BBC Worldwide has bought into Rapid Blue, the South Africa-based production company that makes regional versions of Dragon’s Den (pictured), Got Talent and X Factor and BBC series Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
Established in 1993, Rapid Blue is the top formats producer in Africa, making the local versions of a slew of well-known international shows.
Worldwide, which declined to provide detail on the level of its investment in Rapid Blue, said the deal was evidence of its ambition to grow its business within Afrca, and to sell African-originated content internationally.
As well as making formats for the African markets, Rapid Blue produces original shows including Emmy Award-winning do Lion’s Trail.
“As demand for local content increases across Africa, BBC Worldwide and Rapid Blue are extremely proud to partner and explore the growing opportunities in the market,” said Grant Welland, executive VP, central adn east Europe, Middle East and Africa, BBC Worldwide.
He added: “With BBC Worldwide’s enviable formats catalogue and our combined knowledge and expertise, this agreement will enable us to provide content solutions for broadcasters across the continent, positioning us as the destination for quality television production in Africa.”
Duncan Irvine, CEO at Rapid Blue added: “We are very excited about this partnership as it provides us with access to tremendous development opportunities, as well as to a deep skills base and support as we continue to grow and develop our staff and the creative and production teams who work with us.”
“In particular, we are looking forward to developing a dynamic drama slate.”