Damon started his career at the BBC in 1994 working on shows such as ‘Noel’s House Party’, ‘The Generation Game’ and ‘Pets Win Prizes’. In 1996, he left the BBC to work in the Independent sector and spent the next 20 years working for all major broadcasters across all forms of formatted entertainment. He set up and successfully ran his own Independent company, Lucky Day Productions, as part of the Zodiak Media Group before returning to the BBC in 2016. Damon joined the board of BBC Studios as Head of Development before taking on the role of Head of Entertainment, North. He specialises in creating formatted shows across all genres from multi-camera studio shows to high volume, low cost single camera series. He has created series including ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’ (BBC One), ‘You Are What You Eat’ (Channel 4), ‘Show Me The Monet’ (BBC One), ‘The Boss’ (BBC One), ‘School of Silence’ and ‘Driving Academy’ (CBBC), ‘Word Play‘ (Channel Five). As an Executive Producer, he was responsible for the series of ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire’ that included the first two millionaires …and also the cheating major.
BBC One has announced that Colin Taylor and Verity Hardcastle will join host Sheridan Smith in the search for the UK’s Top Dog Stylist, in the brand new competitive reality entertainment TV series, Pooch Perfect. Both judges are international, multi award-winning dog groomers in their own right and so they are setting their sights high when it comes to crowning the UK’s top groomer.
Colin Taylor says:
Pooch Perfect is the perfect show for the entire family, including furry friends! Not only are the viewing fans going to be seeing amazing grooms but they’ll also get to learn all about the different dog breeds, their individual traits &, most importantly, how to look after them properly. If a dog looks fabulous chances are they feels fabulous too!!
Verity Hardcastle says:
I am so excited to be involved in Pooch Perfect, the first show of its kind in the UK and to be able to showcase the viewers our industry and the talent and skill within it. If I had a tail it would be wagging in anticipation!
Colin burst on to the TV scene in 2019 when he joined Rebel Wilson on Pooch Perfect (Network 7, Australia) however, behind the scenes, he has been one of the most forward thinking, well known and dynamic forces in the dog grooming world, having lived and worked at the top of the Professional for over 25 years. Born in the UK, he moved to Hong Kong where he honed his skills before moving to the United States, spending the next 20 years becoming one of THE most decorated dog grooming contestants in history…as well also being known for his larger than life personality! Colin holds such titles as “Intergrooms International Groomer of the Year”, Winner of the “World Cup Grooming Games”, and has won countless “Best in Show” and “Best All Round” dog groomer in every major US contest. He is also a multiple time member of Groom Team USA and has graced the cover of Groomer to Groomer magazine no less than FIVE times!
Verity Hardcastle is a certified Master Groomer and a member of the Guild of Mastergroomers. She is a multi award winning dog groomer at Championship level from Yorkshire and has recently won top awards at The Grooming Show, Great North Groom, Master Groom, Premier Groom, Love to Groom Scotland and even won first place at Groom Expo in America. Verity has her own dog grooming business Verity Hardcastle Grooming and Training which she set up in 2010. The company has won several business industry awards including twice winning Pet Industry Federations ‘Grooming Salon of the Year.
Pooch Perfect (8×60’) is produced by Seven Studios UK. The series will feature 16 professional dog stylists from around the country who will battle in out in a series of heats. In each heat they will compete in themed challenges to create epic transformations of beloved pets and the best two in each heat will move forward in the competition.
Each week, the groomers will reveal their creations on The Dogwalk, where judges Colin Taylor and Verity Hardcastle will deliberate over the week’s canine contenders, and their owners are given the chance to see their newly transformed dogs for the first time. From scruffy to fluffy and from ruff to regal, audiences across the country will be barking mad for this brand new show.
As well as amazing ‘transfurmations’, the show will also be packed full of useful information for dog lovers and owners, delivering top tips on responsible ownership, fun facts about dog breeds and a guide to at-home pooch pampering techniques.
Alongside breath-taking reveals and the cutest cast of canines, the doggy stars will be in seventh heaven in the show’s specially built ‘Pooch Palace’ designed to cater for their every need. Pooch Perfect is packed with heart and joy, warm and funny for the whole family, leaving viewers begging for more.
Kate Phillips, Controller of BBC Entertainment, says: “I love this show, it celebrates so much creativity culminating in unforgettable transformations, always mindful of the fact one false snip could cost someone the competition!”
Damon Pattison, Creative Director of Seven Studios UK, says: “I am delighted that Verity and Colin have agreed to join us as judges on Pooch Perfect. Their credentials are impeccable and their knowledge, skill and love of dogs is second to none. I cannot imagine anything more fun than being in a studio with them, Sheridan and a whole load of scruffy dogs. This is going to be the happiest show and I’m utterly delighted to be bringing it to BBC One.”
Commissioned by Kate Phillips, Controller of BBC Entertainment and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, the series is produced by Seven Studios UK and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Katie Taylor.
Sydney firm also takes ownership of US label 7Beyond to complement recent purchase of TCB Media Rights
Australia’s Beyond International (BYI) has expanded its presence in the UK with the complete acquisition of Seven Studios UK from Seven West Media.
The deal, which was announced to the Australian stock exchange today, will see the indie rebrand as Beyond Productions and join recently acquired distributor TCB Media Rights as part of BYI’s growing UK content portfolio.
As with the purchase of TCB, BYI completed the transaction through its Irish subsidiary Beyond Entertainment Ltd (BEL).
Additionally, producer-distributor BYI has strengthened its position in the US by buying up the remaining 50.98% equity it did not own in Los Angeles-based producer 7Beyond, a joint venture with Seven West’s Seven Network.
That label also becomes part of BEL and rebrands as Beyond Productions, with both producers reporting into John Luscombe, Beyond Productions’ general manager and executive vice-president.
London-based Beyond Productions is run by former BBC Studios exec Damon Pattison, who has been in the post of creative director since March 2019, alongside head of production Claire Browne and head of development Nikki Pinkus, as revealed by Broadcast.
In an exclusive interview with Broadcast, Mikael Borglund, BYI chief executive and managing director, said the company had been looking to expand into the UK production market for some time, to consolidate its long-established sales arm Beyond Distribution and TCB.
Borglund said the UK’s terms of trade and rights retention was very attractive in an increasingly competitive landscape and the acquisition would build on its strategy of co-production and IP ownership rather than a focus on work-for-hire productions.
“The demands from traditional broadcasters for programming is going to continue – everything can’t just go to streaming,” he added. “You’ve got to have a combination of working for streaming platforms and traditional free-to-air and cable networks.”
Borglund added that Beyond Productions, which had been targeting the factual-entertainment market, was looking to “broaden the base of the types of productions the company is going to do”.
Pattison and his team have secured a BBC1 primetime commission for entertainment series Pooch Perfect, a format conceived in-house, with Beyond taking international format and finished programme rights to the series as part of the acquisition.
Pattison’s indie has also been given a two-part pilot series commission from Discovery property brand HGTV to produce an international version of 7Beyond’s original US format My Lottery Dream Home.
“Getting primetime commissions for Pooch Perfect in both the UK and Australia, with other territories pending, is proof positive that our company can deliver on a scale that belies its size,” said Pattison.
Besides fact-ent and entertainment, Borglund said he wanted to “grow the factual side” of the UK operation and was also targeting the scripted market, in line with Beyond’s recent production strategy in Australia.
“We have got back into scripted in the last two years and have three active drama divisions developing projects for Australia and the international market,” he said. “Scripted is a natural fit. There have been some quite successful series between the UK and Australia recently.”
Seven West Media – owner of the Seven Network – will “retain participation in current projects” involved in the two entities but sanctioned the sale to Beyond because it had “reassessed” its desire to invest in “offshore production interests”, according to chief executive James Warburton.
“Our longstanding relationship with Beyond International makes them a natural partner to acquire these assets,” he added. “We welcome the strengthened business arrangement that will continue with Beyond.”
Strengthening BYI’s US and UK operations to complement its Australian base would be beneficial due to the “production synergy” between the three territories, according to Borglund. Key to this was the ability “to develop shows and go back and forth” between the countries.
Borglund said today’s acquisitions were not the final step on Beyond’s global growth, which has seen the firm’s revenues shift to around 70% international compared to 30% domestic over the past 20 years.
He said the firm was “look for opportunities” to increasing its UK presence further and strengthen its “well-resourced” US business.
“John Luscombe and Damon will determine exactly how they want to grow the company as soon as they’re in a position to do so,” he said. “Once we lay the roots in the UK, we then want to grow that.”
Luscombe said he would look to expand the “current creative relationship with Damon and his team and look forward to developing fresh entertainment and factual content for both UK and global markets”.
“With TCB’s strong producer relationships in the UK and this latest acquisition, we are now in an enviable position to not only grow our business in Europe but also to increase the depth of our current development and production capacity based in the US and Australia,” he added.
BBC1 has picked up Seven Studios UK’s debut competition format, Pooch Perfect, with Sheridan Smith slated to host.
As Broadcast revealed in September, the 8 x 60-minute show involves 10 pairs of professional dog stylists taking part in a series of themed challenges to create epic transformations of beloved pets, as they compete to be crowned the UK’s top dog stylist.
Each week, the teams will reveal their creations on ‘The Dogwalk’, where the judges will deliberate over the week’s canine contenders, and their owners are given the chance to see their newly transformed dogs for the first time.
The format was the first to be created by former BBC Studios exec Damon Pattison’s Seven Studios UK hub. The indie has since optioned A+E Networks’ reality format Marrying Millions.
Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson fronts the Australian version, which is produced by Seven
Studios UK’s Australian owner and recently kicked off on Seven Network.
BBC entertainment controller Kate Phillips and content director Charlo
tte Moore picked up the format, which was created by exec-producer Pattison, Seven Studios UK development chief Nikki Pinkus and Seven Australia unscripted co-head Sonya Wilkes.
“I cannot imagine anything more fun than being in a studio with Sheridan Smith and a whole load of scruffy dogs,” added Pattison. “This is going to be the happiest show and as the first original commission for Seven Studios UK. I’m utterly delighted to be bringing it to BBC1.”
In February, it emerged Seven Studios UK’s Australian parent Seven Studios had been put up for sale by its broadcast and media conglomerate owner Seven West Media. ITV is reportedly among those eyeing a deal.
Rebel Wilson competition series is first format from Damon Pattison indie
Seven Studios UK has created its first format, a Rebel Wilson-fronted dog grooming competition series that its Australian production cousin will create for Seven Network.
The British arm of Seven Studios launched this year to create formats for the UK and to develop new shows for its broadcast parent, Seven.
Pooch Perfect is the first fruits of the latter strategy. It will see Bridesmaids star Wilson host ten professional dog stylists from around Australia competing in a series of themed challenges to transform pets.
The winner, who will take home AUS$100,000 (£55,500) in prize money, will be determined by a panel of the industry’s top judges that critique the overall styling.
Seven Studios Australia will produce show, whose concept came from the Seven Studios UK team of creative director Damon Pattison and head of development Nikki Pinkus.
Speaking to Broadcast, Pattison said his team would advise on the Australian production. He added that Seven Studios UK was in discussions with broadcasters over a British version.
“Rebel Wilson is up for discussions internationally with the format, and is certainly interested to see where the show goes,” he added.
Focus on returning formats
Earlier this year, Pattison said Seven Studios UK, which Broadcast revealed was opening last year, would focus on creating long-running, returnable factual entertainment formats for the UK and international market.
Pooch Perfect is currently in pre-production in Australia and will premiere on Seven in 2020.
Seven’s director of network programming, Angus Ross, said: “Rebel has a fantastic energy, great timing, the sharpest wit and like many Australians, she loves dogs.
“With her passion, humour and insight, she’s a great host for this entertaining and heart-warming series.”