The UK’s Greenbird Media has bought into new indie Top Hat Productions, marking the tenth time it has invested in a production company.
Top Hat is a new indie from former BBC factual and drama executive Darren Kemp, while Greenbird launched in 2013 as a production network ans talent incubator.
The prodco already has a three-part commission from BBC Two in the UK, The Lords (WT), which is a documentary with “unprecedented” access to the House of Lords, a poorly-understood but influential branch of the British government.
Greenbird’s undisclosed investment in the indie comes after it took stakes in Tuesday’s Child, Crackit Productions, Rumpus Media, Handsome Productions, Riverdog Productions, Big Light Productions, Hello Halo, Gobstopper Television and Pi Productions.
The BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, will sell Top Hat programming internationally. BBCWW took a 30% stake in Greenbird earlier this year.
Top Hat founder Kemp worked for the BBC for 18 years, primarily as a factual commissioner. He also originated and executive-produced drams such as Murderer By My Boyfriend and My Murder, and more recently worked on Meet the Ukippers.
He began his career on Panorma, the long-running BBC current affairs magazine series. At Top Hat, he will focus on drama and factual commissions.
BBC Current Affairs commissioned his first show The Lords for BBC Two.
“Darren is a hugely experienced factual programme executive and producer,” said Greenbird managing director Jamie Munro.
“Securing access to the Palace of Westminster is testament to his reputation and ability to make such documentary series. We’re thrilled that Top Hat Productions joins our network of producers and launches with such a high profile commission.”