BBC Worldwide buys stake in Big Talk

LONDON - BBC Worldwide has bought a 25% stake in Big Talk, the production company behind Simon Pegg's new comedy, Life and Other Distractions.

Nira Park, Big Talk founder and chief executive, and Matthew Justice, its managing director, have sold a quarter of the business for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, Kenton Allen, who was previously creative head of comedy at BBC, joins Park as joint chief executive.

Over the past 18 months, BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has bought stakes in a number of independent production houses including Steve Coogan's Baby Cow, Jeremy Clarkson's Bedder 6 and makers of the Australian Top Gear, The Freehand Group.

The deals link key independent executives and productions to the BBC. It is believed the investment in Big Talk by BBC Worldwide will help expand the company and help with the distribution of its content.

Upcoming productions by Big Talk include a series commissioned from the pilot Free Agents produced in partnership with Bwark Products and stars Pulling comedian Sharon Horgan.

Last week, BBC Worldwide appointed Target Entertainment's Clare Vincent to the new position of vice-president of marketing.

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