Geldof and friends split pounds 15m by selling off Planet 24

BOB GELDOF is to receive about pounds 5m after selling his television company Planet 24 to Carlton Communications.

The former Boomtown Rats singer and his partners Lord Alli, a Labour peer, and Charlie Parsons will divide pounds 15m from the television company, which owns the ITV broadcasters Carlton and Central.

It is one of Britain's largest production companies and its value is based on its contract to produce The Big Breakfast for Channel 4. That contract is thought to be worth around pounds 20m a year. It is the channel's biggest commission and only ITN's evening news programme comes close to appearing as regularly as the breakfast show.

Carlton and Planet 24 refuse to disclose the size of the deal, but City analysts believe pounds 15m reflects a realistic price for the company. However, a Planet 24 spokesman has said in the past that the asking price for the company was pounds 30m. The Big Breakfast has had a period of relative ratings success with the presenter Johnny Vaughan over the past two years, after flagging since the departure of Chris Evans in the mid-Nineties.

Geldof, who was knighted for organising Band Aid and Live Aid in the Eighties, said yesterday: "I'm as proud of Planet 24 as anything else I've done. This one company managed to shift the way television looked so nowadays our screens are awash with Planet 24 'wannabe' programming."

Dublin-born Geldof, a former music journalist who first rose to prominence with the Boomtown Rats in the post-punk wave in the late 1970s, has recently worked as a disc jockey on the London radio station Xfm, and he joked yesterday that he would now have time to follow his career in astrophysics. Last year he was paid pounds 684,000 as a director of the company. The creative brain behind the company is Charlie Parsons, who has made celebrities out of performers with youth and tabloid appeal, including Denise Van Outen, Dani Behr and Gaby Roslin. The other managing partner, Lord Alli, is a close friend of the former cabinet minister Peter Mandelson and was made a life peer last year. There has been speculation that he has wanted to sell the company to devote more time to his political career. He serves on the Foreign Office Panel 2000, which advises Robin Cook on the rebranding of Britain.

He will join Carlton as managing director of Carlton Productions. Parsons and Geldof will be connected with the company only in a consultative role.

Since its foundation in 1992 Planet 24 has managed to successfully dominate the niche market of "Yoof TV" typified by the late-night Channel 4 programme The Word. Despite some criticism of Planet 24 output, it nevertheless acted as a springboard to launch many household names.

Planet 24 employs 250 staff and makes programmes for terrestrial, satellite and cable television, as well as radio. Its terrestrial output alone is 600 hours of programming a year.

As well as The Big Breakfast, the company makes Gaytime TV for the BBC and Watercolour Challenge for Channel 4. A raft of other new programmes are also being developed but not all attempts to branch out have been successful. Plans to produce an American chat show failed after the series' ratings collapsed and Hotel Babylon for ITV received mixed reviews.

Carlton currently spends around pounds 200m a year on programmes for its own ITV companies Carlton and Central as well as for the BBC and Channel 4.

Planet 24, which employs 200 people, had profits after tax last year of pounds 1m.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Robbie Savage will not face a driving ban
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries were putting themselves at risk of tinnitus and, in extreme cases, irreversible hearing loss
health Nearly half of all young people in middle and high income countries are at risk of tinnitus
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
people The most notorious spin doctor in UK politics has reinvented himself
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in ‘I Am Michael’
filmJustin Kelly's latest film tells the story of a man who 'healed' his homosexuality and turned to God
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower