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RDF Television is to close after 30 years as parent company Banijay UK realigns its business to make it “strategic and agile” as broadcasters look to digital-first strategies.

Set up by the late David Frank and initially supercharged by one-time director of programmes Stephen Lambert, RDF Television’s output has spanned Wife Swap , Faking It, The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds, Dickinson’s Real Deal, Eat Well for Less?, The Crystal Maze and current returners Tipping Point and Only Connect.

The indie currently employs 18 people and operates out of West London and Cardiff, the latter through its RDF West outpost.

RDF West chief Jo Scarratt-Jones and former Electric Ray chief Meredith Chambers, who became joint MDs last October, are among those set to leave the company.

Banijay UK has been evaluating the RDF business in the 18 months since it folded Remarkable Factual into the RDF brand, when Kitty Walsh, who had been managing director of both brands, left the company.

In an email seen by Broadcast, Banijay UK chief Patrick Holland told staff:

“Broadcasters are increasingly moving away from general factual and lifestyle programming, the traditional domain of 8/9pm linear schedules, as they focus on a digital-first strategy.  

“While we are seeing exciting and sizeable commissions coming through (particularly in scripted, reality and entertainment genres), given the channel slate changes and the ongoing economic pressure being felt across the global industry, we are making some structural changes particularly to our unscripted business.” 

Holland, who started his career at RDF Television, said both Only Connect and Tipping Point would find new homes within Banijay UK, which plans to sharpen its focus on the growth areas of scripted, documentary, entertainment and reality.

He told staff that Banijay UK will be “proposing some additional changes across the existing portfolio” to ensure that we are “structured in the most dynamic way we can be to make the most of the opportunities in the market”.  


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