Independent production company Mindhouse Productions has announced that Sophie Ardern, director of Production, has been given a stake in the company.

The move sees Ardern become co-owner and company director of Mindhouse, joining existing company directors Louis Theroux, Nancy Strang and Arron Fellows in running the growing indie. With it, Ardern becomes one of the few co-owners of a production company working in a production role.

The company was founded in 2019 by Theroux, Strang and Fellows, and has since grown to a core team of 17. In that time Mindhouse shows have included Louis Theroux Interviews, the new series of which is currently airing.

Louis Theroux said: “Just like a table, Mindhouse has four legs, of which Sophie is one. I realise some tables have three legs, but Mindhouse is not that kind of table. She is an indispensable part of the team, a terrific collaborator, a pleasure to be alongside in the trenches, and a key reason why Mindhouse works as well as it does. It’s only natural she should own part of the company.”

Ardern has been with Mindhouse since its launch three years ago, having joined from October Films where she worked across a slate of projects for the likes of Prime Video, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Discovery. She has also worked in head of Production and production executive roles for The Ideas Room, Fresh One and Platform Productions amongst others.

Sophie Ardern said: “Working with Nancy, Louis and Arron for the past three years has been a joy. Their energy and creativity are infectious; we make a great team and I look forward to growing the company with them.”

Nancy Strang said: “Making Sophie a partner in Mindhouse was a no-brainer. She’s a phenomenal director of Production, a brilliant colleague, and has been a crucial part of establishing and growing the company from the start. I’m delighted we’re finally able to formally recognise her contribution.”

Separately, Kate Pumfrey has joined Mindhouse as head of Development. Pumfrey joins the company having previously worked for Twenty Twenty, Love Productions, MultiStory Media and Crackit Productions, with credits including David Harewood’s Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour? (BBC One), The Big Flower Fight (Netflix), First Dates (Channel 4), Social Media Murders (ITV2) and The Paras: Men of War (ITV).

Kate Pumfrey said: “I have long admired the talented team at Mindhouse and their thought-provoking, innovative and entertaining brand of unscripted shows. I’m thrilled to be joining the company in developing the next wave of premium documentaries and popular factual programming.”

The Mindhouse slate also includes Gods of Snooker (BBC Two), Joe Wicks: Facing My Childhood (BBC One), The Bambers: Murder at the Farm (Sky Crime), Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America (BBC Two), Sex Actually with Alice Levine (Channel 4) and Eddie Hall: The Beast vs The Mountain (BBC Three). Upcoming projects include a feature documentary about KSI for Prime Video, documentary series Gods of Tennis for BBC Two and the three-part series Lockerbie, a premium documentary for Sky exploring the Lockerbie bombing tragedy.

Pippa Considine

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