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Greenbird soars with another indie investment

Formats-logo-460_2Stupid Man Smart PhoneUK media investment group Greenbird has bought an equity stake in Kalel Productions, the British indie behind BBC Three’s Stupid Man Smart Phone.

This marks the eleventh investment Greenbird has made since its creation in October 2012, and comes just a month after it added Top Hat Productions to its going concerns.

Kalel signed a key coproduction and distribution deal with All3Media-owned Objective Productions (now Objective Media Group) in 2009 that has spawned shows such as the Undercover Princes/Princesses and Police Academy UK.

The freshest fruit from that agreement is Stupid Man Smart Phone (pictured), a comedy survival series for BBC Three and BBC Worldwide in which comedian Russell Kane uses just a smartphone to survive after being dropped in harsh terrains.

However, with the new investment in place, BBC commercial arm BBCWW, which owns 30% of Greenbird, takes exclusive rights to Kalel’s finished programming and formats internationally.

Nick Parnes created the factual entertainment-focused Kalel in 2005, after winning £50,000 (US$72,700) investment from BBC Three’s Pitch Idol competition.

He had been producing and directing independently produced shows such as Channel 4’s Popworld before that, having also had a spell as an executive within the MTV Networks international formats team between 2004 and 2005.

Stuart Mullin, Greenbird’s joint managing director said Parnes’ formats were”intelligently put together and funny. We’re delighted that Kalel Productions joins the Greenbird network of independent production companies and can’t wait to see what their next commissions will be”.

Kalel has also expanded into the US market by producing two seasons of Secret Princes for TLC and Make Me a Millionaire Inventor for CNBC.