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Channel 4 partners with Sacha Baron Cohen's TV production company

Baron Cohen's company supports new and emerging risk-taking comedy writers and performers.

Channel 4 has announced a new partnership with Spelthorne Community Television, a UK based start-up co-founded by actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and Andrew Newman, to help drive a new wave of risk-taking comedy.

Channel 4 will take a minority stake in the business which will support new and emerging comedy writers and performers in new entertainment series with a strong focus on innovation and ideas.

The deal is part of Channel 4’s Growth Fund which was launched last year to support the UK independent production sector by providing access to funding for creative companies with a clear trajectory for growth.

David Abraham, Chief Executive at Channel 4 said he was “thrilled to see Sacha and Andrew return to their Channel 4 roots” with their production business which shared "the Growth Fund’s ambition to support innovative talent”.

Sacha Baron Cohen said it was “very exciting to come back home and back to the British TV industry”. He joked that the goal of Spelthorne Community Television is to “discover new talent, develop new shows, then test them on UK audiences before we remake them, starring me, for the much more important US market.”

Over the past six years Newman said while he had fun producing "ground breaking and innovative shows" setting up the business presents a new creative opportunity. He added that with so many emerging platforms, “now seems like a brilliant time to do it.”

Cohen and Newman’s business continues their partnership which began in 1998 when Sacha Baron Cohen debuted on Channel 4’s The 11 O’clock Show and continued with their work together on BAFTA award winning Ali G show. Newman has had a longstanding relationship with Channel 4 having worked in a commissioning role for shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats, The IT Crowd and The Inbetweeners.

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