What Do We Do?
Ladbroke Productions makes great audio...it's as simple as that! We make radio programmes, dramas and readings for the BBC national radio networks. We make audio productions for commercial and corporate clients, for in-house and public purposes. And we are a production and development house for other producers who need access to top producing, presenting, writing, engineering and programme-making talent. On top of all that, we look for new talent and help develop the creative potential that is just waiting to be discovered.
What You Need To Know
Ladbroke Productions (Radio) Ltd was formed in 1975, shortly after the first commercial radio stations launched in the UK. The founders were all commercial radio broadcasters who saw an opportunity to provide bespoke audio productions to the new radio sector. Over the decade that followed, Ladbroke Productions created hundreds of hours of programming, ranging from arts shows to health documentaries, as well as advertising and marketing audio productions.
During the 1980's, the owners found that they were spending a lot of time training contributors and participants in advance of the actual programme production sessions. And so they launched a sister company, Electric Airwaves Ltd, which was the first media training company to be formed in the UK. Electric Airwaves quickly grew and prospered, training CEOs, PRs, spokespeople, authors, musicians, TV presenters and politicians. During this time Ladbroke Productions continued to supply audio to the commercial radio sector, as well as corporate productions to some of the Electric Airwaves clientele.
In the early 1990's, the BBC decided to open its doors (albeit only slightly) to formal independent radio production commissioning. BBC TV had recently done something similar (although for TV this was following a change to the Communications Act and the Royal Charter). Ladbroke Productions was perfectly placed to pitch for this new work, with its long experience of commercial radio and corporate audio production, and its team of experienced producers and presenters. In fact Ladbroke Productions became the first independent production company to be commissioned by the BBC, back in 1992 (we still have a copy of the cheque!).
Over the following decade both companies flourished, with Electric Airwaves growing to become the biggest media training firm in the UK, and Ladbroke Productions expanding to become one of the top 5 commissioned indies. A great many talented people came through the doors, many later moving on to become well-known names.
At the start of the new millenium, the original owner, Sarah Dickinson, decided to sell the companies, and so former political special advisor Andrew Caesar-Gordon took up the reigns. Over the following years he streamlined the two companies, merging them together and focusing each side of the business on its core activities. Electric Airwaves was now the parent company, the media training side now working with over 35 of the FTSE 100, and proving to be an exceptional business. Ladbroke Productions had undergone some drastic staff changes, lowering running costs and sharpening up the services it offered. Ladbroke Productions was still producing a lot of BBC network radio programming, but had moved away from the majority of its corporate and PR work.
In October 2008 a new chapter began for Ladbroke Productions. Neil Gardner, who was the Creative Director of the firm and had been with the business for almost a decade, took an opportunity to purchase the Ladbroke Productions side of the business from Electric Airwaves. In an amicable split, the two companies have now gone their separate way, although remain closely tied through shared aims and ambitions.
To help him re-launch the company, Neil partnered with his existing Executive Production colleague Richard Bannerman, and also brought on board experienced Radio 2 and 4 producer Neil Rosser. Alongside them, Neil turned to an old friend and financial expert Nick Lawrence, to bring some additional business focus to the new firm. With the Board in place, and all of the existing roster of talented producers, writers, broadcasters and colleagues supporting them, the all-new Ladbroke Productions (Radio) Ltd began its life on 1st October 2008.