Pinewood saves Teddington

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The Independent Online

Pinewood Shepperton, the film and television studios business, has bought the historic west London studios where some of British television's most famous shows were filmed.

Pinewood Shepperton, the film and television studios business, has bought the historic west London studios where some of British television's most famous shows were filmed.

Teddington Studios, used for The Office, Coupling and The Benny Hill Show, went into administration this week after losing key contracts. Pinewood agreed to buy the former studios of Thames Television for £2.7m, including £100,000 for an associated business, SBC.

Teddington opened in 1912 when the site's owner, Henry Chinnery, took pity on a local film crew struggling in the rain and offered his greenhouse as refuge. The business took off in 1931 when Warner Bros used it.

The site was destroyed during the Second World War but Warner Bros rebuilt it and it reopened in 1948. By the Seventies, after film production had slowed, Thames Television used Teddington for most of its programmes, such as Rumpole of the Bailey. After Thames lost its television franchise in 1992, Teddington was used by other broadcasters.

Pinewood said the acquisition was "a natural extension" to Shepperton's television and sound services business. Ivan Dunleavy, the chief executive of Pinewood, said the Teddington and SBC deal "significantly enhances our presence in the marketplace."

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