BBC Worldwide and Baby Cow Productions announced today that co-founder and CEO Henry Normal is to leave his full-time position at the independent production company at the end of this week. He will remain with the company as a consultant over the course of the next 12 months and support the company until the appointment of a new CEO, for which a recruitment process is currently underway. Co-founder and company director Steve Coogan will assume a broader role as part of this transition, and BBC Worldwide is taking an increased shareholding.
Henry Normal started the company with Steve Coogan back in 1999, having co-written together the BAFTA-winning Paul and Pauline Calf Video Diaries, Coogan’s Run, Tony Ferino and the film The Parole Officer. Henry also co-wrote The Mrs Merton Show and co-created The Royle Family. Since its formation Henry has exec-produced all of Baby Cow’s output including Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Moone Boy, Uncle and Alan Partridge. He was also a producer on the four times Oscar- nominated Philomena.
Steve Coogan will take on creative leadership of the company following Normal’s departure until the arrival of the new CEO and after that will continue to play a leading role in the future development of Baby Cow. A multi-award winning writer, producer and actor, Coogan is internationally recognised for his on-screen roles including Alan Partridge, Paul Raymond in the feature film The King of Soho and Martin Sixsmith in the BAFTA award winning and Oscar nominated film Philomena, which Coogan co-wrote with Jeff Pope.
Henry Normal commented: “After sixteen and a half years I’ve decided to take a long overdue break from TV and film production to pursue creative endeavours in other fields. I’m very proud to have been part of a company that has nurtured young talent, sought out originality and produced quality award-winning shows year after year. Steve has such a great team around him and with further support from BBC Worldwide, I know Baby Cow will achieve even greater success in the years to come.”
Steve Coogan added: “Henry has devoted himself brilliantly to the company over the years and deserves to pursue more personal projects. I salute him. He leaves behind a passionate team with great taste and the company he co-founded is in a strong place to grow.
“We’re immensely proud of our shows with Moone Boy, Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Alan Partridge, Sensitive Skin, Uncle and our continuing relationship with Julia Davis from Human Remains to Nighty Night, Hunderby and the upcoming series of Camping (Sky Atlantic, 12th April). And then there’s The Trip, which we are filming series three of in Spain in September.
“Following on from the success of Alpha Papa, The Trip and Philomena, I’m personally very excited about Baby Cow’s developing film and TV drama slate. We’ve always cared about the quality of what we do. Whether it’s our new comedy, drama or film projects we’ll be building on the success of our first 16 years with the same commitment to distinctive, original work. More to follow.”
In 2008 BBC Worldwide entered into a partnership with Baby Cow, acquiring a 25% stake in the business. As part of the management transition, BBC Worldwide has acquired further shares in Baby Cow, taking its shareholding to 73%. The expansion of this partnership will allow Baby Cow to implement plans for future growth and development with a stable and long-term shareholder base, and is in line with BBC Worldwide’s strategy of supporting independent producers of high quality British content.
Helen Jackson, Managing Director of Content for BBC Worldwide said: “Baby Cow has the most incredible record of originating new comedy, attracting the best writers and producers in the business. This is a moment to celebrate all that Henry and Steve have achieved in the first two decades of Baby Cow. While Henry will be much missed, and a tough act to follow, I have every faith that the company he has done so much to build up has a hugely exciting future ahead of it – one in which BBC Worldwide is proud to be playing a larger role.”
For more information, please contact:
Philip Fleming, BBC Worldwide, 07824 622077
NOTES TO EDITORS
About BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Its vision is to build the BBC’s brands, audiences, commercial returns and reputation across the world. This is achieved through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also champions British creativity globally.
In 2014/15, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £138.6m and headline sales of £1,001.8m and returned a record £226.5m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: