Memorandum submitted by Big Talk Productions
Big Talk was founded in 1995 by the multi-award winning producer Nira Park. It has established itself as one of the UK's leading comedy producers, with an impeccable track record of developing breakthrough talent, including Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright.
Big Talk produced the seminal award winning television series Spaced, out of which grew the hit films Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz.
Matthew Justice (Hallam Foe, The Russian Dolls, Blade) joined Big Talk in 2007, to build on the phenomenal track record of the company. Big Talk has a burgeoning slate of projects in production and development, across many genres.
Kenton Allen, the award winning comedy producer has recently also joined the business, to concentrate on developing its television activities alongside Nira Park and Matthew Justice.
Our film and television titles have been exported throughout the world and have earned in excess of £200m in revenues, across the full panoply of broadcast, exhibition and distribution platforms, and this success has in turn enabled us to develop our company into a leading home for British writing and performing comedy talent.
In August 2008 BBC Worldwide made a strategic investment in Big Talk Productions Ltd, the television production entity under the Big Talk banner. The investment includes a distribution deal for Big Talk Productions television output throughout the World, and support for a business plan to enable the company to grow and expand into new genres, including high quality British comedy drama and export this output into existing and new marketplaces.
RECCOMENDATIONS TO CONSIDER
Big Talk has enjoyed considerable domestic and international success with the projects it produces. It has achieved this through a careful development and nurturing of writing, acting and directing talent. All of its productions have been created, produced and post produced by British talent working in the UK.
We see BBC Worldwide as the pre-eminent distributor of Television content outside of the US Studios. Prior to concluding our arrangements with BBC Worldwide, we were approached by a number of other US and foreign owned suitors. In our view, BBC Worldwide are the pre-eminent UK distributor for taking UK programmes and UK formats into the global marketplace. Given that Big Talk wants to maintain its strong UK identity, getting into business with BBC Worldwide seemed like the most natural progression for its business development.
We have assembled an extremely strong creative and production team here at Big Talk, including Nira Park, Kenton Allen, Luke Alkin (previously Head of Drama commissioning at Channel 4), Chloe Moss (producer of seminal teen drama Skins), Simon Curtis (Cranford) and Robert Popper (Peep Show). Together with the skill and reach of BBC Worldwide we anticipate creating, producing and distributing some of the UK's most exciting and innovative content.
Our recommendation would be that BBC Worldwide are continued to be allowed to make small strategic investments in, and distribution deals with independent production companies, to promote the long term health of the UK independent production sector, and thus help prevent the consolidation of this dynamic and wonderfully creative community into a small number of foreign owned entities.