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Pat Younge resurfaces with Sugar Films

Ex-BBC programming boss Pat Younge has launched his own media company alongside former Channel 4 executives Narinder Minhas and Lucy Pilkington.

Pat YoungeYounge, who exited his post as chief creative officer at BBC in-house unit BBC Productions in July 2013, will be managing director. He is well-known internationally for turning around US cable channel Travel Channel before it’s US$1 billion sales to Scripps Networks Interactive in 2009.

Minhas was formerly director of programmes at Diverse Productions and a C4 commissioning editor. Pilkington was a senior commissioner at Virgin Media and developed antiques format Four Rooms while at C4. She will be co-creative director with Minhas.

The trio have equal shareholdings in Sugar Films, which will span television programming, digital production and creative solutions that “create bold, entertaining and provocative programming for young, mainstream and diverse audiences”.

The company will target commissions of returnable formats, docs and specialist factual series from both UK and international broadcasters and OTT platforms. Based in London and Cardiff, the company will include digital arm Sugar Films Labs.

“The proliferation of broadcasters and platforms seeking quality content makes this the right time for us to launch Sugar Films,” said Younge. “Our industry track records, commercial experience and creative vision enable us to build a global media power-house, which will redefine the notion of diversity in our industry as being modern, mainstream and value creating.”

Minhas said the company would be creatively “playful; having fun with form, making unusual connections, left-field castings and blurring boundaries to find the spaces between genres to create new and exciting hybrid show”.

Younge left the BBC more than 18 months ago and was replaced by comedy production chief Mark Freeland, who became controller of fiction and entertainment.