Brighton-based independent production company, Studio Crook, has received a minority stake investment from Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund. Known for its focus on unscripted shows, entertainment, and formats, Studio Crook has recently expanded into the realms of drama and comedy. The company, led by Creative Director and Director of Production duo Matt Crook and Siân Johns, has successfully developed and delivered top-quality programming for esteemed broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 5, and UKTV. Notable productions from Studio Crook include “Hancock – Very Nearly an Armful,” “The Antiques Yard,” and a range of classic comedy retrospectives for Channel 5.
Expressing her enthusiasm, Caroline Murphy, Head of Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund, stated, “Studio Crook is a truly exciting new company that has already achieved remarkable success in the past two years, with 34 hours of programming already on air or in production.” Murphy also commended the resilience and confidence demonstrated by Matt and Siân, who launched Studio Crook amid the challenges posed by the pandemic. She warmly welcomed the company to Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund portfolio, which consists of ambitious enterprises.
Reflecting on his return to Channel 4, where he commenced his career, Matt expressed his delight, stating, “It feels like I’m coming back to my roots. I’m pleased to be a part of an established investment fund that recognises our potential for growth and expansion into new areas such as scripted drama.” Siân, the experienced Director of Production, conveyed her excitement at the prospect of collaborating with the Channel 4 Growth Fund and the exceptional talent within the industry. She acknowledged Channel 4’s strong track record in nurturing companies and expressed Studio Crook’s delight at being part of its portfolio.
Matt has an impressive history of creating successful commissions that have enjoyed international sales. His series, “The Real Hustle,” was sold to 30 countries and inspired seven local versions, including in the United States, Australia, and Germany. Among his recent format successes are “Honey I Bought The House” and “Thief Trackers” for the BBC, as well as his contribution to the creation of the Comic Relief Xmas Panto, overseen by Richard Curtis.
Siân, who began her career at the BBC, boasts extensive experience as a Director of Production. Alongside freelancing for various London-based companies, she spent a decade at Ricochet, a Warner Bros-owned enterprise.
The partnership between Channel 4’s Indie Growth Fund and Studio Crook is expected to invigorate the production company’s growth trajectory and facilitate its expansion into new and exciting territories. With Channel 4’s backing and the expertise of the talented individuals at Studio Crook, the collaboration is poised to make a significant impact in the television industry.