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Big Talk Productions

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Title: Big Talk Productions  
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Subject: Spaced, Joe Cornish (filmmaker), Black Books, Shaun of the Dead, Film4 Productions, Comedy Central (UK and Ireland), Nira Park, Hot Fuzz, British Academy Television Awards 2005, Patrick Monahan (comedian)
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Big Talk Productions

Big Talk Productions Ltd.
Production company
Industry Film
Founded 1995
Founder(s) Nira Park
(joint CEO, main company/
CEO, Big Talk Pictures)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people Kenton Allen
(joint CEO, main company) [1]
Matthew Justice
(Managing director, main company)[1]
Simon Curtis
(executive producer of drama, main company)[1]
Products Feature films
Television series
Owner(s) ITV plc
Parent ITV Studios
Divisions Big Talk Pictures
That Mitchell and Webb Company

Big Talk Productions Ltd. (stylized as bigtalk productions) is an English film and television production company established in 1995 by Nira Park. The company, located in London, has produced films such as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz; it is also known for its British sitcoms such as Spaced and Free Agents. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey are several actors that have risen to fame under Big Talk's production banner.


Big Talk Productions was founded in 1995 by producer Nira Park.[1] The company's first television series was Spaced. Directed by Edgar Wright, the series featured Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes and Nick Frost. Two seven-episode series were made for the show from 1999 to 2001. Since the end of its second series, Spaced has gained an international cult following. Big Talk went on to produce popular British sitcoms, Black Books and Free Agents.

On October 13, 2008, it was announced that BBC Worldwide had bought a 25% stake in Big Talk from CEO, Nira Park, and Managing Director, Matthew Justice. The deal meant that former BBC creative head of comedy, Kenton Allen joined Big Talk as joint CEO.[2]

On 26 July 2013, it was announced that ITV plc had bought Big Talk Productions for £12.5 million from BBC Worldwide.[3]

That Mitchell and Webb Company

On October 6, 2010, it was announced that David Mitchell and Robert Webb had formed That Mitchell and Webb Company with Big Talk. The company will produce all future Mitchell and Webb projects (Not including future series of Peep Show or That Mitchell and Webb Look) and also "give them the ability to work with other writers and performers as producers". BBC Worldwide support the company in exchange for exclusive first-look distribution rights.[4]

The company's first programme was Robert's Web, a topical comedy show hosted by Robert Webb looking at the latest news, happenings, videos and pictures from the internet in the past week.

Big Talk Pictures

In 2007, Nira Park expanded Big Talk Productions to create Big Talk Pictures (stylized, like its parent, as bigtalk pictures), a feature film subsidiary separately controlled but fully owned by Big Talk Productions. She is its CEO.[5]

Park herself, Edgar Wright, Matthew Justice and James Wilson all produce for the subsidiary and Park and Wright are now producing partners. As Wright’s producing partner, they collaborated on Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, starring Michael Cera, which was released internationally in August 2010 to outstanding critical acclaim.[5]

2011 saw the release of Paul, written by and starring Nick Frost & Simon Pegg and directed by Greg Mottola. The film opened in the UK in February and in March in the US.[5]

The subsidiary's most recent film is Attack the Block, Joe Cornish’s debut feature as Writer/Director. The film opened in the UK in May 2011 and in the US in July. The film won Audience Awards at both SXSW 2011 and the 2011 LA Film Festival.[5]

Films produced by the company:

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)

(as Big Talk Films)

Directed by Edgar Wright

Producers: Nira Park and Edgar Wright

Feature-film adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim comic book series,[6] is written by Michael Bacall and Edgar Wright, directed by Wright and stars Michael Cera.

Paul (2011)

(as Big Talk)

Directed by Greg Mottola

Producers: Nira Park and Edgar Wright (Uncredited)

A science fiction comedy about two British nerds who go on a road trip and meet an alien,[7] is written by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, directed by Greg Mottola and stars Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and Seth Rogen.

Attack the Block (2011)

Directed by Joe Cornish

Producers: Matthew Justice, Nira Park, James Wilson and Edgar Wright

The company's most recent film, and the first that actually uses the bigtalk pictures banner, is a Sci-Fi Horror, blended with Comedy, which is Joe Cornish's debut as a feature film writer and director. It stars five unknowns (John Boyega, Alex Esmail, Simon Howard, Franz Drameh and Leeon Jones), 4 of which were making their film debuts (Boyega, Esmail, Howard and Jones) and features Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway and Nick Frost.

Sightseers (2012)

Directed by Ben Wheatley

Producers: Nira Park and Edgar Wright

The World's End (2013)

The final film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, directed by Edgar Wright.

Future Projects

Big Talk Pictures has several feature films and television that either in production or in development. Edgar Wright has been reported to be directing three feature films for Big Talk, including Baby Driver, a film set in the United States, that has been described as "a wild spin on the action and crime genre"; and Them, based on the book of the same name by Jon Ronson, adapted for the screen by Mike White.[5][8]

In August 2011, director Ben Wheatley announced at Empire Big Screen 2011, that Edgar Wright would be Executive Producing his next film, Sightseers, with Nira Park, for Big Talk Pictures. The film is written by and co-stars Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, and follows a pair of “psychotic caravaners.” Film4 will co-produce with Big Talk and production is set to begin in October 2011.[5][9]

Big Talk Pictures currently has several projects with long-time collaborators Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Joe Cornish which will go into production in 2012.[5]

Big Talk Pictures will co-produce the film adaptation of the Marvel Comics superhero Ant-Man along with Marvel Studios. The film will be directed by Edgar Wright and is scheduled to be released in July 2015.

Feature Films

Big Talk's most notable productions are its feature films. Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007) are the first two films in "The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy" and are written by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, directed by Edgar Wright and star Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.

Recent television projects

Big Talk has produced a number of television series for numerous channels and companies, such as BBC Two and BBC Three, Channel 4, ITV, US network, NBC, UK premium channels Comedy Central and Sky1 and DVD distributor, 2entertain.

List of the company's current television projects

  • Him & Her, a comedy series focusing on a couple in their mid-twenties, is produced by Big Talk's CEO Kenton Allen, stars Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani and airs on BBC Three. Two series have aired so far, with a third in production.[10]
  • Rev. is another sitcom, focusing on the enormous daily frustrations and moral conflicts of a reverend (played by Tom Hollander). Two series and a Christmas Special have aired so far.[11]
  • Threesome is Comedy Central UK's first narrative comedy series commission in the channel's history. The first series revolved around three friends (a straight couple and their gay roommate) who live together and after a big night out, have a threesome, which results in a pregnancy. So Rather than splitting up, the trio decide to raise the baby as a threesome. The second series will focus on the three and their new born baby, Lily. Threesome is executive produced by Kenton Allen and Simon Curtis, written and created by Tom MacRae and stars Amy Huberman, Stephen Wight and Emun Elliott. The first series aired Autumn 2011 and a second is currently in production.[13][14][15]
  • Chickens is one of Sky1's recent comedy programme commissions, following their multi-million pound investment in original, British comedy. The series follows the three remaining men in a country village during WWI. It was originally a Comedy Showcase pilot for Channel 4, who passed on the series when it came to commissioning a full series. Months later, Sky picked it up. The first series of 6 episodes is currently in development. The series is written by and stars, former Inbetweeners, Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, and their friend and fellow Cambridge Footlights alumni, Jonny Sweet and will air on Sky1 in 2013.[16][17]
  • The Job Lot is ITV's first sitcom pilot commission since 2008. The Job Lot stars Russell Tovey as a Jobcentre worker with Emma Rigby and Sarah Hadland. A non-broadcast pilot will be produced by Big Talk. The pilot was created and written by Claire Downes, Ian Jarvis and Stuart Lane, under the pseudonym, Arkatim and is their first commission. Job Lot is produced by Hannah Pescod and directed by Richard Laxton, who have worked on Rev. and Him and Her respectively. ITV's only current narrative comedy is Benidorm, which has already run for five series. The pilot was commissioned by former BBC One and Talkback Thames boss Peter Fincham, who has executive produced many popular comedy series' such as Green Wing, I'm Alan Partridge, The Day Today and Big Train. The pilot is currently under consideration for a full series.[18]

List of the company's recent but cancelled, ended or one-off projects

  • King Of..., a comedy talk show presented by Claudia Winkleman where she and guests debate to find the 'King' of various categories, e.g. Instruments. King Of... was Executive Produced by Kenton Allen (For Big Talk) and Jeremy Salsby (For SaltBeef TV) and aired June to July 2011 on Channel 4.[19]
  • The Pranker, a hidden camera comedy show, was written by and starred comedian Ross Lee, was executive produced by Kenton Allen (For Big Talk) and Phil Edgar-Jones (For Running Bare Pictures) and aired July to August 2011 on BBC Three.[20]
  • Show Me The Funny, a reality show presented by Jason Manford, in which 10 aspiring comedians travel to different cities around the country, performing tasks to equip them with local knowledge to perform a five minute stand-up act in front of a live audience and the three judges. At the end of each show, one contestant is voted off by the judging panel and the last remaining contestant will win a gig at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo and their own live DVD to be released before Christmas. Comedian Alan Davies & Critic Katie Copstick are the main judges with a third guest judge every week. The is Executive Produced by Kenton Allen and aired July to August 2011.[21]
  • Free Agents US was a short lived workplace sitcom focusing on the lives of two PR executives and an American remake of the UK series of the same name. It was Produced by Chris Niel (Writer of the Original Channel 4 Series), Nira Park & Matthew Justice (Producers of the Original Series) and Executive Produced by Kenton Allen. The four episode season starred Hank Azaria, Kathryn Hahn, Joe Lo Truglio and Anthony Head, who reprised his role as Stephen from the original. The show premiered on NBC on September 14, 2011. 13 episodes were produced, but the series was cancelled after four aired due to poor viewing figures.[22]

All new programming produced by Big Talk has been filmed in High-Definition since 2007.

Him & Her achieved the highest viewing figures for a new sitcom BBC Three has ever had and Rev. won the Sky Arts South Bank Award for best sitcom and was nominated for 2 BAFTA's, Best Situation Comedy, which it won, and Best Male Performance in a Comedy Role (Tom Hollander), which was lost to Steve Coogan.



Year Film Director
2004 Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright
2007 Hot Fuzz Edgar Wright
2010 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Edgar Wright
2011 Paul Greg Mottola
2011 Attack the Block Joe Cornish
2012 Sightseers Ben Wheatley
2013 The World's End Edgar Wright
2015 Ant-Man Edgar Wright

Television series

Year Show Writers Original Channel
1999–2001 Spaced Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson Channel 4
2000–2004 Black Books Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews,
Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley
Channel 4
2009 Free Agents Chris Niel Channel 4
2010–present Him & Her Stefan Golaszewski BBC Three
2010–present Rev. Tom Hollander and James Wood BBC Two
2011–present Friday Night Dinner Robert Popper Channel 4
2011 King Of... N/A (Comedy Chat-Show with Claudia Winkleman) Channel 4
2011 The Pranker Ross Lee BBC Three
2011 Show Me the Funny N/A (Reality/Talent Show with Jason Manford) ITV
2011 Comedy Showcase: Chickens Simon Bird, Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas Channel 4
2011 Free Agents (US) John Enbom NBC
2011–present Threesome Tom MacRae Comedy Central
2011 Patrick Monahan Live Patrick Monahan N/A (Show Me the Funny winner's stand-up DVD distributed by 2entertain)
2012 Friday Night Dinner (US) Greg Daniels NBC
2013–present The Job Lot Arkatim ITV
2013–present Chickens Simon Bird, Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas Sky1
2013–present Youngers Levi David Addai, Benjamin Kuffuor, Mark Catley and Georgia Lester E4
2013 Ambassadors James Wood and Rupert Walters BBC Two


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Twitter
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