BBC Worldwide has invested in the South African production company Rapid Blue, which has produced local versions of such hits as The X Factor, Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, Dragons’ Den, Four Weddings and Pawn Stars.
BBC Worldwide and Rapid Blue have worked together on multiple seasons of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, The Weakest Link and Come Dine With Me South Africa. In 2015, Rapid Blue produced the first season of the BBC Lifestyle ratings hit The Great South African Bake Off.
Rapid Blue will continue to produce programming for BBC Worldwide, alongside existing and new distribution and production partners.
Grant Welland, the executive VP for CEMA at BBC Worldwide, commented: “As demand for local content increases across Africa, BBC Worldwide and Rapid Blue are extremely proud to partner and explore the growing opportunities in the market. With BBC Worldwide’s enviable formats catalogue and our combined knowledge and expertise, this agreement will enable us to provide content solutions for broadcasters across the continent, positioning us as the destination for quality television production in Africa.”
Duncan Irvine, CEO at Rapid Blue, said: “We are very excited about this partnership as it provides us with access to tremendous development opportunities, as well as to a deep skills base and support as we continue to grow and develop our staff and the creative and production teams who work with us. The partnership will allow us to accelerate our growth in Africa and increase opportunities for employment and training. In particular, we are looking forward to developing a dynamic drama slate. This is a relatively new development for Rapid Blue but already we have shows being picked up for 2016. It is our continual aim to create world class productions and we see this partnership enabling us to have even more of our shows being broadcast around the world and drawing great audiences in South Africa and Africa.”