Banijay UK is investing in Conker Pictures, a new scripted label from BBC commissioning editor Tommy Bulfin and Apple TV+ commissioner Kim Varvell. The duo will make “popular and distinctive scripted series for UK and global audiences”.
Bulfin and Varvell have extensive production and commissioning experience having been behind many of the most successful dramas in recent years. In his role at the BBC, Bulfin has overseen shows including The Tourist, SAS Rogue Heroes, Normal People and Peaky Blinders. Varvell, meanwhile, has been responsible for developing and commissioning productions including upcoming thriller Hijack starring Idris Elba, Sharon Horgan’s Bad Sisters, and Suspicion starring Uma Thurman. Prior to this, she was at New Pictures where she developed and executive produced Des.
Patrick Holland, CEO of Banijay UK, who led the deal said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to announce this investment in Kim and Tommy’s new company from the Banijay UK Growth Fund. As commissioning editors, they have overseen some of the most distinctive dramas in recent years. They share wonderful instincts for talent and possess a restless energy to produce the very best shows.”
In a joint statement, Bulfin and Varvell added: “We have been friends and colleagues for many years and it has long been our ambition to work together again. We have had the good fortune to work with some of the brightest and best talent in the UK over the past few years and are excited to build on these strong relationships in our new home at Conker Pictures. We are delighted to be doing this the Banijay team.”
The deal includes a first look deal with distributor Banijay Rights and supports Banijay’s wider strategy to strengthen and evolve its scripted offering.