Wednesday 23 October 2019 3:07 pm

Louis Theroux leaves BBC Studios to launch his own production company

Louis Theroux has parted ways with BBC Studios to set up his own production company, sparking speculation that the documentary maker could be eyeing deals with streaming rivals.

Theroux, who has worked with the broadcaster’s commercial arm for two decades, has set up a new firm called Mindhouse Productions alongside his executive producer Arron Fellows.

Read more: Samira Ahmed takes BBC to court in row over unequal pay

Theroux and Fellows will each own a 40 per cent stake in Mindhouse, while Theroux’s wife Nancy Strang – herself a TV director – will hold 20 per cent, according to Deadline.

The veteran journalist first shot to fame through his Weird Weekends series, which first aired in 1998. He has since garnered acclaim – and a cultish following – for his documentaries on Scientology, the Westboro Baptist Church and a string of other subcultures.

The move could prompt speculation that Theroux is being courted by streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Actor and screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge last month signed a bumper deal with Amazon to create exclusive new shows, while Netflix has snapped up Peter Morgan, the creator of hit series The Crown. 

But the BBC played down any suggestion that Theroux could be the next British star to ink a deal with a US rival, saying that its partnership with the documentary maker would continue.

“Louis and the BBC have a strong and long-standing relationship,” a spokesperson told Variety. “We look forward to continuing to work together and already have exciting projects in development for next year.”

Theroux first suggested that he would be launching his own production company while speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival in August.

The TV star also reflected on his now infamous documentary on Jimmy Savile, who was later revealed to have committed child sex abuse offences, saying it was the “strangest and most upsetting” point in his career.

Read more: BBC tried to block Ofcom probe into Naga Munchetty impartiality row

A spokesperson for BBC Studios said: “We are really proud of the programmes we have made with Louis, including the Bafta award-winning Altered States and the recent highly acclaimed Mothers on the Edge. 

“We love working with him and hope to again in the near future.”

Main image credit: Getty