Takes 25% stake after previous development deal

Kudos has taken a stake in UK podcast company What’s the Story?, strengthening a pre-existing relationship with the Leeds-based firm.

The Banijay label has taken a 25% stake in the outfit, which was set up by ex-TV producers Sophie Ellis and Darrell Brown, who worked at Candour and Workerbee TV, respectively.

Kudos’ investment comes around 14 months after it signed a first-look development deal with What’s The Story? to adapt original podcasts into dramas.

The new deal will see What’s the Story? producing box-set series and returnable formats across a range of genres, as well as producing companion series for upcoming Kudos and Banijay shows.

The two firms will continue to work together to develop stories which could be exploited across TV or audio, as well as assess what podcasts could be adapted for drama.

What’s The Story? has been behind several hit podcast series including Body of Proof, which reached number 1 in the Audible-UK bestseller chart; The Missing, which working with leading missing persons charities, tells the untold stories of the long-term missing; and most recently, the Spotify original podcast, Emily Atack: Lie Detector – which investigates stories of dishonesty, fakery and lies.

The closer tie-up will see What’s the Story? better positioned to become a ‘go to’ supplier for both non scripted and scripted companion podcasts for the wider Banijay UK group and develop more non-scripted ideas w

Martin Haines, co-managing director of Kudos, brokered the deal, and will sit on What’s the Story’s board alongside Brown and Ellis. The investment was financed through Banijay’s scripted creative fund overseen by Banijay’s head of scripted, Lars Blomgren.

“The relationship which [co-MD] Karen [Wilson] and I have built with What’s the Story? over the past 12 months has shown us that there is a hugely fruitful synergy between the two types of content,” Haines said. “Working together, there is a real opportunity to discover new stories and new ways to tell them for both television and for the audio space, and we look forward to working more closely both creatively and commercially.”

Ellis and Brown added: “We have ambitious plans to become the home for true crime and incredible human stories you won’t find anywhere else. With Kudos’s input and expertise, and the support and access to the wider Banijay group, we feel confident that we can realise this.”