WHO WE ARE
Rapid Blue is a boutique, pioneering Production Company with an impeccable reputation for developing original concepts and executing international formats. Duncan and Kee-Leen Irvine founded the company in 1993, and continue – as CEO and MD respectively – to entrench Rapid Blue’s position as a producer of quality, digitally-integrated content for multiple platforms throughout Africa.
Rapid Blue has successfully produced thousands of hours of television, including international hits like X Factor, Got Talent, Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance, Pawn Stars, Dragons’ Den, The Great South African Bake Off, Four Weddings, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and Come Dine With Me.
With an impressive list of local and international awards, most notably an Emmy, Rapid Blue is an industry leader, and has worked and produced across the world. Rapid Blue has its head office in South Africa (Johannesburg) and regional offices in Nigeria (Lagos) and Angola (Luanda).
Duncan Irvine – Chief Executive Officer
An award-winning Executive Producer who exudes passion, vision and an incredible work ethic, Duncan imbues Rapid Blue with his own spirit of entrepreneurship and adventure. A trailblazer who started out as a cameraman, he understands every aspect of the content-creation industry, and is always looking for new ways to deliver quality and stay ahead of the curve. International broadcasters call him for insights into the local market and he often presents at TV forums around the world. A hands-on man, he’s equally at home on set, in an edit suite or around the boardroom table, and is largely responsible for Rapid Blue’s reputation as South Africa’s leading independent Production Company.
Kee-Leen Irvine – Managing Director
With a career spanning nearly 3 decades in the media industry, Kee-Leen’s outstanding track record is matched only by her passion for excellence. She places huge emphasis on great casting and engaging narratives, and maintains a hands-on approach to all Rapid Blue productions. Her love for South Africa and its varied, vibrant stories gives her unique insights into its people and places, allowing her to create content with appeal across the entire socio-economic spectrum. With a keen interest in development and skills transfer, she is proud that more than 200 newcomers who she has trained up are now contributing to our industry’s growth.
Richard McCullough – Chief Financial Officer
When Richard joined Rapid Blue, he’d already notched up over ten years in television, serving as the Financial Manager of PBS TV & Radio for SABC, and running the channel SABC1. With his background in accounting, he has held numerous financial positions locally and abroad, developing a reputation for optimising businesses, helping companies like Delta9 locally, and Cannon and Smith Group in Ireland, through their respective restructuring. He has a unique angle when it comes to facts and figures, seeing himself as a solutions-finder who values research, consultation and lateral thinking. On most days he’s approachable, and will gladly regale you with stories of how he rafted the mighty Zambezi, experienced the joys of Lagos or taught himself to drive a forklift.
Ed Worster – Head of TV
With more than 30 years in television, Ed’s wealth of experience across production, content and channel management is unrivalled. He started, in 1983, as a Studio Floor Manager at the SABC before joining the Religious Department as a producer and director, heading up major live broadcasts like the papal mass conducted by Pope John Paul II at Gosforth Park and Archbishop Tutu’s farewell service from St George’s Cathedral. Ed spent seven years as Programme Manager of SABC2, a year as Acting GM for the Content Hub and two years as Acting GM for SABC3. He joined Rapid Blue in 2013 as Head of Television, bringing with him a nurturing and supportive management style.
Damian Armstrong – Creative Director
Damian’s career spans over 15 years and multiple mediums. He’s a writer, director, DJ and creative thinker who enjoys rolling his sleeves up and coaxing ideas into action. He was Creative Director of the SA Music Awards for 3 years, and has worked extensively in commercials, TV, documentaries and activations. He gets excited by the future of content and storytelling, and is always exploring those weirdly wonderful spaces where brands can make fresh, meaningful impact. Damian’s work for Coca-Cola was a finalist at the International One Show Awards. He’s also the guy who made Vernon Koekemoer famous…but that’s another story altogether.
Kim Thwaites – Head of Production
Kim’s career in television spans over two and half decades, and in this time she has proven herself to be a sought-after producer with an uncanny ability to pull rabbits out of hats. She has worked both locally and abroad on a variety of different productions, from massive live shows to studio formats and location-based productions. Since joining Rapid Blue she has been integral in helping the company set up and produce numerous international format shows, like I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, X Factor (Nigeria and South Africa), Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance and Come Dine With Me. She has also previously worked on Big Brother and Survivor.
Melissa Banks – Commercial Manager
Melissa began her career in media sale almost twenty years ago, and her immense experience in everything from out-of-home and radio to magazines and TV gives her deep insight and understanding into the media landscape. Recently she worked on some incredibly successful Advertiser Funded Programmes, and firmly believes that advertisers need to go “beyond thirty seconds” to thrive. She is passionate about creating unique, entertaining, informative solutions for clients, and always brings creative flair to the value she adds. Melissa is a mother and wife who writes, paints and has even hosted her own show on a community radio station.
Captain Morgan / Next Level Music Videos / SABC1
Four Weddings / Season 1 / Life Time
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here / SA Hub
Johnnie Walker / The Gentleman’s Wager / Mzansi Magic
J&B / Made For The Mix / eTV and Viacom
SA’s Got Talent / Season 6 / eTV
Strictly Come Dancing / Season 8 / SABC3
The Great South African Bake Off / Season 1 / BBC Worldwide
Dragons’ Den / Season 1 / Mzansi Magic
Heineken / StarClub / MTV Base
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here / SA Hub
Pawn Stars / Season 1 / History
Red Bull / Beat Battle Documentary / RBMH
SA’s Got Talent / Season 5 / eTV
Strictly Come Dancing / Season 7 / SABC3
The X Factor / Season 1 / SABC1
Come Dine With Me SA / Season 3 / BBC Entertainment
P&G Head & Shoulders / Cam You Can / SABC3
SA’s Got Talent / Season 4 / eTV
SA Tourism / 20in10 Global Campaign / Phase 4
So You Think You Can Dance / Season 3 / SABC1
Strictly Come Dancing / Season 6 / SABC3
Come Dine With Me SA / Season 2 / BBC Entertainment
Nigeria’s Got Talent / Season 2 / Broadcaster?
Reza’s African Kitchen / Season 1 / DStv Food Network
SA’s Got Talent / Season 3 / eTV
SA Tourism / 20in10 Global Campaign / Phase 3
The Business Coach / Season 1 / SABC3
Blame It On Fame / Season 1 / eTV
Come Dine With Me SA / Season 1 / BBC Entertainment
Idols Nigeria / Season 1 / Broadcaster?
Nigeria’s Got Talent / Season 1 / Broadcaster?
SA Comedy Awards / Season 5 / Nationwide
SA Tourism / 20in10 Global Campaign / Phase 2
2001 – 2010
Cape Epic / Worldwide
Chat The Planet / Season 1 / Worldwide
Children Of Rio (Co–Exec Producers) / Season 1 / Worldwide
Crazy Games / Seasons 1 – 4 / SABC2
Don’t Forget The Lyrics / Seasons 1 & 2 / Broadcaster
Elite Ops / Season 1 / SABC2
Glitter &Glo NTA / Nigeria
Go South / SABC 2
Guardians Of Midnight / Season 1 / Worldwide
International Downhill Extreme / Worldwide
Malaysian Rainforest Challenge / SuperSport
2001 – 2010 (cont)
Olympic Games Beijing / WorldwidePavarotti Farewell ConcertPower Of 10 / Season 1 / M-NetRed Bull Box Cart / Seasons 1 – 3 / SABC3
SA Comedy Awards / Seasons 1 – 5 / Nationwide
Sanlam Money Game / Seasons 1 & 2 / SABC 3
SA’s Got Talent / Seasons 1 & 2 / SABC2
SA Tourism / 20in10 Global Campaign / Phase 1
So You Think You Can Dance / Seasons 1 & 2 / SABC1
Speedy (Animated Series) / Season 1 / Worldwide
Strictly Come Dancing / Seasons 1 – 5 / SABC2
Summer Games / Season 1 / SABC2
The Weakest Link / Seasons 1 – 4 / SABC3
Up & Under / Season 1 / SABC2
Who Do You Think You Are? / Season 1 / SABC2
Wild Ltd. / Seasons 1 – 3 / SABC2
1991 – 2000
Cairo To Cape Town / Season 1 / SuperSport
Camel Trophy / 8 Years / SuperSport
Deep Dive / SuperSport & SABC
Frog / HBO Family
Global Village / Season 1 / eTV
KTV Daily Broadcast / 15 Years / KTV (M-Net)
Red Nose Day / 3 Years / M-Net
Rock Down Africa / 5 Years / MNA
World White Water Challenge / 4 Years / Worldwide
View our work on Vimeo
Emmy Award 2006: Best International Documentary – Lion’s Trail
Golden Horn Award 2016: Best International Format – Strictly Come Dancing 08
Promax BDA Africa 2015: Best Sponsor / Brand Integration Spots (Silver) – J&B Made For The Mix
Loerie Award 2015: Branded Content Video Campaign – Johnnie Walker ‘The Race’
Golden Horn Award 2013: Best International Format – Come Dine With Me 01
Promax South Africa 2012: Best Logo Design – SAMRO
Promax BDA Africa 2012: Best Children’s Promo – Aardman Promo
Golden Horn Award 2010: Best Variety Show – Strictly Come Dancing 05
Golden Horn Award 2009: Best Variety Show – Strictly Come Dancing 04
Golden Horn Award 2008: Best Game Show – Crazy Games 02
Golden Horn Award 2007: Best Game Show – Crazy Games 01
Golden Horn Award 2007: Best Variety Show – Strictly Come Dancing 03
Golden Horn Award 2006: Best Game Show – Weakest Link 01
Promax New York: Various up until 2003 for M-Net Promos
Promax South Africa: Various up until 2009 for SuperSport Promos