Maramedia and KEO announce strategic partnership

THE independent TV production company behind a recent wildlife documentary series on the BBC has agreed a strategic partnership with a rival, itself behind well-known several ratings hits.

Maramedia, behind the recent Ewan McGregor-voiced Hebrides – Islands on the Edge, is to work with KEO films, behind the Channel 4 series, Skint, as well as documentaries such as Bradford: City of Dreams and entertainment shows like Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea. KEO films is probably best known for Fish Fight and its River Cottage series.

The companies will each continue to run as separate entities, working on development partnerships when it makes sense – extending KEO’s natural history roster and using KEO’s skills in factual entertainment to create innovative natural history programmes.

Says a media release announcing the tie-up: “The move will see Maramedia’s managing director, Nigel Pope, moving to KEO North’s Glasgow office and developing shows together in the specialist factual genre.

“The new partnership will harness Maramedia’s outstanding natural history and children’s programming expertise with KEO’s documentary and factual entertainment/features skills to deliver innovative new shows.”

Pope is quoted, as saying: “We will target top-end specialist factual programming. Our focus for the next six months will be innovative cross-genre programmes.”

Hebrides – Islands on the Edge was broadcast on BBC One Scotland, taking a 26 per cent share in the 9pm slot.

Nigel will work closely with Paula Trafford, head of Features and Popular Factual at KEO, who is quoted in the release, as saying: “Nigel is highly creative and collaborative and will bring something interesting to KEO. I am really looking forward to working with him.”

And the release quotes KEO managing director, Debbie Manners, as saying: “This is really exciting step for KEO. We are ambitious for Scotland and this move is partly about trying to create a larger grouping of talent there – and driving growth.”