Ed Pugh, head of children’s at BBC Scotland, has quit to join independent production company Talent Television. In his new role, Pugh will set up an office for Talent in Manchester, from which he will concentrate initially on building up the company’s youth and family program slate.
According to Pugh, part of the appeal of joining Talent is its founder John Kaye-Cooper, a former head of entertainment at LWT Productions who brought Gladiators to the U.K. A well-respected producer of some big entertainment shows in the U.K., Kaye-Cooper is keen to open up an office outside London to take advantage of the talent and resources available there.
Pugh, who managed a slate of 160 hours of programs a year at BBC Scotland, says he will start by looking for low cost, high volume productions in the kids factual and magazine arena. ‘I think there are opportunities in the new digital channels,’ he says. ‘I also think there are opportunities as traditional definitions such as kids, family and educational programs break down.’
In the longer run, Pugh hopes there will be opportunities for the company to develop higher budget projects with an international dimension. Being located in Manchester means he will be close to leading animation players such as Cosgrove Hall, Hot Animation and Granada, which splits its business between London and Manchester.
An added advantage for Pugh is that Talent is owned by leading talent agency International Artists, with numerous leading comedians on its books. ‘We won’t be looking to use our own talent exclusively in new series, but it is certainly an advantage to have access of this sort,’says Pugh.