Argonon Group has bought UK indie Like A Shot Entertainment and has appointed a US-based COO, Shirley Escott.

Like a Shot was co-founded by Henry Scott and Steve Gillham, with Creative Director Bruce Burgess in 2011.

The indie focusses on factual entertainment content inspired by history and science and has worked with clients including UKTV, Channel 5, Discovery USA, Discovery UK, Discovery Europe, SBS Australia, ZDF, Foxtel, Nat Geo and Viasat World.

Recent productions include Abandoned Engineering for UKTV and Discovery Science Channel USA; Somme: The First 24 Hours – With Tony Robinson for Discovery UK and SBS Australia); Witness to War for Discovery USA and UK, UKTV’s Forbidden History with Jamie Theakston and Private Lives with Tracy Borman for UKTV and SBS Australia.

Laura Bessell, Argonon Group COO says: “After exceeding our first five year goals, Argonon is now a year into its second phase of growth. With IP and maximising distribution rights at the heart of what we do, welcoming Like A Shot to the Group will further enable us to expand our network and use new ways of creating production, funding, IP and distribution opportunities. Henry and his team are poised for further success stories and increased scale with Argonon’s support.”

Henry Scott, Managing Director of Like A Shot, says: “Joining Argonon, with its experience of creating original high-quality content and maximising rights, is a brilliant opportunity to build on our unique business model – increasing Like A Shot’s access to new markets for our programming and IP to travel internationally. We look forward to a productive partnership with the Argonon team at this exciting time.”

Shirley Escott is the newly-appointed COO for Leopard USA and new Argon venture Tough Cookie. Based in New York, she will oversee operations for the companies and report into Argonon’s CEO James Burstall and COO Laura Bessell – taking up this permanent position from a previous consultant.

James Burstall, Argonon Group CEO says: “Shirley is a very warm and committed senior executive with deep roots in the US production community, which will help the group evolve and grow. Her international expertise across all scale of budget, staff size and productions means she is the perfect fit to help Argonon further build on our presence in the US.”

Shirley Escott says: “I am thrilled to be joining Argonon at this exciting time of their development and expansion in the US and I’m looking forward to working with James and the entire team at Argonon, Leopard USA and Tough Cookie.”

Escott joins Argonon Group with 20 years’ experience in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and USA in senior production and executive roles across a range of genres. Her most recent role was EVP Production/Co-Executive Producer at Stephen David Entertainment across all departments and her production credits there include the Emmy-nominated World Wars (History), American Genius (National Geographic), Mob Series 1 and 2 (AMC), Roman Empire: Reign of Blood (Netflix) and American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story (Amazon). Previous positions include SVP Production at Picture Shack Entertainment, New York, EIC Content and Production for BBC Worldwide, New York and Senior Executive / Head of Production – BBC Production USA. Escott started her new role on 16th January 2018.

Staff Reporter

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