BBC Studios lands UK prodco Voltage TV amid expanding unscripted strategy

Inside The Factory

BBC Studios (BBCS) has taken full ownership of Inside The Factory outfit Voltage TV, as it looks to rapidly grow its unscripted business.

The prodco, which has been behind DNA Journey for ITV and The British Tribe Next Door for Channel 4 among numerous others, was founded in 2013 by Sanjay Singhal and Steve Nam.

BBCS is taking a 100% stake in the prodco, buying out the minority stake previously held by the Channel 4 Growth Fund since 2015.

The commercial arm of the UK pubcaster said that the deal, which is the first of its kind to go straight to 100%, “signifies renewed investment in unscripted indies.”

BBCS is already home to The Natural History Unit, Events Production, Factual Entertainment Productions, The Documentary Unit and The Science Unit, while the company recently took a 25% stake in Mothership Productions, the unscripted indie set up by former Channel 4 exec, Kelly Webb-Lamb.

BBCS has also been bolstering its unscripted execs amid the surging interest in unscripted, last week hiring Wonderhood Studios’ Emma Lorenz as its first creative director. A week before, former Sky exec Kate Norum was named as BBCS’s first head of branded entertainment at BBCS Productions.

Ralph Lee, CEO of BBCS Productions, said: “We’ve admired Voltage for a long time, which is why when the opportunity arose we moved quickly to acquire the business outright. The breadth and quality of their slate is a perfect complement to BBC Studios Productions factual entertainment and factual brands. We’re delighted to be backing them and look forward to working even more closely with Sanjay, Steve and the team to grow the business.”

Singhal added: “I started at the BBC as a trainee exactly 30 years ago. Then, it was producing programmes that were world-beating – and it still is. I’m delighted that Voltage has found a home in an organisation that champions risk-taking and shares the huge creative ambition we have in the coming years.”

Co-founder Nam added: “When BBC Studios approached us it just felt a natural fit, and I’m a firm believer in gut instinct. Our distribution relationship with BBC Studios dates back to the launch of Voltage and we look forward to continuing to flourish through their impressive global reach.”

Voltage TV’s slate has ranged from Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey (ITV1), The British Tribe Next Door (Channel 4) and The Great Plague (Channel 5). Upcoming series include The Fake Sheikh for Amazon Prime and Tempting Fortune for Channel 4 and Roku in the US.


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