Whisper opens new entertainment arm and regional sports hub in Manchester
Production company Whisper has opened Whisper North, a new entertainment arm that sits within The Whisper Group, that will also act as a regional hub for its sports output.
Based in Manchester, Whisper North is headed up by managing director Tom McLennan who joins from ITV Entertainment, where he was director of entertainment north. His credits include University Challenge, Judge Rinder and You’ve Been Framed.
McLennan is joined by development production executive Anna Andrews, who is the former production and development executive for ITV Studios Entertainment.
Whisper North has already secured funded development from three different channels. These sit alongside another substantially backed broadcaster pilot, currently being produced by Whisper.
In addition to generating entertainment formats, Whisper North will operate as a regional office for Whisper’s sporting production under Mark Cole and is well-positioned to bolster the company’s strong relations with BBC Sport in Salford and Channel 4 Sport in Leeds.
McLennan said: “I am really excited to be joining the Whisper Group at a time of incredible growth. Whisper is a truly dynamic and ambitious company whose values reflect my own, and the support, kindness and can-do attitude that we’ve experienced from everyone in the business has been inspiring.
“I’ve worked with some amazing talent in the North over the last 20 years and I can’t wait to introduce them to Whisper and to some of the big ideas we have in the pipeline.
“Whisper has instantly felt like home to me and the team, and opening an office in the North is a real privilege.”
Whisper Group CEO Sunil Patel commented: “It’s great to welcome Tom, Anna and their team to Whisper; to say they have hit the ground running is an understatement!
“We’re keen for Whisper North to replicate the progress we’ve experienced with our Nations office, Whisper Cymru. Since opening in 2019, we’ve invested in local talent, developed new facilities and staff positions and experienced 50% growth.
“Tom’s connections and significant experience are a great asset and can only help us to establish a strong presence in the North of England, which has been our focus for some time.”
Whisper has been appointed Host Broadcaster for the Rugby League World Cup, which will now take place in 2022 following a postponement from 2021 due to COVID. The tournament will predominately take place across the North of England.
Whisper’s growing sporting remit currently includes Formula One, The Paralympics, international rugby, international cricket, women’s football and women’s motorsport.