciting reality format is designed to keep not just the players but the audience on the edge of their seats with each episode containing compelling gameplay and thrilling twists. David Tenant is the perfect ringmaster to preside over this battle of brainpower, teamwork and deception. We’re delighted to be bringing Genius Game to the ITV audience.”

    Tamara Gilder, joint MD of Remarkable added: “We are so thrilled that David will be guiding the players through the twists & turns of the show. There’s nothing quite like Genius Game, it’s smart & funny – just like he is – he’s the perfect frontman.”

    Genius Game is commissioned by Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment at ITV and Joe Mace, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment Commissioning, ITV. Tamara Gilder is Executive Producer for Remarkable Entertainment (a Banijay UK Company) alongside Kelly Lynn and Anna Kidd. Remarkable Entertainment is run by Joint MDs Tamara Gilder and Cat Lawson. Genius Game is represented by Banijay across eleven international markets including the UK, Germany, Iberia, Mexico, Brazil, Israel and the Nordics.

    Genius Game was originally created by leading entertainment company CJ ENM that is known for creating hit formats that travel globally.

  9. Banijay’s Location, Location, Location Lands First Season in New Zealand

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    Screentime New Zealand today announces it will adapt the property format Location, Location, Location in association with AA Insurance. Originally created by Banijay UK’s IWC, the widely popular long-running series has been commissioned by TVNZ and will air in New Zealand for the first time, marking the seventh version of the property powerhouse.

    Captivating audiences with its unique blend of real estate expertise and heartfelt storytelling is an international success. The UK leads the charge maintaining high ratings across its 28 seasons for Channel 4, Denmark follows with 14 seasons for TV2, and just last year, Australia enjoyed a successful reboot for Network 10.

    Philly de Lacey, CEO of Screentime New Zealand comments: “The launch of this iconic format in New Zealand will ignite conversations around the property market as house-hunters seek out their perfect home, whether upsizing, downsizing, or first-time buying. Partnering with AA Insurance brings together a premium sponsor with this classically warm format and is testament to its universal appeal.”

    Lucas Green, Chief Content Officer, Operations at Banijay says: “With its proven returnability and longevity, Location, Location, Location is an enduring success with audiences and broadcasters worldwide. This tried and tested format is still relevant in today’s ever-changing market, expertly blending entertainment with property insights.”

    With the casting announcement underway, AA Insurance Location, Location, Location is looking for eager house-hunters in search of the perfect property. The addition of this title is complementary to Screentime New Zealand’s impressive catalogue, which boasts award-winning drama, documentary, and factual entertainment series. Among its hits are MasterChef New Zealand, Eat Well For Less, and Police Ten 7, as well as hit travelling drama, The Gulf.

  10. BBC announces new Richard Gadd drama Lions (w/t)

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    The BBC has commissioned Lions (working title), an original six-part drama about two men across the decades, written and created by the multi award-winning writer and performer Richard Gadd (Baby Reindeer, Code 404). Set and filmed in and around Glasgow, the series is made by Mam Tor Productions (a Banijay UK company) for BBC One, BBC Scotland and BBC iPlayer.

    When Niall’s estranged ‘brother’ Ruben shows up at his wedding, it leads to an explosion of violence that catapults us back through their lives. Spanning almost forty years from the 1980s to the present day, this ambitious series will cover the highs and lows of the brothers’ relationship, from them meeting as teenagers to their falling out as adults – with all the good, bad, terrible, funny, angry, and challenging moments along the way. It will capture the wild energy of a changing city – a changing world, even – and try to get to the bottom of the difficult question… What does it mean to be a man?

    Creator and writer Richard Gadd says: “When I first started talking about this project with the wonderful Tally Garner and Morven Reid, it was love at first sight. For them, anyway. I kept it purely professional. I am absolutely thrilled to be working with them in bringing Ruben and Niall to the screen alongside Lindsay Salt, Gaynor Holmes, and the incredible BBC team. It is a dream come true to be part of such a historic broadcaster with a reputation for bringing the best comedy and drama (and comedy-drama for that matter) to our screens. A dream which will likely wear off when it comes to tight writing deadlines and rainy shooting days on the streets of Glasgow. Just joking. I have never been happier to work on anything in my life and I would like to thank Tally, Morven, and Gaynor for everything – as well as the inimitable Lindsay Salt who has always been my biggest champion and to whom I will always owe a great debt of gratitude.”

    Tally Garner, executive producer for Mam Tor productions, says: “My fellow exec Morven Reid and I are unbelievably excited to be embarking on the journey of making the extraordinarily multi-talented Richard Gadd’s new show. Richard has that rare gift of creating characters who challenge your senses while stealing your heart, and in Ruben and Niall he has created something very special. We can’t wait to watch as director Alexandra Brodski brings them to life. Enormous thanks to the wonderful Lindsay Salt and Gaynor Holmes for their tireless support, and for allowing Ruben and Niall to steal their hearts too.”

    Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says: “Richard Gadd’s hugely imaginative, one-of-a-kind exploration of Niall, Ruben, and their intertwining lives is bold and brilliant storytelling that will make you sit up and lean in. This is a relationship you really haven’t seen before, and we can’t wait to unpack it across six surprising, moving, funny, highly original episodes.”

    Louise Thornton, Head of Commissioning for BBC Scotland, says: “We’re delighted to be working with our BBC colleagues and Screen Scotland on this truly innovative drama. Richard’s writing for stage and for screen has always been visceral, dynamic and captivating and Lions’ youthful exploration of modern manhood is sexy, sad and shocking in equal measure. BBC Scotland is always looking for distinctive talent and projects to support and in Lions we’ve come on board with something very special.”

    Kieran Hannigan, Head of Scripted at Screen Scotland: “We are incredibly excited to be supporting this brilliant new show, Richard is an extraordinary and compelling talent and it’s fantastic that he is teaming up with the wonderful team at Mam Tor and the BBC.”

    Lions (w/t, 6×45) was commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, and is created and written by Richard Gadd. The lead director is Alexandra Brodski (Somewhere Boy, Rivals) and the producer is Wendy Griffin (Limbo, The Lost King). Executive producers are Tally Garner and Morven Reid for Mam Tor Productions, Richard Gadd, and Gaynor Holmes for the BBC with Gavin Smith for BBC Scotland. Lions (w/t) is supported by Screen Scotland, and Banijay Rights will distribute the series internationally.

  11. BBC Three announces We Go Again (w/t) from Janice Okoh

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    The BBC has commissioned new drama We Go Again (working title) from award-winning writer Janice Okoh (Sanditon, Hetty Feather). The six-part series is based on Janice’s play Three Birds, winner of the prestigious Bruntwood Playwriting Prize, and is made for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer by The Forge Entertainment (The Buccaneers, Help, Ackley Bridge), a Banijay UK Company.

    We Go Again (w/t) is a comedy drama about three stubbornly optimistic siblings with a dark secret. When their mum disappears, they will do anything to keep it quiet so they can stay together as a family, but – as feistily resilient and fiercely loyal as they are – can they really outwit the authorities and carry on with life under the radar?

    We Go Again (w/t) is an irreverent portrait of black working-class teenage life. A coming-of-age story of sorts. The first times; the f*ck-ups and the excruciating desire to be more grown up than you are or that you might be ready for. It’s a celebration of black joy; of council estates and corner shops. Of working-class living and working-class dreams. It is human and tender, with a thumping great heart.

    Creator and writer Janice Okoh says:

    “It’s been an exciting and joyous process working with The Forge and BBC Three to bring these vibrant characters to television. I hope the audience loves them as much as I do.”

    George Ormond, executive producer for The Forge says:

    “Janice’s scripts are a blast of fresh air – fearless, laugh out loud funny, surprising and often moving.   We can’t wait to bring them to the screen.”

    Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, says:

    “Janice Okoh’s We Go Again is the perfect mix of beautifully-drawn, captivating characters and a compelling plot that will have you desperate to know what comes next. Poignant, funny and full of life, We Go Again offers a distinctive new spin on the family drama and we can’t wait to begin filming in Birmingham and Coventry.”

    We Go Again (w/t, 6×45) was commissioned by Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, and Fiona Campbell, Controller Youth Audience, BBC Three and BBC iPlayer. The series is created and written by Janice Okoh and will be directed by Nathaniel Martello-White (The Strays), who also serves as co-executive producer. The producer is Jade Taylor (Ackley Bridge, Becoming Elizabeth). Executive producers are George Ormond (Ackley Bridge, National Treasure) and George Faber (Shameless, Skins) for The Forge Entertainment (a Banijay UK company), Danielle Scott-Haughton for the BBC, and Janice Okoh. We Go Again(w/t) will be distributed internationally by Banijay Rights.

    Filming will take place in and around Birmingham and Coventry later this year.

  12. Banijay UK takes stake in BAFTA and MOBO award-winning artist Akala’s Immovable Studios

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    Banijay UK are investing in Immovable Studios, co-founded by hip-hop artist, bestselling author and social entrepreneur Akala and his long-time business partner and talent manager Chanelle Newman.

    The investment, part of the Banijay UK Growth Fund, is to support the business as it builds its premium television and content portfolio.  The deal includes a first look with distributor Banijay Rights.

    Alongside managing and developing the business model around Akala’s music and writing career, Chanelle has led the Immovable Studios television production arm and has been involved in the production of a variety of Akala-fronted TV projects to date including Poetry: Between the Lines for BBC (Winner of BAFTA Children’s Award); Akala’s Odyssey for BBC FOUR; and Akala Presents: The Ruins of Empires for BBC TWO.  An untitled docu-series inspired by Akala’s Sunday Times best-selling book, Natives, has also been commissioned by BBC Documentaries, with another major scripted series in funded development.

    The business is committed to growing its slate, focusing on premium scripted and non-scripted content and has an impressive pipeline of developments, IP options and talent partnerships with a range of global talent, networks and platforms.

    Patrick Holland, Executive Chair and CEO of Banijay UK said; “Akala is an extraordinary talent, a creative force whose books Natives and The Dark Lady have reimagined stories from our shared histories. We are delighted to announce this investment in Akala and Chanelle’s production company and look forward to partnering on the unique slate of projects they have been developing.”

    Akala added; “I think television is a place where some of the best art in the world is being made today, where some of our favourite modern epics have been created, and I am extremely excited to delve further into this medium to do what I love: storytelling.”

    Chanelle Newman said, “Championing artists and their creativity is my passion and it is great to have the support and infrastructure from Patrick and his incredible team to continue building our vision to produce impactful content for a global audience.”

    Immovable Studios are supported by advisor Hasham Khan of ABP Advisory and TV/Music Executive, Sorraya Sequeira.