News round-up: Kudos hires for finance; C4 creates 15k industry opportunities; ‘Ernest and Célestine’ pre-sales

James Forde

Kudos hires StudioCanal alum for finance

Kudos has appointed James Forde, the former COO and CFO of StudioCanal, as its new finance director with immediate effect,

Reporting to Kudos joint-MD Martin Haines, Forde will lead the Kudos finance team, creating an operational infrastructure to service Kudos and Wild Mercury productions.

Taking responsibility for financial management, reporting, governance and the production finance environment, Forde will work closely with the Kudos senior team to help design, deliver and drive forward the Kudos business strategy.

“James is a smart, dynamic and driven leader who we are thrilled to have join our senior team. He’s a brilliant appointment for Kudos as we continue to expand our global reach and production footprint, said Haines.

Alex Mahon

C4 creates 15,000 industry opportunities

UK broadcaster Channel 4 is to create 15,000 industry opportunities from next year, through its 4Skills training and development strategy.

Focusing on young people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds who want a career in broadcasting, the 4Skills programme will seek to provide more than 200 paid entry level roles including internships, apprenticeships and production training schemes and over 3,000 progression opportunities including fast track schemes, training, bursaries and mentoring.

It will also provide Key Stage 3 (for 11-14-year-olds) engagement with over 12,000 pupils including special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools as well as 500 work experience placements.

“Channel 4 has always been the broadcaster for young people, especially those who don’t get heard or have access to opportunities because of where they live or their upbringing,” said Alex Mahon, chief executive, of Channel 4.

“For us, none of that matters. Everyone should have an equal chance to follow their dreams and have a job in the creative industries. It shouldn’t be about having certain qualifications but about passion and potential. There is no reason why a future chief executive of Channel 4, or any broadcaster for that matter, can’t have started their career through 4Skills.”

Ernest And Célestine – The Collection

‘Ernest and Célestine’ pre-sell in Europe

Broadcasters across Europe have struck pre-sale deals with French animation production and distribution company Dandelooo for season two of Ernest And Célestine – The Collection.

The 26 x 13-minute sophomore season of the pre-school series, which is based on the cult books by Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent, has pre-sold to France TV and TV5 Monde in France, TVP in Poland, RTP in Portugal, DR in Denmark, Ceska TV in the  Czech Republic, RTBF in Belgium, CLS in Russia, HRT in Croatia, LTV in Latvia, RTVS in Slovenia, YLE in Finland and RTS in French Speaking Switzerland.

Produced by Folivari in France and Melusine in Belgium, the series follows the adventures of a big eccentric bear and a mischievous little mouse. The new episodes will be available in April 2022.

“This year Ernest and Célestine will celebrate their 40 years of friendship, but their story has never been so modern, thanks to the second season of the collection.

“We are delighted that they will making friends around the world with the second season and the second feature film soon to be released in cinemas”, commented producers, Didier and Damien Brunner of Folivari.

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