Stars of award-winning BBC show Episodes hit by collapse of Wimbledon Studios

Turfed out: Tamsin Greig, Matt LeBlanc and Stephen Mangan. Picture: BBC/Hat Trick

Turfed out: Tamsin Greig, Matt LeBlanc and Stephen Mangan. Picture: BBC/Hat Trick

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The stars of BBC show Episodes were hit when Wimbledon Studios collapsed into financial ruin two days after filming began.

The Golden Globe award winning comedy charts the mishaps around the TV industry and features US actor Matt LeBlanc, best known as Joey from Friends, Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan.

BAFTA award winning Hat Trick boss Jimmy Mulville, who also created Have I got News For You, said he was asked by administrators KPMG to pay an extra £125,000 to continue filming but he refused.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Jimmy Mulville. 

The team had built a massive set which included a backdrop of Los Angeles.

They were due to film for eight weeks, but when the demands were made, they cut filming short to two weeks and paid less than the total asked for, instead agreeing a daily rate for the time they were there. 

He said: “As far as we were concerned we were about to spend eight weeks at Wimbledon Studios.

“We had flown in American stars to London – it’s millions of pounds.

“They said they were going into administration a few days before we were due to shoot.

“We were forced to pay.”

The company has now moved production to Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire.

Simon Peters, finance director at Panther Securities Plc, which owned Wimbledon Studios Ltd before it went bankrupt on August 6, said it had delayed closing the studios for two months at an extra cost of £250,000.

He said: “We put more money into the business so it could continue running and give people time to find alternative arrangements.

“Hat Trick is a large company and is one of the main benefactors – it is only fair they should contribute.

“They were aware this business could go under but they couldn’t find another place to film it.

“These things happen quickly.”

It has been widely reported that Persian TV network Marjan Television is due to take over the studios in October this year.

Up to 40 businesses in the Media Village have until September 24 to leave.

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