Pop Idol is one of Britain’s biggest cultural exports with hit franchises in 35 countries. The company behind it is Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment, which created the 1990s pop act the Spice Girls.
Fuller founded 19 in 1985, naming the company after a hit single by Paul Hardcastle. Overseas licensing and brand extensions of the Pop Idol format, which is to be launched in China and Japan, have boosted profits 128% a year from £890,000 in 2001 to £10.6m in 2004. Fuller sold the company to American firm CKX for £100m on March 18.
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