Channel 4 has signed a major new two year commissioning deal with Big Circus Media, the company set up by Matt Baker and Gareth Collett in 2020. The indie will deliver a minimum of nine commissions to the broadcaster in 2023 and 2024. This multi-year, multi-series commitment demonstrates the strong belief Channel 4 has in the indie which has delivered huge ratings for the broadcaster over the last two years. It also demonstrates Channel 4’s commitment to growing small indies and their future facing policy that helps grow and give security to regional talent.
The first of these commissions, already in pre-production, is Matt Baker’s Farm of a Lifetime (w/t.) Working closely with The National Trust, the eight part series will supersize the process of selecting a new farm tenant on an historical Northumberland estate.
Matt will also be returning with a second series and Christmas special of Travels with Mum and Dad which proved popular with More4 viewers earlier this year. In the new six part series, Matt will continue to take his parents on well-earned days out to stunning locations across the North of England.
A further new series to TX in 2023 will be filmed internationally and is to be announced shortly.
The third series of Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales starts on More4 at 9pm on Wednesday 5th of October. Since its launch in March 2020, Our Farm in the Dales has been a breakout hit for More4 with the first episode being watched by 1.8m viewers making it the most watched programme in More4’s 17 year history.
Matt Baker, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Big Circus Media: “After our experience with Our Farm in the Dales, I’m so excited to be working with Channel 4 on these projects. I’m so grateful for the commitment they’ve shown us, providing the support that allows us to make the kind of programmes we’re passionate about.” Gareth Collett, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Big Circus Media: “We love working with everyone at Channel 4 and can’t wait to get started on these new commissions. Channel 4’s commitment to us, as a wholly independent regional small indie is huge, and it will provide us with real long-term security as we develop and grow.”
Jo Street, Head of Daytime and Features at Channel 4: “It’s been a privilege working with Big Circus, they bring a genuine warmth and authenticity to the shows they make for us. Bringing Matt Baker (& his family) into the Channel 4 family has really resonated with viewers & we’ve have been rewarded with some real ratings hits. Supporting small regional indies is something that we are particularly passionate about on my team and striking this deal secures even more shows we hope the audience will love & cherish.”
Deborah Dunnett, Commissioning Editor for Daytime and Features at Channel 4: “We are delighted to be continuing our brilliantly collaborative relationship with Matt, Gareth and the team at Big Circus Media. Our viewers love spending time with the Baker family, so we’re thrilled there are so many exciting new formats coming down the line.”