Drive | Bone Soup looks abroad with Drive first-look deal
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Bone Soup looks abroad with Drive first-look deal

Richard Bowron and Tom Kerridge indie aim to diversify output to drive global footprint.

Bone Soup Productions, the indie co-founded by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, has signed an initial one-year first-look deal with Lilla Hurst and Ben Barrett’s production finance and sales firm Drive.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is a non-financial transaction, London-based Drive will immediately add two forthcoming BBC2 series from Bone Soup – Lose Weight and Get Fit with Tom Kerridge and Tom’s Pub Rescue [w/t] – to its distribution catalogue.

Additionally, Drive will have “sight of our development” according to Bone Soup co-founder Richard Bowron.

He added that the fluid nature of the deal was more comfortable than having a “big obligation of a more formal or financial first-look deal that may come with a certain degree of pressure to deliver a certain amount at a certain period of time”.

Speaking to Broadcast, Bowron said the deal was a key initial step in expanding Bone Soup, which he set up in 2017 with Kerridge.

The former Love Productions exec said Drive’s “network of international contacts” spanning distribution, co-production and financing would give the company greater presence.

“It felt to me that the arrangement we’ve discussed felt like a positive one for both parties,” he said.

“It incentivises them to look at our programming, which is much earlier in development with a view to maybe finding partner broadcasters overseas or looking to pre-sell things overseas.”

Drive joint managing director Lilla Hurst added: “It feeds into our desire to broaden out the genres within the catalogue.

“There’s a focus for us at the moment, outside of what we’re known for in specialist factual, to increase our offering for crime and lifestyle.”

Diversifying portfolio

Bowron said he was keen to explore different genres and move beyond assumptions that Bone Soup just produces Tom Kerridge-fronted cooking-focused shows for the UK market.

The exec, who has also worked for the BBC, Shine and RDF over his career, said the deal marked the beginning of the next phase of the company.

“There is an ambition to do some international stuff with Tom; there’s a possibility of him doing stuff with an overseas broadcaster at some point,” he said.

“But it’s probably more on the other side of the business that I want to really develop now which is stuff that doesn’t involve Tom – which may be food-related, because we’ve got an expertise in that area – but I’m interested in exploring what might be possible both in the UK and abroad of non-Tom-related programming.”

Although Bone Soup would broadly stay in the factual-entertainment space, Bowron believes there is opportunity to harness Drive’s specialist factual expertise to diversify his indie’s portfolio.

He said Bone Soup was exploring documentary, specialist factual and arts to complement his background.

“I don’t see things niche or siloed into different genres,” he added. “Probably projects would end up being quite fact-ent in their feel. But in terms of content, it will have a more specialist factual or docs feel about it.

“The projects in development at the moment aren’t anything to do with food or even fact-ent doc ideas.”

By John Elmes 29.11.2019 at www.broadcastnow.co.uk

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