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Industry veteran Peter Van den Bussche dies aged 57

Television industry veteran and format pioneer Peter Van den Bussche has died following a short illness, with friends, colleagues and industry executives shocked at his sudden passing.

Peter Van den Bussche

Van den Bussche, 57, known throughout the industry as simply VDB, lost his fight with cancer last Saturday, weeks after marrying his fiancée, Chloe Saxby, in hospital.

Despite his seemingly healthy appearance at various industry events in January and his announcement in February that he and Saxby had become engaged, the TV veteran’s illness took a sudden turn for the worse late last month.

In 2019, Van den Bussche joined Eccholine, the international line-production company set up in 2011 by Peking Express creator Ludo Poppe, to head its UK expansion.

The move marked a return to the format industry for Van den Bussche, who previously worked at Zodiak Media Group, Endemol, D&D Productions and 20th Century Fox during the unscripted TV boom of the 1990s and 2000s.

He subsequently moved into programme finance with stints at MCap and Omnicom Media Group and oversaw branded content projects at Mindshare, PHD and Drum.

During his time at what was then called Endemol, Van den Bussche pioneered the sale of unscripted formats for the Dutch company, with titles such as Big Brother and Changing Rooms.

He was one of the most recognised characters on the international circuit and his passing will shock many.

C21 extends its heartfelt thoughts to Chloe and Peter’s friends and family. He was important to all of us.

The funeral is set to take place later this month. An obituary will follow.


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