LONDON — Global TV production and distribution giant FremantleMedia has taken a 25% stake in new production company Wild Blue Media, which has been launched by former “Top Gear” producer Gary Hunter.
Wild Blue will focus on “creating new returnable brands with broad international appeal across factual, factual entertainment and live events.” FremantleMedia has the option to increase its share in the company.
Hunter worked at the BBC for 12 years, followed by a short stint at Studio Lambert. He is credited with the successful redesign and relaunch of “Top Gear” in 2002, executive producing the first five seasons; he originated “Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection” and “Last Man Standing”; and in 2012 he won an Emmy for the BBC/NatGeo/Red Bull feature documentary “Space Dive.” Other credits include “Coast,” Richard Hammond’s “Invisible Worlds,” and “SAS: Are You Tough Enough?”
He commented, “After a wonderful 12 years at the BBC and a stint with the hugely talented team at Studio Lambert, I am delighted to be working under my own banner. I’m looking forward to creating new factual features, formats, and returning brands, and working with the global creative network unique to FremantleMedia to bring inspiring, informative and entertaining content to viewers around the world.”
Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO FremantleMedia, said, “Gary has a fantastically fresh and original development slate, plus a wealth of experience and knowledge that complements FremantleMedia.”
FremantleMedia has announced a number of investments and acquisitions in the last 12 months including Israeli outfit Abot Hameiri; Naked Entertainment, Man Alive Entertainment, Full Fat TV, Corona Pictures and Dr Pluto in the U.K.; Dutch producer No Pictures Please; French indies Fontaram and Kwai; scripted producer Wildside in Italy; and the digital media company, Squawka.