Tag Archive: Patrick Holland

  1. 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.”

  2. 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.

  3. Banijay UK Appoints Leon Wilson as CEO of Shine and Zeppotron

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    Ex Talkback and Thames Managing Director and Co-Founder of Great Scott Media, Leon Wilson, has been appointed by Banijay UK CEO Patrick Holland as CEO of Shine and Zeppotron.

    This announcement follows the news earlier this month regarding Shine TV’s Managing Director Jon Swain’s decision to step down from his role at the end of the year.

    This overarching, executive role is tasked with the management of Shine, developing and broadening the range of its original IP, as well as overseeing its established slate including BBC’s MasterChef super-brands, Hunted and Celebrity Hunted and new Channel 4 streaming hit, Banged Up.

    Leon will work with Creative Director Tim Whitwell, MasterChef Executive Producer David Ambler and the wider Shine team as the company continues to expand across streamers and broadcasters within factual, reality and entertainment.

     Meanwhile, Zeppotron Managing Directors Ruth Phillips and Peter Holmes will work closely with Leon as they push into the streamer market and establish their exciting new slate of comedy/ents/reality formats to sit alongside their existing much loved brands such as BBC One’s Would I Lie to You? and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

    Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK said of the appointment; “As well as being a brilliant creative, Leon has phenomenal amounts of energy, enthusiasm, and insight.  I’m so delighted that he’s chosen Banijay for the next chapter of his impressive career and I know that the teams in Shine and Zeppotron will benefit greatly from his expertise.”

    Leon Wilson added; “I can’t wait to start in this new role and work with the fantastically talented teams at Shine and Zeppotron. I love prisons, being hunted, eating, lying and four fifths of cats … as well as winning new commissions. It’s literally a dream come true.”

    Leon was Managing Director of Talkback, followed by Managing Director of a combined Talkback and Thames between 2013 and 2019.

    During this time, he consistently grew the businesses’ turnover and won a raft of new business;  creating, selling and overseeing shows including Too Hot to Handle (Netflix), Harry’s Heroes: The Full English (ITV1), multiple Leigh Francis projects (Celebrity Juice, Through The Keyhole, and The Keith & Paddy Picture Show), Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow (ITV), Jon Richardson’s Ultimate Worrier (Dave) and Your Face or Mine (Comedy Central).

    Most recently, Leon founded Great Scott Media with Ed Sleeman backed by All3 Media. The indie quickly grew a yearly turnover to £14m, with commissions including Love Trap (C4) and 10-part Netflix reality series Dated & Related. Earlier in his career, Leon worked on The Graham Norton Show, Dame Edna, Fantasy Football and The Friday Night Project.

    Leon takes up the role at the end of the month and will report to Patrick Holland.

  4. Banijay UK acquires leading scripted producer The Forge

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    Banijay UK today announced its acquisition of leading scripted independent producer, The Forge.

    The Marriage, Help and Becoming Elizabeth producer, which has a well-established reputation for high quality, ambitious and award-winning TV drama, joins the Banijay UK stable of companies with immediate effect following completion of the acquisition deal.

    The Forge currently has multiple, high profile new titles for both linear and SVOD platforms in production, including a major, 8 part series The Buccaneers for Apple TV+, due to launch globally on November 8; 4 part Disney + series Shardlake by Stephen Butchard (The Last Kingdom) due to release next year; factual drama about the Grenfell disaster by Peter Kosminsky (Undeclared War, Government Inspector, Wolf Hall) for BBC One;  youth-skewing drama series for BBC Three that will film next year and Generation Z, a six part series and the first original TV project from Ben Wheatley (The Meg II, Sightseers, Kill List) currently shooting for Channel 4.

    This acquisition will bolster Banijay UK’s scripted output and bring the number of scripted labels under the Banijay UK umbrella to nine including wholly owned labels Kudos, Tiger Aspect and Wild Mercury.

    Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK said of the deal; “I have been a massive admirer of The Forge since its inception. George Faber, Mark Pybus, Beth Willis and George Ormond have together grown one of the most ambitious and exciting drama slates in the UK. With a commitment to the most distinctive authorship, a desire to make shows of the highest quality and a creative commitment to make drama that appeals to broad audiences. The Forge is an extraordinary group of talented producers. We are so delighted that they have chosen Banijay UK as their partners for their next chapter of growth and can’t wait for them to join the other brilliant companies in the group.”

    George Faber, Founder of The Forge added; “We’re thrilled to be going into partnership with Banijay, a company whose culture and values feel like a great fit for The Forge. We’re ambitious for the next stage of our growth and we believe that Banijay’s superb distribution arm, production expertise, management team and global reach will help us chart an exciting path to the future.”

    The Forge boasts an impressive slate of titles including National Treasure (C4), Ackley Bridge (C4), The Miniaturist (BBC), Kiri (C4), Help (C4), Marriage (BBC), Becoming Elizabeth (Starz), Collateral (BBC), Rules of the Game (BBC), Roadkill (BBC) and many more.

    They have collaborated with writers Jack Thorne, Anya Reiss, Stefan Golaszewski, Katherine Jakeways, Ayub Khan Din, Ben Wheatley, David Hare, Peter Moffat, Levi David Addai, Janice Okoh and Stephen Butchard amongst many others.

    The Forge also has a reputation for showcasing some of the industry’s leading talent and has worked with Jodie Comer, Stephen Graham, Sarah Lancashire, Sean Bean, Nicola Walker, Carey Mulligan, Hugh Laurie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Babou Ceesay, Robbie Coltrane and Julie Walters. Upcoming series, The Buccaneers stars a number of widely popular actors including Kristine Frøseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag and Imogen Waterhouse, alongside Christina Hendricks and Mia Threapleton.

    The company has picked up a wealth of awards for its programmes, including the BAFTA for Mini-Series (National Treasure) and the International Emmy for Best TV Movie (Help).

    This deal includes a first look deal for Banijay Rights.

    The Forge’s senior creative team include Founder and Managing Director, George Faber, Mark Pybus (Executive Producer/ Head of Business Affairs), Beth Willis (Executive Producer) and George Ormond (Executive Producer). Their collective experience and stellar track record make them trusted partners for top writers, directors, agents, and broadcasters alike.

    Faber, having run single drama at BBC for several years, co-founded Company Pictures producing the likes of Shameless, Wild at Heart and Skins before setting up The Forge. Mark, also previously at Company Pictures, has a background in Business Affairs but has also produced a raft of high-profile shows including Wolf Hall for BBC.  In her role as Head of Drama at Channel 4, Beth commissioned The End of the Fucking World, Humans, and No Offence before joining The Forge;  George Ormond was previously an Executive Producer at the BBC, where he developed a raft of shows including BBC’s 2016 adaptation of War and Peace. He also produced Sarah Phelp’s Bafta and Emmy award winning Great Expectations.

    The Forge were advised by Tom Manwaring at Helion Partners.

  5. Banijay UK backs Sir Lenny Henry’s new scripted start-up ‘Esmerelda Productions’

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    Banijay UK today announced its investment in Esmerelda, the new production venture from actor, comedian and writer Sir Lenny Henry.

    Building on the highly anticipated launch of Three Little Birds for ITV written by Sir Lenny Henry – and executive produced by Russell T Davies and Tiger Aspect’s Lucy Bedford – the new scripted start-up will focus on broad appeal drama and comedy, with an emphasis on working with under-represented writers, cast and crew.

    BAFTA-winning executive producer, writer and director, Jon Sen, joins Sir Lenny as Joint Managing Director. Most recently, Jon was an executive producer and development executive at BBC Studios, where he also helmed Casualty and EastEnders.

    The investment, via the Banijay UK Growth Fund, will enable Esmerelda to build both its team and slate. The deal includes a first look with distributor, Banijay Rights.

    Sir Lenny Henry said;

    “Building up to this announcement has been such a roller coaster ride of keeping my nose to the grindstone and my mouth shut. I am so proud that Banijay have seen fit to invest in us. I can’t wait to scheme and dream with my new, soon to be announced, team at Esmerelda led by the mighty Jon Sen, who is not only a talented producer but also an excellent writer and director…“

    Patrick Holland said;

    “We are so delighted to announce this investment in Esmerelda Productions.  Sir Lenny Henry is both a national treasure and a creative legend in his own lifetime and, together with the brilliant Jon Sen, has plans for an ambitious scripted slate. Building on the excellence of Sir Lenny’s drama Three Little Birds (made in conjunction with Tiger Aspect for ITV) the label will bring story telling from a wide range of diverse authorship to broad audiences. Banijay UK is so proud to be chosen as their creative and business partner.”

    Jon Sen added;

    “Lenny and I are united in our commitment to offer artists a nurturing environment in order for them to celebrate their unique voices. Our shared love of the magic of story makes this a wonderfully exciting opportunity to make some exceptional drama.”

    Sir Lenny Henry founded the production company Douglas Road in 2014 which was backed by Endemol Shine (acquired by Banijay in 2020).

    Sir Lenny Henry stands down from his role of CEO of Douglas Road to focus on Esmerelda, with Managing Director Angela Ferreira continuing to run the business.

    This deal is part of the Banijay UK £50m Banijay UK Growth Fund which allows the UK group to partner in high profile talent as well as investing in new businesses, to supercharge growth.

    This is the eighth Growth Fund deal to be announced since it was launched in February 2023. Previous investments include Rabbit Track; the production company co-founded by film, TV and stage actor James Norton and scripted executive Kitty Kaletsky; new scripted company Conker Pictures from ex Apple+ and BBC Commissioners, Kim Varvell and Tommy Bulfin and North Wales based start-up, Ty’r Ddraig.  Talent deals include a first look with scripted producer, Chris Sussman, a multi project deal with Scottish documentary director and producer Kevin Macdonald and a development deal with Big Zuu and his company Big Productions.

    Victoria Kimber of Danworth Associates assisted Esmerelda in arranging and negotiating the partnership, with Wiggin LLP providing legal advice to Sir Lenny on the transaction,  Lee and Thompson LLP advising Jon Sen and Simon Muirhead and Burton LLP acting for Banijay UK.

  6. Banijay UK Partners with Creative Access to Launch Professional Development Programme for Under-Represented Freelancers

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    Banijay UK has partnered with Creative Access to offer a bespoke, year-long professional development programme aimed at TV freelancers from historically underrepresented communities who have previously worked at Banijay labels.

    The scheme, which is aimed at mid-level freelance staff progressing through the creative industries, will offer training, networking, support and workshops.

    During the twelve months, focus will be on areas including: developing leadership skills, owning mistakes and building confidence, building resilience & managing work life balance and financial literacy. Successful applicants will also be mentored by a senior industry professional for six months.

    Bella Lambourne, Director of HR & Operations for Banijay UK, said: “It’s an incredibly challenging time for the TV freelance community, and we are acutely aware that people from historically marginalised communities are often at a particular disadvantage. Banijay UK is committed to providing support and opportunities to those in the industry who need it, and we very much hope the scheme will help people develop invaluable skills and gain further experience.”

    Bibi Hilton, CEO Creative Access, added: “We’re thrilled to be teaming up with industry powerhouse Banijay. We all know that freelancers in the broadcast industry are all too often the lifeblood and the lifesavers of TV and film organisations. They’re the flexible extra resource we bring in when the workload suddenly increases and there’s no time (or budget) to hire; bringing with them incredible specialist skills to transform output, they’re the crew on a TV production set who make mind-blowing, award-winning work and in a lot of cases are quite literally the entire workforce. And yet, as our data shows, many employers are not treating their freelancers in this way. Access to career development programme such as this can and should be transformative for.”

    Applications close on September 24. Full details on eligibility can be found here https://opportunities.creativeaccess.org.uk/jobs?search=Banijay+UK&jobId=21422

  7. Banijay UK takes stake in James Norton and Kitty Kaletsky’s ‘Rabbit Track Pictures’

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    Banijay UK today announced its investment in Rabbit Track Pictures, the London based TV & Film production company co-founded by film, TV and stage actor James Norton and scripted executive Kitty Kaletsky.

    Rabbit Track Pictures launched in 2019 and has an impressive slate of diverse projects, including major scripted projects green lit for the BBC and for ITVX, alongside a raft of exciting developments across film and TV.  Their first film, Rogue Agent, a thriller for Netflix starring Norton, was released in 2022.

    By taking a stake in the business, via the Banijay UK Growth Fund, Banijay UK will enable Rabbit Track Pictures to build its team and accelerate its growth strategy, ensuring it can continue to acquire the best IP.  The deal includes a first look with distributor, Banijay Rights.

    Patrick Holland, CEO and Executive Chair of Banijay UK said: “James and Kitty have a truly impressive slate of projects and are incredibly ambitious for the growth of their business.  We are so delighted that they have chosen Banijay UK as their partner; their passion, commitment, talent and belief are exactly the qualities we want to invest in.  We can’t wait to start working together.”

    James Norton said: “To be joining the Banijay family is such an exciting moment for us as a company.  Patrick and his team have been incredibly welcoming and supportive already, and clearly share mine and Kitty’s values and ambition for the company. We can’t wait to jump into the rabbit hole with them and see where the next step of this adventure takes us!”

    Kitty Kaletsky added:  “When James first called me about running a company together, I was still fully living and working in Los Angeles. Little could we have imagined, when kick-starting Rabbit Track right before the pandemic, that just a few short years later, we’d be teaming up with such a huge and exciting partner as Banijay. We feel very lucky to be part of this family which will take our success to new levels and can’t wait to get going with Patrick and the whole group.”

    James Norton is a leading film, television and stage actor and is Rabbit Track’s co-founder.  James’ recent TV projects include Happy Valley (BBC/Netflix), McMafia (BBC/AMC), The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC) and War and Peace(BBC). Film credits include Oscar-winning Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, Mr Jones directed by Oscar-nominated Agnieszka Holland, and Paramount’s upcoming Bob Marley biopic directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.

    He is currently starring in a sell-out, critically acclaimed stage production of Hanya Yanagihara’s bestselling novel A Little Life.

    Kitty Kaletsky has worked in senior roles at leading TV and Film production companies on both sides of the Atlantic including Archery Pictures and Black Bear Pictures, having started her career at Number 9 Films. Kitty lived for four years in LA, running Oscar-winning Black Bear’s TV department, and as a result has strong relationships both in the UK and Hollywood. Kitty is Managing Director of Rabbit Track Pictures and is responsible for running all creative and business aspects of the company.

    This deal is part of the Banijay UK £50m Banijay UK Growth Fund which allows the UK group to partner in high profile talent as well as investing in new businesses, to supercharge growth.

    This is the seventh Growth Fund deal to be announced since it was launched in February 2023. Previous talent deals include a first look with scripted producer, Chris Sussman and a multi project deal with Scottish documentary director and producer Kevin Macdonald. The fund has also facilitated the acquisition of Mam Tor productions and investments in new scripted company Conker Pictures and North Wales based start-up, Ty’r Ddraig. It has also enabled DSP to grow the business launching DSP Films headed by Graeme McAulay to focus on premium documentaries.

    Great Point helped launch Rabbit Track, along with fellow founding partner The Development Partnership, by providing seed investment via its Great Point Ventures EIS fund. Both Great Point Media and The Development Partnership remain shareholders in the company. Robert Taylor will remain a director at Rabbit Track Pictures.


    • Great Point has backed a number of early-stage creative businesses, funded over 200 projects and invested in excess of £500 million in film and television productions.
    • Tom Manwaring of Helion Partners provided Rabbit Track with M&A advice on the transaction. Victoria Kimber of Danworth Associates also assisted Rabbit Track in arranging and negotiating the partnership, and Harbottle provided legal counsel. Simons Muirhead and Burton provided legal counsel to Banijay UK on this transaction.
    • The Development Partnership sits within The Partnership Group. Formed in 2021, The Partnership Group is made of a number of agencies and production businesses. Sitting within the group are The Artists Partnership, The Development Partnership, Sayle Screen, Sara Putt Associates, OWN IT! And BE HEARD VOICES. The ethos of the group is supporting artists in the pursuit of the highest quality of work.
    • James Norton is represented by The Artists Partnership (Agent Saskia Mulder), WME and JSSK law.
  8. Banijay UK backs Tommy Bulfin and Kim Varvell start up

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    BBC Commissioning Editor Tommy Bulfin and Apple TV+ Drama Commissioner Kim Varvell are setting up ‘Conker Pictures’ a business focussed on making popular and distinctive scripted series for the UK and global audiences.

    The highly respected duo have extensive production and commissioning experience having been behind many of the most successful dramas in recent years.

    In his role at the BBC, Tommy has overseen some of the division’s biggest shows including The Tourist, Kudos’ SAS Rogue Heroes, Normal People and Peaky Blinders. Further Executive Producer credits include The Gold, Line of DutyConversations with FriendsMarriage, Beyond Paradise and Dublin Murders.

    Kim joined Apple TV + in 2020 and has been responsible for developing and commissioning a raft of global dramas with recent productions including upcoming thriller Hijack starring Idris Elba, Sharon Horgan’s Bad Sisters, and Suspicion starring Uma Thurman.

    Prior to this, Kim was at New Pictures where she developed and executive produced Des starring David Tennant for ITV and as Head of Development for the company oversaw a raft of developments and productions, including White House Farm for ITV, Requiem for BBC One / Netflix and The Innocents for Netflix.

    With Banijay UK investment, led by CEO Patrick Holland via the recently announced UK Growth Fund, the start-up will begin hiring full time staff and investing in their development slate.

    The deal includes a first look deal with distributor Banijay Rights and supports Banijay’s wider strategy to strengthen and evolve its scripted offering.

    Patrick Holland, CEO of Banijay UK who led the deal said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to announce this investment in Kim and Tommy’s new company from the Banijay UK Growth Fund. As commissioning editors, they have overseen some of the most distinctive dramas in recent years.  They share wonderful instincts for talent and possess a restless energy to produce the very best shows.  And they always think of the audience. Together they make a formidable pair and, with Banijay’s support, I have every expectation that Conker Pictures will thrive and grow.”

    Kim Varvell and Tommy Bulfin added; “We have been friends and colleagues for many years and it has long been our ambition to work together again. United by our mutual love of high quality, popular drama series and our shared passion for shows enjoyed by a wide audience, we are absolutely thrilled to find a home with Banijay UK, who have a rich history of delivering hit shows, beloved by viewers worldwide. We have had the good fortune to work with some of the brightest and best talent in the UK over the past few years and are excited to build on these strong relationships in our new home at Conker Pictures. We are delighted to be doing this with Patrick and the entire Banijay team.”

  9. Banijay UK Appoints Chief Operating Officer

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    Banijay UK has appointed Sarb Nijjer to the newly-created Chief Operating Officer role. She joins from the BBC, where she is Finance Director for BBC Content. In this role, she provides leadership and insight for content spend across network TV, iplayer, Sport, Children’s & Education and Audio and Sounds.

    Following a busy twelve months, which has seen the launch of the Banijay UK Growth Fund, the acquisition of RTS-nominated drama company, Mam Tor, commissions including Big Brother (ITV), Survivor (BBC One), Deal or No Deal (ITV), SAS Rogue Heroes s2 (BBC One) and Three Little Birds (ITV), the Chief Operating Officer will ensure Banijay UK continues to focus on future growth and investment in talent and creativity.

    In her new role, Sarb will be responsible for driving forward the Banijay UK strategy alongside CEO and Executive Chairman, Patrick Holland, as well as managing collaborations across the wider Banijay group, developing business relationships with key customers, and working closely with the 27 production companies in the local footprint to deliver their strategic aims.

    With Banijay UK’s continued focus on growth, she will also play a vital role in future investment opportunities, whether through traditional M&A means, or start-ups, via the recently-announced Banijay UK Growth Fund.

    Sarb’s appointment completes Banijay UK’s top executive team, which includes Director of HR & Operations, Bella Lambourne, Chief Financial Officer, Derek O’Gara and General Counsel, Jacqueline Moreton.

    Patrick Holland, Banijay UK CEO and Executive Chairman, said: “This is a newly created role at Banijay UK. In the COO, I wanted a senior business leader to help drive the strategy, growth and collaboration needed to take the UK group to the next level. Sarb has an exceptional business brain, has shown terrific leadership at the BBC (where she helped keep the channels vibrant during COVID), possesses exciting entrepreneurial instincts, and perhaps, most importantly, understands the nuances of the development process and how to support creatives. She’s also a delightful human being and we are really looking forward to her joining a great senior team at Banijay UK.”

    Sarb Nijjer added: “I’m thrilled to be joining Banijay UK as COO and am looking forward to collaborating with the talented team there to drive innovation and growth across the UK business. Entrepreneurialism runs strong through the group’s production community, and I’m excited about the future opportunities with partners and key talent across our industry that are likely to arise as a result. I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved as a team in BBC Content over the last five years, and it’s been an honour and a privilege to have worked for such a world-class creative business.”

  10. Lucy Bedford promoted to Managing Director of Tiger Aspect

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    Lucy Bedford is to take over leadership of Tiger Aspect becoming Managing Director. She will be responsible for the creative leadership of the business, working closely with Head of Comedy, David Simpson, and newly appointed Creative Director, Drama, Gabriel Silver, to build the slate of the scripted indie whose recent credits include Bad Education (BBC Three); Domina (Epix / Sky); Man Like Mobeen (BBC Three); Deep Fake Neighbour Wars (ITV X) and the upcoming Three Little Birds (ITV).

    Previously Head of Drama at Tiger Aspect, a role she took up in 2019, Lucy has been instrumental in building up the drama slate and evolving the company’s drama strategy over the past 3 years. Credits include The Good Karma Hospital (ITV, series 2, 3 & 4), Domina (Epix and Sky, series 1 and 2) and the upcoming Three Little Birds (ITV and Britbox). She has also Executive Produced high-profile co-productions including the recent Litvinenko (ITV Studios and Tiger Aspect for ITV X) as well as building a pipeline of upcoming projects.

    Lucy reports directly to Banijay UK CEO Patrick Holland and takes up her new role with immediate effect.

    Lucy’s first appointment in the role is Gabriel Silver who she has appointed as Creative Director,  Drama. Working closely with writers and talent to further build the drama pipeline, Gabriel will help steer the overall strategic direction of Tiger’s drama slate while working as an Executive Producer on specific projects.

    A drama specialist, previously Director of Commissioning, Drama at Sky studios, where credits included Emmy and BAFTA-winning series Chernobyl and global hit Gangs of London, and returning franchises Britannia and COBRA. Recent commissions include Mary & George and Day of the Jackal.

    Lucy will continue to work in partnership on the commercial and operational business growth strategy with Chief Commercial Officer Zoe Brown and Chief Operating Officer Helen Wright.

    Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK said; “Lucy is an exceptional creative leader who has brought great clarity and purpose to the Tiger Aspect development slate. And with Three Little Birds and the second series of Domina soon to deliver, she’s responsible for major shows with phenomenal creative ambition.

     I’m so excited that she’ll be taking the reins of the business and with David Simpson’s burgeoning comedy slate (Deep Fake Neighbour Wars, the rebirth of Bad Education, the return of Man Like Mobeen) and the addition of Gabriel Silver as Creative Director, together they will be a formidable editorial leadership team.

     Helen Wright and Zoe Brown remain in their senior roles driving the business forward operationally and commercially. There are exciting times ahead.”

    Lucy Bedford added; “I am beyond thrilled to welcome Gabriel to Tiger. His exceptional taste, deep relationships and finely tuned creativity will be invaluable as we continue to expand our scripted offering in the UK and international market. With him, David, Zoe and Helen alongside, I am full of excitement about the next chapter of my own journey at Tiger telling stories that resonate, entertain and inspire while leading a team with an unswerving commitment to putting talent at the heart of all we do.”

    Gabriel Silver said: ‘I’m delighted to be joining Lucy, and the entire Tiger Aspect and Banijay team at a moment of renewed creative ambition at this stellar scripted label. After several years in commissioning, I can’t wait to work directly with the brilliant writers and creative talent from our enviable drama community.”

    Lucy joined Tiger Aspect as an Executive Producer in 2014, being promoted to Head of Drama in 2019. Prior to joining Tiger Aspect, Lucy was an Executive Producer at Ecosse Films where amongst others, she Executive Produced three series of the hit BBC show Mistresses.  She also spent 10 years within the comedy and drama department at Granada Television.

    Gabriel joined Sky in 2017 as Senior Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer at Sky Studios before being promoted to Director of Commissioning in 2021. Prior to his time at Sky, Gabriel worked at a range of indies including Left Bank Pictures and Kudos.

  11. Banijay UK Creates £50 Million Fund to Further Drive Growth

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    Banijay UK today announces a £50m fund which will supercharge growth for the UK group over the next 3-5 years.

    £50m has been earmarked by global content powerhouse, Banijay, which will allow UK CEO Patrick Holland to invest in up-and-coming businesses, to enable existing labels to grow into new genres by adding key creatives and to pursue partnerships with high profile talent.

    This initiative sits alongside, and is additional to, continued M&A activity in the UK.

    With a focus on scripted, reality, premium documentaries and factual entertainment, the fund will broaden Banijay UK’s genre portfolio and be strategically invested in companies and talent which complement the current business.

    The growth fund will be used primarily to take minority stakes in emerging businesses which fit these priorities, hire new creative leaders into existing businesses to grow into new genre areas and also provide start-up funding for new labels.

    Patrick Holland, CEO Banijay UK; “This is a powerful initiative designed to identify and nurture the most important resource in our industry; talent. Banijay is run by producers for producers, and I want this fund to enable our businesses to invest in creative entrepreneurs who grow the next generation of great ideas and amazing IP. This is a major commitment to the UK market from Banijay Group and I cannot wait to announce the first tranche of investments both in individuals and in new fledgling businesses”

    Marco Bassetti, CEO Banijay added; “Banijay is a home where creative ambition is both encouraged and supported. Across the group, we continue to invest in schemes and drives to grow our pipeline, our talent base, and our position on the content world stage. In Patrick, we have a leader with a clear strategic vision and through this fund, we have no doubt he can further amplify the UK group, leaning into new opportunities, which can broaden and strengthen its existing offering.”

  12. Banijay UK acquires CHLOE producer Mam Tor Productions

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    Banijay UK has acquired Mam Tor Productions, the high-end drama producer founded by renowned producer Tally Garner.

     With a focus on high end, contemporary and original returning series, and working predominantly with new talent, women and other underrepresented groups, Mam Tor’s latest series, six-part original drama CHLOE, was a hit for BBC One earlier in the year and subject to a pre-sale bidding war before being acquired by Amazon Prime Video.

    Mam Tor Productions is the first company to be acquired by Banijay in the UK since it acquired Endemol Shine in 2020 and its first scripted acquisition in the UK. The deal was led by Banijay UK CEO Patrick Holland. Banijay Rights will have a first look deal on all future projects as part of the deal.

    Patrick Holland, CEO, Banijay UK said of the deal; “‘I’m so excited to be welcoming Mam Tor to Banijay UK. Tally is an exceptional talent who has developed a brilliantly curated slate, working with some of the most exciting writers. ‘Chloe’ was a superb piece that Banijay Rights were able to partner on and our investment in Mam Tor builds on that brilliant relationship.

    I want Banijay UK to be a home where great talent get to make their very best work so Tally and Morven, her head of development, are truly welcome. We can’t wait for the next chapter of Mam Tor’s journey and are delighted to help facilitate that.”

    Marco Bassetti added, “Talent sit at the heart of this business. From brilliant talent, brilliant ideas are born, and in growing our collective, we strive to further strengthen our world-class portfolio of IP. Tally is a great addition as we continue to build our capabilities in the scripted space, and we welcome her to the group.”

    Tally Garner, CEO, Founder and Executive Producer at Mam Tor said “Banijay Rights and Cathy Payne are the most amazing partners for CHLOE that I could have wished for, and Morven and I are absolutely thrilled to be joining the Banijay UK team and their utterly inspirational CEO Patrick Holland.  We love our projects so much, and with his expertise and support are truly excited to begin the next chapter for Mam Tor with Banijay UK.”

    Mam Tor brings together a highly qualified management and development team that has decades of experience in identifying, nurturing, developing and producing high quality original drama for television.  Tally Garner founded the company in 2014. Prior to this she was founder and Head of Film and TV at Cuba Pictures following a decade as a literary agent at Curtis Brown. Producer credits include Boy A, winner of five Television BAFTAs and Broken, winner of Best Film at the BIFAs. She also exec-produced London Road and the seven-part adaptation of bestselling novel Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell for BBC1.

     The team includes Head of Development, Morven Reid, who prior to joining Mam Tor in 2019, was Senior Script Editor in Continuing Drama at BBC Scotland, Script Editor at the BFI Film Fund and held Script Editing roles within Drama Republic and Bad Wolf. Development Executive Rachel Harvey joined from the BBC drama commissioning in 2021 where she worked on projects including The Responder and Red Rose.

     Mam Tor will sit alongside scripted businesses in the UK group including Kudos, Tiger Aspect, Double Dutch, Shiny Button, Blacklight and Douglas Road.

     The deal was brokered by Jeremy Gawade of Lee and Thompson.