Fast Track 100

During the summer RDF helped people to relax on Friday nights. It is the maker of Banzai, the Channel 4 entertainment programme in which viewers were invited to bet on a series of challenging questions, such as which bra-wearing women have real breasts and which have silicon implants – or how many balloons it takes to lift a chicken off the ground. The show was the brainchild of David Frank, a former BBC reporter. He founded his production company – RDF – in 1993 and started out making business documentaries. But Frank was wasted on sober fact. He soon branched out into wackier territory, launching a series of hit entertainment television shows, such as Scrapheap Challenge, Faking It, and Shipwrecked. Scrapheap Challenge gets together teams of engineers and sets them a challenge, such as building a submarine or a car crusher from components salvaged from a scrapheap. Selling to Channel 4 and BBC, the company also develops websites to accompany some of its programmes, including a gambling website for Banzai. It sells its shows to overseas audiences through RDF International, and Scrapheap Challenge has been exported to America under the title Junkyard Wars. Sales of the London company have risen 84% a year from £1.6m in 1997 to £10.1m in 2000, when it had 77 staff.

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Company details
CompanyRDF Media
ActivityTV programme maker
LocationWest London
Annual sales rise over 3 years84.19%
Latest sales £000s10,051

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure