Former BBC and Studio Lambert exec Gary Hunter has launched Wild Blue Media. FremantleMedia is taking a 25% stake in the company which will focus on creating returnable brands across factual, entertainment and live events. Hunter’s credits include the redesign and relaunch of Top Gear in 2002 which he exec produced for five seasons. He is also an Emmy winner for 2012’s BBC/Nat Geo/Red Bull freefall event documentary Space Dive.
UK indies are popping up with increased frequency as execs branch out on their own in what continues to be a lucrative market, and as deep-pocketed superindies seek to back them. Fremantle has been one of the most active investors of the past 12 months taking in or fully acquired such outfits as Israel’s Abot Hameiri; the UK’s Naked Entertainment, Man Alive Entertainment, Full Fat TV, Corona Pictures and Dr Pluto; Dutch producer No Pictures Please; French indies Fontaram and Kwai; scripted producer Wildside in Italy; and digital media company, Squawka.
Fremantle says it has retained an option to increase its share in Wild Blue in the future. Hunter’s other credits include originating Heston Blumenthal: In Search Of Perfection, the foodie series from one of the UK’s most progressive chefs; as well as producing erstwhile Top Gear co-host Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds; sports reality series Last Man Standing; and SAS: Are You Tough Enough?.