• Nicky Campbell returns with Series 6 of The Big Questions, on Sunday 6th January, at 10am on BBC One.

    This first edition comes live from The Harris Academy in Peckham, South London.

    The Editor of The Big Questions is Jill Robinson and the Executive Producer is Steve Anderson. The programme has been commissioned by Aaqil Ahmed,  Commissioning Editor, Head of BBC Religion and Ethics, and Liam Keelan, Controller,  BBC Daytime.

    You can apply to be in the audience for the programme by emailing audiencetbq@mentorn.tv

    For further information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936

  • Question Time comes from Bristol tomorrow night at 10.35pm on BBC One.

    David Dimbleby chairs questions posed to the panel which includes: Conservative MP for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields and Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening; Stella Creasy MP, Shadow Home Office Minister; Karan Bilimoria, co-founder of Cobra Beer; author Will Self, and Columnist for the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Tinopolis, one of the UK's largest independent TV production and distribution companies and owners of Mentorn Media, has acquired Firecracker Films Limited (Firecracker), one of the most innovative producers of factual and factual entertainment programming in the UK and US. The transaction follows quickly on the acquisition of Passion Distribution and further underpins Tinopolis' strategy of widening its creative and geographical reach.  Firecracker's strengths in factual and popular factual programming are significant additions to Tinopolis' portfolio of companies and programmes.

    Firecracker was founded in 2002 by Mark Soldinger to focus on documentary programming with international sales potential and is now one of the fastest growing factual and factual entertainment producers both in the UK and the US achieving organic revenue growth of over 150% in 2012. Firecracker works with all major broadcasters in the US and the UK and has created shows including Thelma's Gypsy Girls (C4), The Daredevils (C4), Family Guns (Nat Geo), Unsafe Sex in the City (BBC3) and Last Chance Driving School (AETN) as well as one of Channel 4's biggest rating hits of the last decade, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and in the US, Big Fat American Gypsy Weddings (TLC).

    Firecracker is one of only a few UK Indies that has successfully organically expanded into the US and now generates as much turnover from the US as it does from the UK.  Firecracker also has a valuable branded content division that produces innovative audio visual content directly for brands such as Diageo, Nissan, Heineken, Motorola and GSK.

    Firecracker's management and creative team will remain with the business and Mark Soldinger, CEO, Sue Oriel, Managing Director, Jes Wilkins, Head of Programmes, and Jeremy Groman, Creative Director will all become shareholders in the Tinopolis Group.

    Tinopolis, which delisted from AIM in 2008 through a management buyout backed by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has grown its turnover from £50m in 2006 to over £130m today and developed into a global media company comprised of several leading independent businesses. The range of programmes produced extends to documentaries and factual, sport, comedy, flagship current affairs series, critically-acclaimed dramas and high rating entertainment formats, as well as human interest, history and science. Tinopolis is responsible for successful television shows such as Question Time, Traffic Cops, Hell's Kitchen and the London Paralympic Games coverage.

    Ron Jones, Executive Chairman of Tinopolis, commented: "In Firecracker we have acquired a company that is operating at the cutting edge of television on both sides of the Atlantic. Tinopolis continues to build a group of companies that has the range and financial strength to provide the best creative ideas to our customers around the world.  Firecracker is an ideal partner for us.  Its programmes are already sold in over 100 territories around the world and our distribution platform will help to support its continuing development."

    Mark Soldinger said: "We have been conscious for some time of the requirement for a financial and operational partner that will allow us to sustain Firecracker's rapid growth over the long term. Tinopolis's existing capabilities and its forward strategy immediately marked it out as our partner of choice and we look forward to working with Ron Jones, Arwel Rees and other senior executives from the wider Group on developing the opportunities ahead."

    For more information please contact Paul Downes, Jamie Ramsay or Del Jones at College Hill: 020 7457 2020

    Notes to Editors:

    About Tinopolis Group

    The Tinopolis Group is an international media producer and distributor. In the UK it is one of the largest independent television suppliers to major broadcasters. We work in all genres - factual, entertainment, sport, drama and digital media. Our programmes are seen across the world and through our distribution companies we have a significant presence in the global media marketplace. In the USA we produce television programmes for all the top networks.

    The Group brings together some of the most respected names in the TV production sector. Mentorn Media is the UK's most experienced factual producer. Sunset + Vine the country'sleading independent sports producer. Daybreak is a multi-award winning drama supplier and Pioneer Productions has a global reputation for ground-breaking specialist factual programming. Tinopolis Wales/Cymru is the UK's largest regional independent. In the USA, A. Smith and Co. is a market leader in factual entertainment and BASE Productions makes cutting-edge factual and factual entertainment programmes.

    The Group has invested heavily in the new media. We provide multiplatform programme support, as well as digital resources for the corporate and learning sectors.

  • Question Time comes from Liverpool tonight at 10.35pm on BBC One.

    David Dimbleby chairs questions posed to the panel which includes: Conservative MP and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude; Andy Burnham MP, Labour's Shadow Health Secretary; President of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron MP; Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, and the leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood AM.

    Any queries please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 or lou@plankpr.com

  • Tinopolis, one of the UK's largest independent TV production and distribution companies, has acquired Passion Distribution Limited (Passion), a leading global media distribution company, it has been announced.

    Passion, under the continued leadership of Sally Miles, will inherit Tinopolis' existing distribution arm Mentorn International (MINT) with its catalogue of over 2,500 hours of content, its many formats and successful sales staff.

    David Leach, MD of Mentorn International, will be Commercial & Business Affairs Director of the Tinopolis Group, responsible for commercial activities across the group, as well as heading up the group Business Affairs team.

    David Leach said: "This is a great opportunity for Tinopolis and the merger of the sales companies will produce a major player in the international distribution market with a terrific catalogue. I am very much looking forward to my new role and focusing on new commercial opportunities for the Tinopolis group."

    The transaction adds significantly to Tinopolis' existing distribution business and is the latest acquisition in its strategy of expanding its international reach and capabilities. It follows the acquisitions in 2011 of A. Smith & Co and Base Productions, both of which are Los Angeles-based and are major suppliers to US networks and cable channels.

    The acquisition of Passion will significantly expand Tinopolis' ability to maximise the value of its portfolio of companies, programmes and formats. Tinopolis and Passion will continue to grow Passion's existing business and brand through investment in third party content and co-productions with the support of the wider group.

     

    Sally Miles said: "We are very excited to be joining a dynamic and fast growing Group that will provide us with, additional investment, financing for our third party relationships and the opportunity to work with a very talented and respected team of people.

     

    "The existing catalogue sold under Mentorn International (MINT), will introduce Passion to new genres including drama and comedy. We also plan to invest further and expand our global digital business, increasing revenue opportunities on behalf of our content suppliers."

    Note to editors:

    Passion Distribution was incorporated in 2008 by Sally Miles and has established itself as a leading television programme and formats distributor with an extensive catalogue of content in various genres including factual entertainment, reality, documentaries, lifestyle and game-shows. Passion distributes content exclusively for numerous UK and North American producers and broadcasters to media platforms across the world and has exclusive distribution agreements with broadcasters and production companies including Scripps Networks, The Oprah Winfrey Network, World of Wonder and Sundance Channel.

    Tinopolis, which delisted from AIM in 2008 through a MBO backed by private equity firm Vitruvian Partners, has grown its turnover from £50m in 2006 to over £130m today and created a leading global media company based on several leading independent businesses. The Group includes Mentorn, Daybreak Pictures, Pioneer and Sunset+Vine.

    The range of programmes produced extends to documentaries and factual, sport, comedy, flagship current affairs series, critically-acclaimed dramas and high rating entertainment formats, as well as human interest, history and science. Amongst its better known programmes Tinopolis is responsible for successful television shows such as Question Time, Traffic Cops, Hell's Kitchen and the London Paralympic Games coverage.

    For more information please contact Plank PR on 020 8995 3936 / lou@plankpr.com