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BBC Acquires Majority Interest in Steve Coogan Production Banner as CEO Departs

Steve Coogan
Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock

The BBC has taken on a majority stake in Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions, which is undergoing leadership transition with the departure of CEO Henry Normal.

Coogan will take on a broader role at the prosperous banner that is home to comedies “Moone Boy,” “Gavin & Stacey,” Coogan’s “Alan Partridge” and “The Trip” and also produced the Oscar-nommed 2013 pic “Philomena.” BBC Worldwide, the Beeb’s commercial arm, has upped its stake in the company to 73%. It previously acquired 25% in 2008.

The company will launch a search for a new CEO. Coogan is stepping up to lead the creative direction of the company.

“Baby Cow has the most incredible record of originating new comedy, attracting the best writers and producers in the business,” said Helen Jackson, BBC Worldwide’s managing director of content. “While Henry will be much missed, and a tough act to follow, I have every faith that the company he has done so much to build up has a hugely exciting future ahead of it – one in which BBC Worldwide is proud to be playing a larger role.”

Normal said he was stepping down after more than 16 years to take a “long overdue break” from the rigors of film and TV production. Coogan hailed his partner’s contributions to the company they co-founded.

“Henry has devoted himself brilliantly to the company over the years and deserves to pursue more personal projects. I salute him,” Coogan said. “He leaves behind a passionate team with great taste and the company he co-founded is in a strong place to grow.”