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Rupert Gavin to Chair Contender Entertainment Group

Rupert Gavin has been appointed non-executive chairman of the Contender Entertainment Group (CEG), one of the U.K.s fastest growing entertainment companies. Gavin will be assisting CEG to double its market share of the U.K. DVD market and expand its wholly owned IP base.

Gavin was chief exec of BBC Worldwide (BBCWW), the commercial division of the BBC, and, in his six years there, was directly instrumental in increasing its cash flow through the commercial exploitation of its intellectual property by more than 225%. Particular international successes included such diverse projects as BLUE PLANET, THE WEAKEST LINK and THE OFFICE, as well as childrens programming hits the TELEBUBBIES, TWEENIES and BALAMORY. Gavin also led the growth of domestic BBCWW commercial divisions including magazine publishing, Internet, DVDs, live entertainment, and other licensing and merchandising.

Gavins role at CEG will be reviewed in the event that he leads a successful bid in the mooted sale of some or all of BBCWWs assets and conflicts of interest emerge.

Prior to the BBC, Gavin was md for the consumer division at BT. He was also formerly deputy md of Dixons Stores Group, responsible for both U.K. and Far East commercial operations.

Ruperts breadth of experience in the exploitation of consumer rights is unmatched by any other individual in the U.K. industry, said Richard Bridgwood, md of CEG. More importantly his knowledge is current he has been living and breathing this industry on a global scale for the last six years. We believe that his experience and top table contacts will help accelerate our growth even further. We are thrilled that he has agreed to take on this vital new role in our organization.

Gavin is a director of the Ambassador Theatre Group, one of largest theater and stage production companies in the world, is on the board of Virgin Mobile and is chief exec of Kingdom Media.

CEG ( was founded by Bridgwood in 1995. It operates in four divisions: Videos, Books, TV and Consumer Products. The company distributes material in four principal genres, comprising cult and classic TV, children's programming, nostalgia programming and celebrity-based general entertainment. Its television division produces CEGs wholly owned childrens hit, TRACTOR TOM and PEPPA PIG.