Leading talent company The Agency teams up with Avalon

Helion is pleased to announce the sale of a majority stake in The Agency to Avalon in a transaction that highlights the increasing importance of UK drama writing talent.

The Agency, one of the UK’s leading writers’ agencies, has joined with international management and production group, Avalon, to form a distinctive talent representation business that includes writers, actors, directors and comedians. Avalon has acquired a majority stake in the business.

Founded in 1995 by Stephen Durbridge, Leah Schmidt, Julia Kreitman and Bethan Evans, The Agency represents writers, directors, creatives and literary rights across TV, film and theatre, with a roster of over 400 top tier clients. Its clients have excelled in the primetime TV viewing schedule for the last 25 years, initially on linear TV, but also increasingly on cable and SVOD platforms, and have written some of the most successful dramas of recent times.
The Agency’s clients and their TV dramas include:

  • Heidi Thomas / Call the Midwife (9 series, BBC1)
  • Andrew Davies / House of Cards (6 seasons US adaptation, Netflix) & Les Miserables (BBC1)
  • Paul Abbott / Shameless (11 series, C4)
  • Debbie Horsfield / Poldark (5 series, BBC1)
  • Sally Wainwright / Gentleman Jack and Happy Valley (BBC1)
  • Stephen Butchard / The Last Kingdom (4 series, BBC/Netflix)
  • Mike Bartlett / Doctor Foster (2 series, BBC1)
  • Russell Lewis / Endeavour (8 series, ITV)
  • Bill Gallagher / Jamestown (3 series, Sky)
  • Kate Brooke / A Discovery of Witches (2 series, Sky)

The Agency also has a strong theatre team representing clients who have written and directed some of the UK’s best known and longest running theatre productions including international hits such as Mamma Mia (Catherine Johnson), Matilda The Musical (Matthew Warchus), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Jonathan Butterell), The Lehman Trilogy (Sam Mendes) and War Horse (Nick Stafford).

The Agency’s clients have been recognised with multiple global awards – the Film and Television BAFTAs, the Oliviers, the Tonys, the Writer’s Guild and the Oscars – to name but a few.

With a TV market that is increasingly international, driven by the growing importance of the US based SVOD platforms, Avalon’s presence in Los Angeles and New York allows the Agency to bring the benefits of increasing global reach to its clients alongside its proven UK market expertise.

Avalon is a multi-award winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York. Avalon and Artist Rights Group represent a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors.

As the largest independent production group in the UK, Avalon produces and distributes a ground-breaking slate of global television series including: multi-Emmy winning Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), Breeders, starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky), BAFTA-winning entertainment format Taskmaster (Channel 4), BAFTA-winning and multi-Emmy nominated Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), and the iconic satirical puppet show Spitting Image (Britbox).

“I would not hesitate to recommend the services of Tom Manwaring and his team at Helion Partners to anyone in the entertainment industry seeking to refinance, redefine or sell their business. Tom has acted for us twice in 4 years and each time he has brought a calmness and a sense of precision to the process. His extensive commercial knowledge of the media sector, together with his ability to resolve complex legal, tax and financial issues with innovative solutions make his services indispensable in this market.”

Stephen Durbridge, Founder and Partner, The Agency

I’m delighted to have advised The Agency on such a pivotal step in their evolution. It has an enviable list of writers and the shows its clients have written are some of the most successful ever produced. As the market for drama becomes ever more global, the benefits of joining Avalon with its global reach, as well as its complementary talent management expertise and clients, is clearly compelling, as the Agency seeks to grow its business. I look forward to seeing them thrive in such an attractive market

Tom Manwaring, Partner, Helion