Advanced Television

Farmbrough launches new Indie prodco

February 22, 2024

Former Reef Television CEO, Richard Farmbrough, has partnered with Executive Producer Owen Rodd to create Somersault Studio, a new indie production company with bases in London and Cardiff, creating factual content for broadcasters, streamers, brands and the podcast market.

Farmbrough and Rodd share a background in factual content. Farmbrough launched and ran Reef Television for 15 years and exited the company after its successful sale to Zinc Media. Farmbrough has created a number of commercially and creatively successful television brands, and his programmes have been nominated for BAFTA, RTS and Emmy Awards.

Farmbrough commented: “It is immensely exciting to be back in the production game with the multi-talented Owen Rodd, this time with a remit to create factual content for a truly broad range of customers. The opportunities to reach audiences in this continually fragmenting market are huge, but as producers we need to be more nimble and agile than ever before – somersaulting our way through the media landscape.”

As a freelance Executive and Series Producer, Rodd has overseen returning series and documentaries for the past 15 years, working with all a number of UK and several US broadcasters. Rodd, who has a background in news journalism, will be Co-Founder and Creative Director of Somersault Studio.

Rodd said: “Richard and I first met at Reef in 2010 –  the first of a great many stints for me there. He and I share a clear sense that the story is everything. We both love the challenge of applying that to new genres and platforms and that is where we are headed with this exciting new venture.”

The company is in advanced development on multiple projects including travel and history shows and a music-based podcast project. Somersault Studio also announced that is has secured a commission with the BBC to produce Gareth Malone’s Passion.

The series will see acclaimed choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone, take eight untrained singers and stage his own performance of Bach’s St John Passion on the 300th anniversary of its first performance. It will be broadcast on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Wales this Easter and involve the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Singers.

Malone said: “Ever since I sang and fell in love with this work as a student, it has been a piece I have returned to again and again. Now I have the dream opportunity to bring this favourite piece of music to a wider audience through the ears and voices of eight wonderful people who barely knew of Bach let alone this great masterpiece just two months before we performed it. What a fitting and spectacular way to celebrate its 300th anniversary.”

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