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Channel 4 picks up stake in Voltage TV

MUMBAI: UK broadcaster Channel 4 has taken an equity stake in production company Voltage TV, established by former Dragonfly heads Sanjay Singhal and Steven Nam.

This latest deal from the corporation’s £20 million Growth Fund follows its recent investment in Renowned Films earlier this year and joins a varied portfolio of UK-based independent production companies supported by the fund to help scale growth and nurture the talent of these creative burgeoning businesses.

TV execs Sanjay and Steven founded Voltage TV just over two years ago and have already put their ambitious, bold production trademark on the UK factual indie sector securing several key commissions for major networks, including epic landmark series ‘X-Ray Mega Airport’ for Discovery Networks International to be broadcast later this year.

Other key productions include: ‘NHS: £2 Billion A Week & Counting’ and ‘The British Property Boom’ for Channel 4; ‘Epilepsy And Me’ and ‘Extreme At 18’ currently in production for BBC Three.

Voltage’s first series for the BBC, ‘Inside The Factory: How Our Favourite Foods Are Made’ for BBC Two was stripped across three nights earlier this month, and has been the highest rated factual series for BBC Two so far in May. The indie is currently working on a number of funded developments for broadcasters including ITV, Channel 4, BBC, Discovery Networks International and Sky – ranging from access-based observational films to factual dramas and a cinema documentary.

Sanjay has been making programmes for over 20 years. Following 15 years at the BBC, he was appointed MD at Dragonfly Film and TV where he oversaw in excess of 250 hours of factual programmes. His credits include: ‘The Apprentice’ (BBC); ‘One Born Every Minute’; ‘The Family’; ‘The Hotel’; ‘Bear Grylls’ Wild Weekends’ and ‘The Plane Crash’ (Channel 4/Discovery Networks International).

Steven ran the co-production division at the BBC for over 10 years, funding many major international titles. He joined Sanjay at Dragonfly Film and TV as COO in 2009.

Channel 4 CEO ,  said, “In just over a year since the launch of the Growth Fund we have assembled a diverse and dynamic collection of seven highly talented British companies to partner with. We are delighted to include Voltage in this group. Under the expert stewardship of Sanjay and Steve, in less than two years, Voltage have proven themselves to be one of the fastest moving factual indies on the scene. ”

Sanjay said, “We’re delighted to have this new investment. It gives us the ability to put considerable resources into the two things that matter the most: originating innovative new ideas and attracting the best creative talent to help deliver them.”

Channel 4’s Growth Fund is committed to supporting small to medium sized creative companies based in the UK by providing access to funding to grow and develop businesses outside of the normal commissioning cycle.

The Growth Fund investment portfolio also includes Arrow Media, Eleven, Lightbox, Popkorn, Renowned Films and True North.