Tag Archive: Patrick Holland

  1. 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.”

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.”

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


  7. RDF to Bring Back Puppy Series with 12 New Families for BBC Two

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    RDF, a Banijay Group Company, today announces it has been commissioned by BBC Two to make a 6×60’ prime-time specialist factual show: 12 Puppies and Us: The Next Chapter.

    The new series will follow 12 families across Britain who have just become puppy owners, as they navigate their first difficult, but also joyful, few months together. It will also re-visit some of the dogs who featured in previous RDF series, 10 Puppies and Us, that aired on BBC Two in 2018, to find out how the different breeds have developed over the last two years.

    12 Puppies and Us: The Next Chapter will feature both adopted rescue and responsibly-bought puppies, that face a range of behavioural challenges a new puppy can present, from the first ever walkies to toilet training fails. From today’s most popular breeds such as Whippets and Dachshunds, to dogs who provide specialist services and care, this series will explore how to raise a puppy from cradle to adolescence and on to adulthood.

    Dan Barraclough, Executive Producer, RDF said:“The recent lockdown has seen a surge in interest from people wanting to take on a puppy and from a really diverse range of families and backgrounds. From tiny dogs like the Chinese Crested Powderpuff to Great Danes, people are looking into some very different breeds, so it will be intriguing to see how each family deals with the challenges of their particular pup. And they’ll be growing up in dramatically different environments – from city flats to open farmland. It will also be fascinating to be able follow up on the pups from previous series to see how they have developed over 2 years. There will be some recurring bad habits, but also some surprising transformations to marvel at.”

     Abigail Priddle, Commissioning Editor, Specialist Factual, BBC Two said: “I’m so excited to have a new cohort of puppies joining us on BBC TWO. From large dogs to small, rescue pups to responsibly bred, this series will be a wonderful way of sharing in the joys, troubles, tips and training that come with a new four-legged friend.”

    12 Puppies and Us: The Next Chapter was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The Commissioning Editor is Abigail Priddle and it is Executive Produced by Dan Barraclough at RDF. RDF is part of Banijay Group, and all worldwide rights to 12 Puppies and Us: The Next Chapter are owned by Banijay Rights.

  8. 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.