Exclusive: Ugly Brother targets U.S. show for McVitie’s heir

U.S. indie Ugly Brother Studios has signed a deal to launch Jamie Laing (pictured) - the star of UK series Made in Chelsea and heir to the McVitie's biscuit empire - in the States.
November 4, 2014

Mike and Tim Duffy‘s U.S. indie Ugly Brother Studios has signed a deal to launch Jamie Laing (pictured) – the star of UK series Made in Chelsea and heir to the McVitie’s biscuit empire – in the States.

Ugly Brother penned a deal with the 25-year-old following meetings at MIPCOM in Cannes last month, and the brothers are now meeting with U.S. networks to pitch a reality series featuring the star.

The proposed show will be a fish-out-of-water format following the heir as he heads to the States to go on “an adventure of a lifetime,” Ugly Brother co-founder Mike Duffy told realscreen. “While the show will certainly feature Laing as a fish-out-of-water, he’s got American friends in high places who will be hosting him along the way.

“It’s no surprise Jamie has the celebrity status that he does – he’s one of the most charismatic, likable characters with whom we’ve worked,” he added. “We have no doubt that Jamie can anchor another hit series Stateside.”

Laing’s great-great-grandfather was credited with inventing a number of popular UK snacks – including the Jaffa Cake, digestive, and rich tea biscuits – and as an heir to the McVitie’s empire, Laing and his siblings stand to inherit a biscuit empire worth several billion dollars.

The news comes after Mike and Tim (pictured below) launched their California-based indie in January, opening shop with backing from Sky Vision. Prior to setting up the firm, Mike served as the exec VP at T Group Productions, while Tim was U.S. net Spike TV’s senior VP of original series.

Made in Chelsea, meanwhile, is a BAFTA-winning, ensemble, structured-reality show, which launched on UK network E4 in 2011 and is now on its eighth season.

mike duffy and tim duffy
About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.