DLT Entertainment Invests In Gag Reflex And Sets Up New Regional Indie

DLT sets up Manchester based production company as part of its investment into talent agency

London: 15th October 2020: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.

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Further information:
Georgie Rennie, on behalf of DLT Entertainment: georgie.rennie@premiercomms.com | +44 200 7292 5094
Charlie Wainwright, on behalf of DLT: charlie.wainwright@premiercomms.com | +44 020 7292 7372


About DLT Entertainment:
With headquarters in London and New York, DLT Entertainment Ltd. is engaged in every aspect of television distribution and production around the world, as well as stage production in the US and in the UK where it owns London’s Shaftesbury Theatre Theatre and talent representation business with ownership positions in MMB Creative, The Soho Agency, Blue Book Artist Management, Andrew Roach Talent and The Galton Agency.

Founded in 1963 as a distribution company by Don Taffner Sr., the company added television production to its portfolio in 1977. It has enjoyed terrific success in its fifty-six year history with legendary hits on both sides of the Atlantic including the multiple award-winning and BBC Trust praised sitcom My Family, As Time Goes By, Three’s Company, Too Close For Comfort and Meet My Folks. In addition, DLT has built a reputation as a leading distribution company with classics such as The Benny Hill Show, The World at War, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood, The Russ Abbot Show, Michel LeGrand and Friends, and Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit.

In 2018 DLT expanded its own production activities in the United Kingdom through the acquisition of Vera Productions whose past productions include Getting On, Million Pound Jewellers, Bremner, Bird, and Fortune, and numerous Dispatches such as President Trump’s Dirty Secrets and Politicians for Hire: Cashing in on Brexit. 2020 saw further expansion with an investment in Mark Watson’s Impatient Productions.

This year, DLT started a podcasting division with programs from Matt Richardson & Matt Willis and Laura Lexx & Will Duggan

The Shaftesbury Theatre in London, where & Juliet will continue its West End run once social distancing measures are eased, is owned by DLT.

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