Elisabeth Murdoch Sets Up New Children's Division at Shine; To Be Led by Teletubbies Co-creator Andrew Davenport

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The company teams up with the creative exec to bring fresh kids entertainment to market.

LONDON -- Shine Group, founded and run by Elisabeth Murdoch, has teamed with Andrew Davenport, creator of In the Night Garden and co-creator of Teletubbies, to step into the children’s programming arena.

Shine and Davenport are uniting to set to set up an as-yet-unnamed production banner to focus on creating both traditional and interactive content for children, initially for the pre-school market, with Davenport as CEO.

It marks Shine Group’s first company dedicated to the children’s genre.

The properties created will be distributed through group sales and distribution arm Shine International, and commercialized – think toys and tie-ins -- by Shine 360° the division responsible for the management of non-broadcast rights at Shine Group worldwide.

Davenport will reunite with Frances Adams, Shine 360°s creative director, with whom he worked in her former role at BBC Worldwide on the international and commercial development of the Teletubbies and In the Night Garden brands.

Originally joining Ragdoll Productions in 1991 as puppeteer and co-writer on Tots TV, Davenport went on to play a lead role in turning Ragdoll into a globally recognized, specialist pre-school producer.

He is the award-winning creator, writer and composer of In the Night Garden and co-creator/writer of all 365 episodes of Teletubbies.

Teletubbies pioneered programming for pre-school children winning in total 17 industry awards, has been seen in over 120 countries and translated into 45 languages. In the Night Garden won two BAFTAs.

Murdoch said: “Partnering with him [Davenport] brings opportunities to create truly multi-platform children’s brands whose full ambitions can be realized by working closely with our ancillary and distribution teams.”