Tag Archive: Banijay UK

  1. Banijay Hires Patrick Holland for Top UK Role

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    Banijay today announces the appointment of producer/ commissioner, Patrick Holland, as Banijay UK’s Executive Chairman. Commencing the role at the beginning of Q2, he joins from the BBC, where he most recently served as Director, Factual, Arts & Classical Music.

    In his new post, he will lead the UK’s burgeoning portfolio of 20 premium unscripted and scripted production labels, which comprises Dragonfly, IWC, Kudos, RDF, Remarkable, Shine TV, Tiger Aspect, Workerbee, Yellow Bird UK and Zeppotron. Banijay UK CEO, Lucinda Hicks, will report to Holland, and will work alongside him, continuing to grow the UK business. As Executive Chairman, he will report to Banijay’s Chief Executive Officer, Marco Bassetti, while working closely in-territory with group COO, Peter Langenberg.

    Marco Bassetti, Banijay comments: “With unrivalled knowledge of the UK market following a hybrid producer/commissioner career, Patrick couldn’t be better placed to take on the reins of the business and join our global collective of creative entrepreneurs. Sitting at the helm of a portfolio of best-in-class talent, there is huge opportunity to further grow the pipeline of premium programming and build on Banijay UK’s existing track record – we look forward to seeing the local group further soar under his direction.”

    Holland added: “Banijay UK represents an extraordinary group of companies, led by some of the very best creatives in the business, so it is hugely exciting to be asked to take on this challenge. The range and quality produced across the labels is unparalleled and, together with the hugely talented Lucinda Hicks, I’ll do all I can to help their continued growth and development. I’ve had six wonderful years as a commissioner at the BBC, but the scope and ambition of the new role made the return to production irresistible.”

    Patrick became Director of Factual, Arts & Classical Music in April 2021. Previously, from March 2017, he was Channel Controller of BBC Two, following his earlier appointment as Channel Editor in July 2016.

    During his time at BBC Two he oversaw the revitalisation of the channel as an essential cultural force, re-inventing history and documentary output (Once Upon a Time in Iraq, The Detectives, Hospital, Murder 24/7, The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, House of Assad, Blair and Brown, 9/11 Inside the President’s War Room, The Last Survivors, Forensics) and working with commissioning teams to develop a raft of factual entertainment successes (rejuvenated Top Gear and Sewing Bee with Joe Lycett, Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr, Race Across the World). Under his leadership the channel built an unparalleled pipeline of series that graduated to BBC One, finding even larger audiences and achieving greater impact. It was also during this time BBC Two won the channel of the year awards in 2020 and 2021 at the Edinburgh TV Awards and Broadcast Awards.

    BBC Two also saw a rejuvenation of its scripted and entertainment titles.  Motherland, Alma’s Not Normal, The Other One and Don’t Forget the Driver were major comedy commissions. Mash Report, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and The Ranganation represented a major refresh of the comedy entertainment titles on the channel. In drama, Motherfatherson, Black Earth Rising, The Salisbury Poisonings and Giri/Haji saw bold new tones and challenging authorship at the heart of the schedule.

    Prior to joining BBC Two, Patrick was Head of Commissioning, Documentaries.  During his tenure new returning brands Ambulance, Reported Missing, The Real Marigold Hotel and Hospital were all developed and commissioned.  Exodus; Our Journey to Europe won the BAFTA, RTS and Peabody Awards.

    Before joining the broadcaster, Patrick was managing director of one of the UK’s biggest factual independent production companies, Boundless (part of Fremantle Media UK) and prior to that, Director of Factual at Ricochet. In 2020 he was the Advisory Chair of the Edinburgh International Television Festival.

     

  2. EPIX, Banijay Rights Take SAS: Rogue Heroes to US

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    Premium network EPIX today announced it has acquired the major new six-part limited series SAS: Rogue Heroes from global distributor Banijay Rights.

    In a deal negotiated by Banijay Rights’ Matt Creasey, EVP Sales, Co-Productions and Acquisitions, the acquisition marks the first international deal for SAS: Rogue Heroes.

    Produced by Kudos and Nebulastar for EPIX and BBC, SAS: Rogue Heroes is a dramatized account of how the world’s greatest Special Forces unit, the SAS, was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of World War Two. Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling book of the same name, the series centers on David Stirling, an eccentric young officer, who is hospitalized after a training exercise gone wrong. Convinced that traditional commando units don’t work, Stirling creates a radical plan that flies in the face of all accepted rules of modern warfare. He fights for permission to recruit the toughest, boldest, and brightest soldiers for a small undercover unit that will create mayhem behind enemy lines. More rebels than soldiers, Stirling’s team is every bit as complicated, flawed, and reckless as it is brave and heroic.

     

    SAS: Rogue Heroes is developed for television and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Taboo, A Christmas Carol) and will be directed by Tom Shankland (The Serpent, The Missing), with Stephen Smallwood (The Serpent, Patrick Melrose) as producer. The series is executive produced by Karen Wilson, Martin Haines and Emma Kingsman-Lloyd for Kudos, and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC.  Commissioned by the BBC, SAS: Rogue Heroes will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK.

     

    Connor Swindells (Sex Education, Vigil) will play David Stirling, with Jack O’Connell (Skins, The North Water) as Paddy Mayne, Alfie Allen (Jojo Rabbit, Game of Thrones) as Jock Lewes, Tom Glynn-Carney (Dunkirk, The King) as SAS Founding member Mike Sadler, and Sofia Boutella (Modern Love, Atomic Blonde) as Eve. Dominic West (The Wire, Appropriate Adult) will play Lieutenant Colonel Wrangel Clarke.

    “Steven Knight and Kudos have created a gripping historical drama that complements EPIX’s lineup of elevated, cinematic  storytelling,” said Michael Wright, President, EPIX & President MGM Scripted Television. “We’re delighted to be teaming up with Banijay Rights to give this series an exclusive home on EPIX for the American audience.”

     

    SAS: Rogue Heroes is a masterstroke of a series from the visionary Steven Knight, packed with a stellar cast who bring this fantastic story to life. We are thrilled that EPIX have come on board to take this fantastic drama to a wider US audience,” said Matt Creasey, EVP Sales, Co-Productions and Acquisitions, Rest of the World, Banijay Rights.

     

    Martin Haines, Co-Managing Director of Kudos added: “EPIX is a perfect partner that shares our vision and ambition. We are delighted they are our US partners on this epic show.”

     

    The series will also star Amir El Masry (Industry, The One), Theo Barklem-Biggs (The First Team, Carnival Row), Corin Silva (The Bay, Emmerdale), Jacob Ifan (Bang, The Accident), Dónal Finn (Cursed, The Witcher), Jacob McCarthy (The Last Summer, A.P. Bio), César Domboy (Outlander, The Walk), Michael Schaeffer (Chernobyl, The Salisbury Poisonings) and Miles Jupp (The Great, The Durrells).

    Commissioned by the BBC, SAS: Rogue Heroes will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK.

     

  3. Banijay UK backs home grown talent with launch new scripted start up Double Dutch

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    Banijay UK are backing leading drama producer Iona Vrolyk in her own label, Double Dutch.

    The new label will capitalise on Iona’s reputation for developing and producing popular, original, returning series and her excellent relationships with top writing talent.

    Iona joined Tiger Aspect in 2013 and during her time with the company has developed and produced a range of successful, returning series for UK broadcasters. Her credits include Cuffs (BBC One), The Good Karma Hospital (ITV) and Intergalactic (Sky One).

    Working closely and having enduring relationships with a range of established and up and coming writers, Iona’s most lasting collaboration is with UK showrunner Julie Gearey.

    They first worked together on hit shows Secret Diary of a Call Girl (ITV 2) and Prisoners’ Wives (BBC One) before developing and executive producing Cuffs (BBC One) and most recently Intergalactic (Sky One). Through Double Dutch they are keen to build on their reputation for delivering high-end, entertaining and character-led series.

    Lucinda Hicks said; “Start-ups are hard, we all know that, but when you have exceptional talent like Iona at the helm, the decision to just go for it is made easy. She has a rock-solid reputation for delivering popular, returning titles. She understands how to be commercial but won’t compromise on creative ambition. Writers love working with her and so do we.”

    Iona Vrolyk added; “I am enormously excited to be launching Double Dutch at such a dynamic time in our industry. Double Dutch will focus on delivering high-end character-led original series. Julie Gearey and I already have exciting developments underway and I can’t wait to build a new slate of projects with the many wonderful writers that I have worked with in the past, as well developing new relationships too.”

    The company will launch with immediate effect.

     

     

  4. Banijay Recruits Chief Commercial Officer

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    Banijay today announces the appointment of Owain Walbyoff as Chief Commercial Officer. Based in London, his newly devised role spans licensing, merchandising, gaming, gambling and music, and will commence on 1 September.

     

    Walbyoff has spent almost 20 years working across sales and management in the licensing, media and technology space. In his most recent role in thetechnology industry, he oversaw licensing, R&D partnerships, and marketing activity, working with brands like LVMH, and Formula 1.

     

    Elsewhere, in 2018, Walbyoff provided consultancy to ITV, helping with strategy and business development across its gaming, gambling, and app portfolio. He also worked with the licensing team there on its vast IP offering.  Prior to this, he was Managing Director for Endemol Shine Group’s global licensing business. There he took care of sales and operations for gaming, gambling, licensing and merchandising across its 20-country-strong footprint. Marrying TV sponsors to branded commercial products, he directed record multi-territory licensing deals for brands like Deal or No Deal.

     

    Reporting to Banijay’s COO, Peter Langenberg, Walbyoff will devise and execute the group’s overarching licensing strategy to drive market penetration and revenue growth. Tasked with maximising monetisation opportunities across the business’ extensive and high-profile IP portfolio, he will manage all teams across merchandising, brand licensing, gaming and gambling and music.

     

    Peter Langenberg comments: “Owain has an incredibly strong track-record in the commercial space. With a CV spanning multiple genres and industries, he brings a wealth of knowledge across all disciplines and, having inked a number of stand-out deals in his career, we have no doubt he will be invaluable in strengthening our IP monetisation efforts moving forwards. As we build one of the world’s largest content catalogues, we were after a strong entrepreneurial and commercial mind to lead in this area and in him, we have found just that.”

    Owain Walbyoff comments: “In some ways, it feels like a return and in others, a new, exciting adventure. With an abundance of world-renowned, commercially viable assets, a healthy pipeline of new IP and the most talented combined team, I feel privileged to be leading this department through its next phase. Historically, this portfolio has already performed incredibly, so let’s see where we can take it to next.”

     

    The Banijay portfolio which Walbyoff will now represent comprises Masterchef, Deal or No Deal, Peaky Blinders, Temptation Island, Survivor, Tipping Point, Big Brother, Operation Triunfo, Simon’s Cat, Mr Bean, The Biggest Loser, Ready Steady Cook, Black Mirror, Miss France, Eat Well for Less and Crystal Maze.

  5. Banijay Sets UK Leadership

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    Banijay today reveals a revised executive structure for its UK holding, following the recent acquisition of Endemol Shine Group. From September, former ESG Chief Creative Officer, Peter Salmon, will lead Banijay UK as Executive Chairman, with former territory Chief Operating Officer, Lucinda Hicks, by his side, taking up the post of Chief Executive Officer.

     

    Moving forwards, Salmon will oversee the UK’s burgeoning portfolio of 25 unscripted and scripted production labels, with a focus on content and creativity, while Hicks will run the business’ day-to-day operations. In their new roles, the pair will work in unison to devise and implement the country’s integration plans in order to combine the entities by the end of 2020.

     

    Banijay UK represents a powerhouse of productions which includes MasterChef, Young Wallander, Grantchester, Tipping Point, Mr Bean, Ambulance, Big Brother, Good Karma Hospital, Dickinson’s Real Deal, The Island with Bear Grylls, Eat Well for Less, Location, Location, Location, Scott Squad and Hunted. Catering for every genre and every taste, the combined operation brings together a multitude of indies and a host of the country’s leading creative entrepreneurs. In its new capacity, the business will continue to drive collaboration and creativity to bring the best and most innovative IP to local buyers, and Banijay’s clients worldwide.

     

    Richard Johnston, current CEO of Endemol Shine UK, will leave the business as a result of the restructure. Johnston was appointed CEO in January 2015 having overseen the merger of the Endemol and Shine companies in the UK. During his time as CEO of the UK group, he has driven an expansion strategy, overseeing years of consistent growth. Under his leadership, the UK group has seen growth across the board but notably within the scripted business, SVOD revenues and regional production. The business has also achieved industry-leading gender pay and diversity results.

     

    Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay Comments: “The UK is now one of our biggest markets, with a plethora of multi-genre labels and an incredible catalogue that has travelled the globe. With this scale we needed robust leadership, which spanned both the creative narrative of the group, as well as the operational one. Already heavily engaged in the country’s business and tapped into much of its network, Peter and Lucinda were in a prime position to take the group through the next stage of its journey. Brimming with IP and some of the best minds in the business, I’ve no doubt Banijay UK, with them at the helm, will continue to be at the epicentre of devising original and innovative brands, which get the world talking. I’ll finish by thanking Richard for his incredible dedication, commendable service and significant hard work in putting the UK group and its labels in such great health.”

     

    Peter Salmon comments: “It’s a great moment to land one of the biggest production jobs in the world. Having worked across our UK slate from a global perspective for nearly five years, I know how exciting the shows and producers are. In Banijay UK we have an unrivalled network of creative talent, a multi-regional footprint, first-class formats and a world-beating catalogue – an incredible advantage moving forward.

     

    In Lucinda Hicks I also have a terrific partner – bright, hard-working and a lot of fun. Together, we are dedicated to building an inclusive and ambitious operation, where our teams have the support, direction and leadership they need but also the autonomy and freedom necessary to deliver the best ideas on the planet. The future here is very bright and given our producers have really shone throughout lockdown – they’ve been clever, innovative and resilient – I’ve no doubt we can go on to do great things together.”

     

    Lucinda Hicks comments: “It’s great to be combining this tremendous talent, entrepreneurialism and IP under one roof. It has been a pleasure working with Richard over the last few years.  The power of our brands and the appetite for them globally has made ESUK such an exciting place to be, which is now bolstered further with more creative leaders and amazing IP. I look forward to working with Peter to build a combined creative portfolio renowned for its standout, world-class titles, driving innovation and originality and being at the forefront of positive change in the industry.”

     

    Salmon joined Endemol Shine Group in 2016, and as CCO, oversaw the creative operations across the business worldwide, championing new ideas and accelerating the roll-out of the group’s brands across all platforms globally. Previously, he held senior leadership positions at the BBC, Channel 4, Granada TV and The Television Corporation. He is also celebrated as co-inventor and founder of Sport Relief, now a £200m charity, and Executive Producer of Aardman Animations’ Oscar-winning production The Wrong Trousers.

     

    Hicks, who reports to Salmon, was appointed COO of Endemol Shine UK in March 2015. Prior to this she was joint MD at Dragonfly, having previously fulfilled a number of commercial, strategic and operational roles at Shine Group, Channel 4, FremantleMedia, and the BBC.

     

    Johnston began his television career in 1996 when he joined Bazal Productions,the independent production company established by Sir Peter Bazalgette. He later became part of Endemol where he went on to hold a number of senior positions including Joint Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.

  6. CPLG Appointed Licensing Agent for Banijay UK

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    Banijay UK, the UK arm of Banijay Group, the world’s leading production and distribution business, has appointed CPLG as its local licensing agent. The agreement sees CPLG take on the management of the consumer product programmes for a host of Banijay’s hugely popular brands across the factual, formats, scripted and kids genres.

     

    CPLG’s initial focus will be to develop consumer product programmes for comedy series, The Inbetweeners; hit 1990s game show, The Crystal Maze; popular factual show, Eat Well for Less?; CBeebies hit, Do You Know?; and daytime game show, Tipping Point. Target product categories will include apparel and accessories, gifting, toys and games, including STEM toys, publishing and promotions.

     

    John Taylor, Managing Director, CPLG UK, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with Banijay on their roster of TV hits which span a wide variety of genres and have legions of fans up and down the country.  Many of the TV programmes have never been extended into consumer products so there is considerable opportunity to amplify these shows through exciting and original product ranges and broaden their appeal.”

     

    Nick Young, Group Brand & Commercial Director, Banijay Group, said: “CPLG acts as the perfect partner to bring some of our key titles to life through extensions that reflect the distinct values of each brand and fan base. With many of our brands exhibiting huge potential in this space, we are looking forward to getting the ball rolling on exploring the licensees and retailers that can help boost our brands’ value via new product offerings.”

  7. Wonder to Make Dementia Series for BBC Two

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    Filmed over the course of two years, Living With Dementia (w/t) will be unique for television, taking a longitudinal look at the illness. The length of filming will allow for the exploration of everyday life with dementia in all its complexities, and will allow us work with people with dementia and their families to track changes, subtle or significant, over a longer period of time.

    The series will follow up to six people with dementia at different stages of the condition, to capture a powerfully candid insight into what it is like for them and the people around them. It will explore the complexity of this life-changing illness, how it can vary from day to day and how small shifts in the brain can have an unpredictable impact on people.

    Contributors will be opening up their lives, allowing the series to follow the major events, but also the small, everyday moments that show how each person makes sense of their condition. What does it mean to deal with the shifting sands of a changing brain? How do identities and relationships change as dementia progresses? Life doesn’t end as dementia begins and this series will chart the ups and downs of each person’s journey.

    Living With Dementia (w/t), a 2 x 6o series for BBC Two, is made by Wonder. The Executive Producer for Wonder is Alexandra Fraser. It was commissioned by Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual and Natural History and Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle.