BBC Studios has taken a minority stake of 25% in Mothership Productions, the unscripted indie set up by former Channel 4 Deputy Director of Programmes, Kelly Webb-Lamb.

The strategic partnership will see BBC Studios invest in Mothership’s slate across the unscripted genres. Under the terms of the deal, BBC Studios will have first look global distribution and format rights.

Mothership Productions’ Founder Kelly Webb-Lamb said: “The whole Mothership team is delighted to be partnering with BBC Studios and to be joining a brilliant stable of invested indies. We’ve been so impressed with the Studios team and are really looking forward to working with them. And for some of us, this feels rather like coming home… you can take the girl out of the BBC, but she never forgets her staff number, and although this is a totally different kind of arrangement, I am super glad that this is where Mothership has ended up in terms of partnership.”

Ralph Lee, CEO, BBC Studios Productions added: “Kelly is highly sought-after creative leader who has assembled a team around her that has a formidable pedigree in hit shows and formats in a highly competitive field. It is a true testament to their talent and potential that within only a short period of time, Mothership has developed a slate that is brimming with ideas that we believe will appeal to both UK and international broadcasters and platforms. We can’t wait to have Kelly and the Mothership team join the BBC Studios family and look forward to a productive partnership.”

Webb-Lamb launched Mothership earlier this month. She has assembled a senior team of female executives comprising Charlotte Desai (Creative Director), Gilly Greenslade (Director of Programmes), and Gudren Claire (Head of Production).

Across Webb-Lamb’s career, she has been involved in creating, selling, producing and commissioning unscripted hits including The Apprentice, Great British Bake Off, Hunted, The Island with Bear Grylls, Mary Queen of Charity Shops and The Circle. In her final year at Channel 4, Webb-Lamb drove and landed the Black to Front Project.

BBC Studios’ deal with Mothership builds on its existing indie investments, which includes full ownership of scripted indies Lookout Point (Gentleman Jack, Happy Valley 3), Baby Cow Productions (Chivalry, The Witchfinder), House Productions (Sherwood, Life After Life), Clerkenwell Films (The Birth of Daniel F Harris, The End of the F**king World) and Sid Gentle Films (Killing Eve, Ragdoll)  as well as minority investments in a further six: Moonage, Various Artists Limited, Expectation Entertainment, Curve Media, Firebird Pictures and Boffola Pictures (a Lookout Point investment).

Jon Creamer

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