STV Studios has taken a 25% stake in unscripted production company, Hello Mary – the eighth label in the STV family.

Brighton-based Hello Mary was founded by Steve Regan in 2019. Since then, the company has won and delivered a range of titles for a variety of broadcasters across entertainment, documentary and popular factual. Hello Mary’s, new dating pilot, One Night Stand?, launched successfully last week on E4 and the business recently scored a new commission for Discovery, eight- part paranormal series Trapped Underground for Really. Other productions include The Buildings That Fought Hitler (UKTV’s Yesterday), crime format Survivors (A&E), How Animals Talk To Each Other (Sky) and Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer Take Over (TCM).

Before establishing Hello Mary, Regan was Head of Development and Production at VIACOM where he commissioned hits such as Geordie Shore and Ex On The Beach for MTV. He then oversaw entertainment at Channel 5, where he was responsible for bringing Lip Sync Battle to the UK alongside reality hit Make or Break?. Regan also commissioned many seasons of Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother; and has worked as a commissioning editor at Channel 4, Sky One and Living.

STV Studios has taken an initial 25% stake in Hello Mary. In 2020, STV Studios acquired entertainment outfit, Barefaced TV and took a minority stake in high-end drama company, Two Cities; and in 2019 acquired a majority stake in entertainment specialists, Primal Media. STV also has an exclusive creative partnership with drama producer Elaine Collins and her company, Tod Productions.

This move further strengthens STV’s creative pipeline in the unscripted genre. STV Studios Entertainment, headed up by Gary Chippington, makes Catchphrase and new commission, The Bridge of Lies. Primal Media’s ambitious new show, Landmark, aired on Sky Arts this week.

Also part of the STV Studios portfolio is in-house STV Studios Drama headed up by Creative Director, Sarah Brown – which has just completed filming on our new prison drama, Screw for Channel 4; and STV Studios Factual with Creative Director, Craig Hunter, whose division has just announced Ian Rankin as the writer of a new genre-blending series for Channel 4, Murder Island, won a new commission for BBC One, The Travelling Auctioneers, and secured a recommission of The Yorkshire Auction House from Really, involving two new series and a celebrity version.

Steve Regan, CEO Hello Mary said: “Setting up on your own is hugely exciting and over the last two years Hello Mary has scored a number of commissions across many genres, but we are hugely ambitious in how we want to grow. Partnering with David and STV Studios made total sense to help us realise our ambitions in unscripted, and when you call your company Hello Mary, entertainment is always at your core.”

David Mortimer, Managing Director of STV Studios, said: “Steve is an absolute force of nature and one of the most talented unscripted producers working in British television, so we’re really thrilled that Hello Mary has joined the STV Studios family. Our creative partnerships each bring something different and special to the mix, and we can’t wait to see what’s next from this ambitious and entrepreneurial indie.”

Jon Creamer

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