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Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight signs Kudos deal, wins BBC commission

Banijay-owned UK prodco Kudos has inked a first-look deal with Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, with UK pubcaster the BBC greenlighting the first drama to emerge from the new partnership.

Steven Knight (photo: Taylor Rooke via CC)

Under the deal, the London-headquartered production company behind shows such as Deadwater Fell and Granchester will have the first look on all future UK-based projects originated by the Taboo and See creator. Kudos and Knight have previously worked together on the BBC’s upcoming six-part drama SAS Rogue Heroes.

The new partnership is also committed to “substantial” long-term financial investment in skills and training in the West Midlands with the ambition of growing the local workforce, incubating talent and generating a thriving scripted production pipeline in Birmingham.

Leveraging Kudos’s creative and production infrastructure, the partnership has Knight’s Digbeth Loc Studios as its hub. Digbeth Loc is a film and TV studio campus being developed by Knight in a district of Birmingham.

Karen Wilson

Two Tone (working title), the first project developed under the deal, has been commissioned by BBC One. The drama tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which grew from the grass roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Executive producers are Karen Wilson, Martin Haines, Phil Temple and Laura Conway; and Matthew James Wilkinson, Nick Angel and Tommy Bulfin for the BBC. Two Tone is produced by Kudos and Nebulastar in association with Kudos North, Stigma Films and Nick Angel.

Banijay Rights will handle international distribution for the series, which will go into production later this year and will be made at Digbeth Loc.

Martin Haines

Knight said: “This is a real opportunity to nurture and grow the TV industry in the fertile soil of Birmingham. We need local people, local locations, local know-how and local stories to help us make world-beating screen content.

“As a partner, Kudos could not be more prestigious and it’s a pleasure to welcome them into town. We hit the ground running in the next few months with our first project which is West Midlands to its core, and I am hugely excited by what the future holds.”

Martin Haines, joint MD of Kudos, added: “We are building on our relationship with Steve and taking our partnership to the next level in this fantastic way, which will have real impact on the production industry in Birmingham and the West Midlands.”

Karen Wilson, joint MD of Kudos, said: “Steven and Kudos are absolutely aligned in our drive to produce outstanding scripted television, and with a number of exciting ideas already in development, I’m confident that this partnership will do just that.”


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