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BBC Worldwide backs Cliffhanger

Company headed by Paul Marquess

LONDON — BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster’s commercial arm, is investing in another U.K. indie startup.

It has taken a 25% stake in Cliffhanger Productions, the upstart formed by former head of drama at Thames Television Paul Marquess.

The shingle will specialize in drama series for U.K. webs.

Marquess is the creator of “Footballers’ Wives,” the glitzy skein made by Shed in Blighty and piloted unsuccessfully in the U.S.

He has also worked on long-running British soaps “Brookside” and “The Bill.”

Worldwide, which announced it was backing Leftbank Films and TV earlier this year, will have a first-look deal with Cliffhanger.

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