Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund has taken a minority stake in the Brighton-based indie Studio Crook.

Initially specialising in unscripted shows, entertainment and formats, Studio Crook has recently expanded into drama and comedy. The business is run by experienced Creative Director and Director of Production duo Matt Crook and Siân Johns and has a proven track record in developing and delivering high calibre shows for the BBC, Channel 5 and UKTV including Hancock – Very Nearly an Armful, The Antiques Yard and several classic comedy retrospectives for Channel 5.

Caroline Murphy, Head of Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund said: “Studio Crook is a really exciting new company which has already made an impressive start in the last two years with 34 hours of programming already on air or in production.

“Starting a company during the pandemic was an intrepid decision which clearly indicates the conviction and confidence Matt and Siân have in Studio Crook which has thrived since its inception. I’m delighted to welcome them to the Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund’s portfolio of ambitious companies.”

Matt Crook said: “Having started my career at Channel 4, it feels like I’m coming back to my roots. I’m pleased to be a part of an established investment fund that sees our potential to grow and move into new areas such as scripted drama.”

Siân Johns commented: “I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with the Channel 4 Growth Fund alongside such immense industry talent. They have a strong track record of nurturing companies and we’re delighted to be part of the portfolio.”

Crook has a strong track record of creating returnable commissions that also sell internationally. His series The Real Hustle sold to 30 countries and had seven local versions made including in USA, Australia and Germany. More recent format hits include Honey I Bought The House and Thief Trackers for the BBC and the creation of the Comic Relief Xmas Panto, overseen by Richard Curtis.

As an experienced director of production, Siân started her career at the BBC and as well as freelancing for several London based companies, has since spent 10 years at Warner Bros owned company Ricochet.

Pippa Considine

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