Banijay UK acquires leading scripted producer The Forge

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

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Patrick Holland

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Banijay UK announced its acquisition of leading scripted independent producer, The Forge. This acquisition will bolster Banijay UK's scripted output and bring the number of scripted labels under the Banijay UK umbrella to eleven, including wholly-owned labels Kudos, Tiger Aspect, and Wild Mercury. This deal includes a first-look deal for Banijay Rights. The Forge's senior creative team includes 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.

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."

"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 partner for their next chapter of growth, and I can't wait for them to join the other brilliant companies in the group," Patrick Holland, CEO of Banijay UK, said.

George Faber, Founder of The Forge, added: "We're thrilled to be partnering 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. 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 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 the completion of the acquisition deal. The Forge currently has multiple high-profile new titles for both linear and SVOD platforms in production, including a significant, 8-part series, "The Buccaneers" for Apple TV+, due to launch globally on November 8; a 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.

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), and "Roadkill" (BBC). 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. The upcoming series, "The Buccaneers," stars several famous actors, including Kristine Frøseth, Alisha Boe, Josie Totah, Aubri Ibrag, and Imogen Waterhouse, alongside Christina Hendricks and Mia Threapleton. The company has received many awards for its programs, including the BAFTA for Mini-Series (National Treasure) and the International Emmy for Best TV Movie (Help).

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