U.K. celebrity website expands reach

LONDON — International production group Endemol has taken a 50% stake in U.K. celebrity website Holy Moly for an undisclosed sum.

Move will see the site expand into new areas such as TV, music, film and fashion, and bow in new international territories.

The site, launched in 2002, boasts a million monthly users, built up via word-of-mouth and social media networks.

Holy Moly prides itself on never spending on marketing or advertising.

Endemol and Holy Moly will collaborate to develop new multiplatform entertainment ideas.

Site is renowned for its caustic wit and irreverent coverage of celebrity and entertainment news.

It is regarded as being one of the world’s top blogs, up there with the likes of The Huffington Post, TMZ and Perez Hilton.

Until now the identity of its founder and editor has remained anonymous, known only as Mr. Holy Moly.

But following the tie-up with Endemol the blogger will appear under his given name of Jamie East, a former head of broadband and mobile at paybox BSkyB, and the son of its one-time head of sport Trevor East.

He said: “Eight years after starting Holy Moly on a hidden laptop underneath my work desk, no one is more surprised and happy than me to find myself joining forces with Endemol, which I’ve always thought of as the most handsome and intelligent media company on the planet.

“Together we will be unstoppable and I’m really looking forward to the adventures that lie in wait.”

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