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26/05/2011

ITV Explores Graham Norton, Ant & Dec Deals

ITV is reported to be examining the possibility of entering partnerships with production companies owned by television stars Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly and BBC presenter Graham Norton.
According to a recent report in The Observer, the broadcaster is considering deals with Gallowgate, which is owned by McPartlin and Donnelly, and Norton's So Television.
The deals are believed to be under consideration as the broadcaster explores investment options for its in-house production facility, ITV Studios.
The report quoted a source as saying that the talks had been going on for "at least six months" and said that the broadcaster was considering either buying a stake in one or both companies or purchasing them outright.
Gallowgate, which was founded in 2004, produces a number of hit ITV1 programmes, including Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Beat The Star, which is presented by Vernon Kay. The company made a loss of £358,000 in the year to March 31, 2010, according to official figures.
So, Television, which was founded by Norton and producer Graham Stuart, produces The Graham Norton Show for BBC One. The company announced an increase of 9% in pre-tax profits to £629,000 in the year ending July 31, 2010.
ITV had previously been linked with an alleged £700 million deal to purchase All3Media, which produces shows such as Midsomer Murders for ITV and Skins and Shameless for Channel 4, but it recently emerged that the broadcaster had ruled out this out.
ITV, Gallowgate and So Television have not commented on the report.
(KMcA/BMcC)
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