DLT Entertainment invests in Gag Reflex and sets up new regional Prod co
DLT Entertainment, the award-winning production and distribution company, has announced that it has made investment in Gag Reflex, the Manchester based talent agency that looks after some of the very best comedic and variety talent in the industry, as well as producing live tours and festivals.
As part of the investment, which sees President of DLT Entertainment Donald Taffner Jr join the company board alongside Gag Reflex’s Founder and Director Lee Martin, a new regional production company called Gag Reflex Productions will be launched. The new company will be located in Manchester at the Gag Reflex offices at The Sharp Project, a Manchester media hub and production facility. Gag Reflex Productions will develop daytime, children’s, game and panel shows, to be produced outside of London.
The new production company will be run by Lee Martin and with creative assistance from DLT’s Creative Director, Darren Smith and Head of Entertainment, Phil Tredinnick. Additional hires will be made in due course. Gag Reflex Production will be building on the success of DLT’s recently announced CBBC commission Monster Court.
This investment not only marks the first regional production expansion for DLT, but a further expansion into the world of comedy and talent representation; having previously invested in The Soho Agency, Blue Book Artist Management, Andrew Roach Talent and MMB Creative. It also complements DLT’s most recent investment in Mark Watson and Lianne Coop’s Impatient Productions, which also produces live and scripted comedy projects.
DLT’s plethora of investments aim to create an internal network of talent, contacts, and ideas, and provide a 360 approach to collaborating, sourcing and developing new projects within the company for the benefit of DLT, its agencies, and their clients.
As well as managing and shaping the careers of its talent – including Sunday Times best selling author Adam Kay, Barbara Nice, Rosco McClelland, Ada Campe, Mat Ricardo, Ben Hart and Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royle – Gag Reflex produces live tours and festivals (domestic and international including Tape Face in Las Vegas and around the world), is one of the largest and most successful producers at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and provides skilled writers, actors and presenters for a selection of TV, Radio, Commercials and warm up shows. Alongside its new production company venture, Gag Reflex will continue to manage its roster of clients, but now with the benefit of a London base and the experience of the larger DLT team.
Donald Taffner Jr., President of DLT Entertainment, said; “We only invest in a company where we admire the team and like the way they are run, and Gag Reflex is no different. Lee is brilliant at what he does, and we hope that alongside his expertise, our input can help expand the company into new areas and genres and create an even wider network. Gag Reflex will have access to space and talent in London while the existing DLT team will have a foothold in one of the most vibrant industry hubs in the UK. It’s a very exciting time.”
Lee Martin, Director, Gag Reflex added: “Since I launched Gag Reflex over ten years ago it has been a joy to work with some of the world’s leading talent and also to be able to guide the careers of unknown performers as they progressed through the industry. DLT’s investment in the company will ensure that we can continue to evolve and keep investing in the plethora of incredible people to be found in our amazing industry. 2020 has been an especially challenging year for all, but Donald’s long-term vision for the group is inspiring, and we are thrilled to be part of that vision. With Manchester being one of the main hubs of the UK’s TV industry, Gag Reflex Productions will be a great opportunity to develop exciting new TV platforms moving forward.”
DLT continues its role as owner and manager of the largest independent theatre in the West End, the Shaftsbury Theatre, where new musical & Juliet is set to reopen in 2021.