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18/12/2009

Top Irish Producer Mourned

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A leaing TV producer who set up an award-winning independent production business in Northern Ireland is being mourned this week.
News of the death of Waddell Media's founder, J. Brian Waddell has just been revealed.
He was the company's Chairman, having founded the company in 1988 after many years at UTV where he ended up as Director of Programmes having worked at Havelock House for 28 years.
He was therefore seen as a very influential figure in the television industry.
It is understood that he suffered a heart attack following a minor operation.
Prior to his TV career, Mr Waddell was a journalist at the Belfast Telegraph during the early 1960s, before he moved to UTV.
After he set up Waddell Media in 1988, it has gone on to become one of the leading television production companies in Northern Ireland and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
The company produces around 50 hours of television each year for most of the leading UK broadcasters.
Some of the programmes include The One Show, Getaways, What Kids Really Think and Northern Ireland WAGS.
Waddell Media also has an office in New York, run by Waddell's son Jon-Barrie. It produces programmes for Discovery, National Geographic and A&E.
Early last year, Waddell acquired an animation specialist, local company Flickerpix.
Waddell said at the time that the long-term plan was for the new subsidiary was to make content for the parent company and said that the Flickerpix name would be retained by the parent company and developed by its founder.
The 2008 deal coincided with Waddell moving from its premises at Strand Studios in Holywood, Co Down to purpose-built premises in the same area.
Mr Waddell is survived by his wife Audrey, son Jon-Barrie and daughters Nikki and Janine. Janine is Managing Director of the firm.
See: WaddellMedia
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