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BBC feeds Coogan’s Baby Cow

Pubcaster takes stake in production company

BBC Worldwide is to become a minority investor in Baby Cow, the boutique U.K. shingle co-run by British comic Steve Coogan.

Deal builds on a lengthy relationship between the two parties, which has seen Worldwide distribute Baby Cow shows, including the award-winning sitcom “Gavin and Stacey,” since the combo set up shop nine years ago.

Coogan and his business partner Henry Normal, who are joint managing directors, will retain control of the outfit that last year had sales of £8.68 million ($15.36 million).

Likewise, BBC Worldwide will continue distributing Baby Cow’s library, in addition to developing local production opportunities via its global production centers.

Based in London and Manchester, Baby Cow has forged an enviable reputation for making edgy, off-the-wall comedy shows.

U.K. cult hit “Mighty Boosh” is another of the shingle’s key programs, and it also produced the second season of black comedy “Saxondale,” which starred Coogan as a pest control operator struggling with an anger management problem.

BBC Worldwide, whose rapidly expanding activities are being scrutinized by British politicians, already owns stakes in several other shingles.

These include U.K. drama specialist Left Bank Pictures and the Freehand Group in Oz, which is producing a local version of auto show “Top Gear.”