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Banijay backs UK drama firm

Scripted-logo-460_2Backlight TV foundersBanijay Group is backing the launch of new UK-based drama label BlackLight Television.

Phil Trethowan and Ben Bickerton have created the business after having produced shows such as Being Human for BBC Three and Channel 4’s single drama Ellen, both of which were via Banijay UK-backed Touchpaper Television.

They will focus on creating drama with established and emerging British talent for the UK and international markets.

BlackLight will oversee Channel 4’s Coming Up strand and talent scheme 4 Stories, which will be a three-part serial written by diverse talent.

Bickerton worked at Company Pictures and UK pubcaster the BBC’s in-house development team before becoming a script consultant and show creator. He worked on series such as An Englishman in London and BBC Two’s Excluded before joining Touchpaper in 2014.

Trethowan has executive producer on sci-fi hybrid drama Humans and Ellen, which came through Touchpaper Wales, which he led as head.

The news comes after Banijay last year drafted in Canal+ exec Takis Candilis as head of fiction.

“The launch of BlackLight TV marks the beginning of Banijay’s expansion in the scripted arena as we significantly increase our capacity to produce drama, not only in our existing territories but also beyond,” he said. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer all the strength and support of the Banijay Group to new talent such as Blacklight TV.”