Whisper, the UK-based production firm, has launched a new entertainment subsidiary, with a new hub in Manchester.

The offshoot, called Whisper North, will be led by Tom McLennan as managing director.

He will work alongside Anna Andrews who will join as development production executive.

Both McLennan and Andrews previously held roles at commercial broadcaster ITV. McLennan served as the company’s director of entertainment north, while Andrews was production and development executive for ITV studios entertainment.

Whisper North will aim to generate entertainment show formats and operate as a regional office for the production firm’s sporting production.

In addition to generating entertainment formats, the firm will seek to bolster its relations with BBC Sport in Salford and Channel 4 Sport based in Leeds.

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Whisper, founded by Sunil Patel, broadcaster Jake Humphrey and former Formula 1 driver David Coulthard, has a sporting portfolio that includes the Paralympics, Formula 1, international cricket, international rugby and English soccer’s Women’s Super League.

The production company has also been appointed host broadcaster for the Rugby League World Cup in England, which will now take place in 2022 having been postponed from 2021.

The Whisper Group also features Whisper Cymru (Cardiff), Whisper West (Maidenhead), Whisper Australasia (Auckland), Chapter 3 Graphics (London), East Media (London) and Moonshine Features (London).

Sunil Patel, chief executive and co-founder of Whisper, said: “We’re keen for Whisper North to replicate the progress we’ve experienced with our Nations office, Whisper Cymru. Since opening in 2019, we’ve invested in local talent, developed new facilities and staff positions and experienced 50 per cent growth.

“Tom’s connections and significant experience are a great asset and can only help us to establish a strong presence in the North of England, which has been our focus for some time.”