Belfast Telegraph

Stage set for blockbuster year in television and film industry

The local TV and film industry could triple its income over the next financial year.

According to Northern Ireland Screen, finance from its development fund directly resulted in £2.65m worth of commissions for local production companies in the 2009/2010 financial year.

Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said: "Development funding is the key to Northern Ireland's future success in the screen industries."

He said that £1.5m alone came in from the BBC One commissioning of the first series of Wild Rover Productions' gameshow Secret Fortune, which received development funding for its original pilot.

In all, the organisation has announced 13 new programme contracts across the world.

There were 12 commissions of Secret Fortune, including a second series ordered by the BBC, plus a deal with ABC for their reality show format, Take the Money and Run.

The Belfast-based programme maker Sixteen South has also partnered with London-based production company Kindle Entertainment and will now begin co-production on the third series of the CBeebies children's television series Big and Small.

Waddell Media are toasting four deals with networks in the US, including How Jaws Changed My Life for the Discovery Channel.