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Brighton-based indie Studio Crook has secured backing from Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund after amassing 34 hours of commissions in its first two years.

The indie was founded in 2021 by The Real Hustle creator Matt Crook, who previously ran ITV Studios-backed Crook Productions, with former Ricochet production chief executive Siân Johns.

Specialising in unscripted entertainment and formats, Studio Crook’s output to date has included More 4’s The Antiques Yard and comedy retrospectives including Gold’s Hancock – Very Nearly an Armful and Channel 5's celebrations of BBC sitcoms One Foot in the Grave, Birds of a Feather, Open All Hours and Keeping Up Appearances.

It recently expanded into scripted comedy and drama with the hire of head of scripted Justine Potter, with developments in the pipeline including potential adaptations of the novels When the Sky Falls and Gay Club!.

C4 Indie Growth Fund head Caroline Murphy hailed Crook’s “impressive start” in a challenging market.

“Starting a company during the pandemic was an intrepid decision which clearly indicates the conviction and confidence Matt and Siân have in Studio Crook which has thrived since its inception,” she said.

Former Big Breakfast producer Crook built a long relationship with Objective Productions, which initially hosted Crook Productions before it transferred to ITVS label Cats on the Roof. His other format hits include BBC’s Honey I Bought the House.

Matt said: “Having started my career at Channel 4, it feels like I’m coming back to my roots.  I’m pleased to be a part of an established investment fund that sees our potential to grow and move into new areas such as scripted drama.”

Siân commented: “I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity to work with the Channel 4 Growth Fund alongside such immense industry talent. They have a strong track record of nurturing companies and we’re delighted to be part of the portfolio.”

Set up in 2014, C4’s Indie Growth Fund currently controls minority stakes in 20 indies, with Studio Crook joining the likes of Eagle Eye Media, Candour Productions, Rockerdale Studios and Firecrest Films in its portfolio.

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