Ben Gale and Natasha Bondy launch indie

Maverick TV’s former director of programmes Ben Gale and ex-Princess Productions exec Natasha Bondy have teamed up to launch a factual indie.

The pair have established London-based Little Gem and begun work on a slate of funded developments with a focus on factual and factual entertainment formats.

Maverick’s former director of programmes Gale takes up the position of managing director, while Bondy - who was most recently Princess’ head of factual entertainment - will become creative director. Gale and Bondy have previously worked together at Maverick and the BBC. They are also on the hunt for a senior executive producer, who will be Little Gem’s first major recruit as it looks to produce “feel-good factual TV”.

Bondy said it was “exciting to be running a true independent company” after several years working for super-indies. She explained: “Ben and I have a long track record of making feel-good factual TV and a shared understanding of what makes great television.”

Gale added: “Little Gem’s creative vision is to make high quality, entertaining factual programmes with outstanding editorial at their heart.” Before joining Maverick, Gale was head of factual for BBC Bristol for three years, overseeing shows including DIY SOS: The Big Build. Gale also had a brief spell as director of programmes at Channel 5 in 2008 and prior to this was a commissioner for the BBC, ordering shows including Don’t Tell The Bride, The Real Hustle and Nigella Express.

He was series editor on the first run of celebrity ancestry show Who Do You Think You Are? and executive produced The Choir.

Bondy was a producer and director at the BBC where she won a Bafta for BBC2 reality series Back to the Floor in 1999. She also produced a number of science films for BBC1, including Phobias, Superhuman and Human Instinct. Bondy was also Head of Factual Features development at the Talkback Thames unit now known as Boundless. While at Shine Group-owned Princess she developed Sky 1’s Ashley Banjo’s Secret Street Crew, ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery and Jewish Mum of the Year for Channel 4.

Originally posted: Broadcast Now