Anderson Entertainment hails first Gerry Anderson Day and international success

Anderson Entertainment has expressed confidence in the growing interest around its portfolio of sci-fi and adventure themed properties and partnerships, having launched the first ever Gerry Anderson Day to much success across the UK and international space.

With more and more of Gerry Anderson’s classic shows  – including the likes of Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 – appearing on TV and streaming platforms, as well as consistently strong sales across DVD and Blu-Ray and new series launches and audiobooks on the way, the appeal of the Anderson Entertainment line-up “remains as strong as ever.”

The firm is currently celebrating the launch and international success of the first Gerry Anderson Day, an event held on April 14th – the same date as the sci-fi world creator’s birthday – that saw streaming and linear TV services, as well as stars, fans, and media platforms line up to support the man and his creations.

Appropriately enough, it was the classic shows that took centre stage on the day. BritBox, the subscription-based streaming service for great British telly and iconic films, offered its selection of the ten greatest episodes from Gerry Anderson’s 60-year career, along with bespoke introductory content featuring exclusive previously unheard audio from Anderson himself, produced by Anderson Entertainment.

Craig Morris, head of editorial, BritBox UK, said: “It was brilliant to be part of such a special day. I felt that it all fitted together perfectly. We have had a fantastic response to the introductions – and a huge spike in viewing to Gerry Anderson content. We look forward to future collaborations.”

Shout! Factory TV offered a 24-hour feast of some of Gerry Anderson’s masterworks broadcasting to fans across North America, and the Network Distributing streaming service offered a five-hour watch party, while Forces TV offered fans multiple platforms on which to vote for their favourite episode of UFO, which was broadcast on the day.

Adam Hardwick, deputy director TV & Cinemas, BFBS, said: “Forces TV really enjoyed being a part of Gerry Anderson Day and the fan engagement on all platforms was tremendous.”

There was also a Terrahawks listen-along organised by audiobooks producer Big Finish Productions, a long-standing partner of Anderson Entertainment.

Steve Berry, head of marketing and publicity, said: “Big Finish celebrated the excitement and enduring legacy of the worlds of Gerry Anderson and this day was the perfect opportunity for us to reach audiences worldwide with the stories they love.”

Online celebrations were led by a special edition 90-minute livestream edition of FAB Live – the Gerry Anderson video podcast hosted by Richard James and Gerry’s son Jamie Anderson – which welcomed to the 90-minute event writers, designers and fans, plus the two stars of the new Thunderbirds audiobook Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars, voice actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw, star of Dead Ringers and Spitting Image, and actress Genevieve Gaunt, also known as Pansy Parkinson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Wilhelmina ‘Willow’ Moreno Henstridge in the popular soap opera The Royals.

As Jamie Anderson, himself a celebrated writer and producer and MD of Anderson Entertainment, said: “We trended on Twitter – for #GerryAndersonDay and Thunderbirds throughout the day, we had our most concurrent live viewers ever – and we saw quadruple the usual traffic to our sites.”

Radio coverage on both local and national stations, as well as magazine features and newspaper articles complemented online coverage in the run-up to the big day.

Plans are already being made for the 2022 event when broadcasting initiatives can be safely accompanied by live events, special appearances, retail support and new product launches.

Jamie Anderson added: “Dad’s optimism, vision and love of exciting, innovative entertainment have always been at the heart of his appeal and, judging from the response to the first-ever Gerry Anderson Day, that appeal remains as strong as ever. Our aim next year is to build on this success and to make full use of the opportunities for live events and get-togethers we didn’t have first time round. So we’re now raising a glass to the first-ever Gerry Anderson Day – and looking forward to an even bigger event in 2022.”

Terror from the Stars | Anderson Entertainment starts count down for Thunderbirds audio book series launch

Anderson Entertainment, the production company founded by Gerry Anderson – the man behind shows like Thunderbirds and Space: 1999 – has detailed a ‘significant new arrival in the audio market’, with the launch of Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars.

An adaptation of John Theydon’s 1965 book Thunderbirds, the title is the first of Anderson Entertainment’s new series of audio versions of classic Gerry Anderson stories from the ’60s and ’70s. The series is now being made available thanks to a new licensing deal with ITV Studios.

A newly printed collector’s hardback version of the original book will be included with the boxed four-CD set. A download-only version will also be available.

This ‘significant new series’ will build on the vast popularity of Gerry Anderson’s creations and the appeal of audiobooks to a wide range of consumers – from commuters and homeworkers to joggers and gym users.

Anderson Entertainment has already enjoyed success in the audio entertainment market, notably through collaborations on Terrahawks and Captain Scarlet with production company, publisher and distributor Big Finish and its own all-new audio drama First Action Bureau. These audiobooks, however, are entirely Anderson Entertainment-devised and produced, although Big Finish will be handling distribution of the digital download-only versions.

This will also be the first time a dedicated series of audiobook and hardback packages has been produced across a wide range of Anderson titles – most of which have never before been adapted for audio.

In Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars, the ex-con cockney chauffeur Parker and the stylish aristocrat Lady Penelope, originally voiced by David Graham and Sylvia Anderson, will be brought to life by voice actor and impressionist Jon Culshaw, star of Dead Ringers and Spitting Image, and actress Genevieve Gaunt, also known as Pansy Parkinson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Wilhelmina ‘Willow’ Moreno Henstridge in the popular soap opera The Royals.

Jon Culshaw will also be voicing Jeff Tracy, the head of the Tracy family, and Genevieve Gaunt will play Grandma Tracy. The Tracy brothers, the evil Hood and the brilliant Brains will also be voiced by a talented cast that includes Wayne Forester, Justin T Lee, Joe Jameson and Anna Leong Brophy.

The Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars audiobook and hardcover reissue of the original book will launch in May on the Gerry Anderson store ( The package has been available for pre-order from April 11th in a four-CD set that includes a behind-the-scenes documentary. 

Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars will be followed by audio and hardback versions of other iconic Gerry Anderson creations, including Stingray, Joe 90, UFO and Space:1999. There will also be more Thunderbirds adaptations.

Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment, said: “The success of Anderson Entertainment’s audio-focused ventures, like the all-new audio drama First Action Bureau and Terrahawks, has underlined the strong appeal of audio formats. With material available in the form of popular 1960s and 1970s books and strong support from talented voice casts, we think this new venture will be eagerly embraced by a wide audience.”

String theory | The enduring legacy of Gerry Anderson and creating sci-fi worlds

If ever you needed an excuse to spend the day streaming episodes of Thunderbirds, Stingray, or any of the plenty other titles in the vast, yet iconic, library of Anderson Entertainment, then let the matter that today marks the first ever Gerry Anderson Day be it.

If you don’t need an excuse, then you’ll be pleased to know that this inaugural event marks just the start of a wider, far-reaching play being made by Anderson Entertainment as the company – headed up by Jamie Anderson, son to the creator of so much now familiar to the sci-fi genre today – looks to build on the rich heritage, nay, pedigree of the Anderson name.

From new content across the entertainment mediums – including audio stories and live action – and tantalising new IP, to its fast-expanding range of merchandise and more left-field licensing opportunities, which includes hotels and themed escape rooms, Anderson Entertainment is a family business with an enduring legacy and some major plans for building upon it.

Here, Robert Hutchins talks to Anderson Entertainment MD, Jamie Anderson about the heritage of a name, the enduring legacy of the series that pioneered the sci-fi genre, and how – when it comes to toys – the Anderson Entertainment portfolio is spanning the generations, as well as why now is the right time to be launching and celebrating Gerry Anderson Day.

Jamie Anderson is a respected writer, director and producer whose CV includes audio plays based on his father’s creations.

We’ve not failed to mention that his father is Gerry Anderson, creator of some of the most iconic and era-defining, as well as genre-defining, television and brand named in entertainment, including Thunderbirds, Stingray, Space: 1999, Terrahawks, and plenty more.

“I’m also MD of Anderson Entertainment, which deals with both the production and merchandising sides of my father’s business,” Anderson tells ToyNews. “I’m not only tasked with building on the continuing popularity of classic shows like Space: 1999, Thunderbirds and Stingray but my team is developing new audio and video productions based on established favourites like Thunderbirds and Terrahawks.

“We’re also building brand-new IP, like audio drama First Action Bureau and the sci-fi drama Firestorm. And there’s a fast-growing merchandising arm to manage! All of this has to be true at all times to the legacy of Gerry Anderson and his creative vision. So, there’s a little pressure…”

David Lane adjusts Alan in Thunderbird 3

And of course the product side has to connect with audiences across the many generations that Anderson spans.

“That’s right,” says Anderson. “One thing all audiences share is a love of the Anderson name, but we obviously differentiate IP and products depending on demographics: merchandise available ranges from model kits and dress-up to t-shirts and collectables. Ideas under consideration include limited edition, hand-coloured silk screen prints, nostalgia-driven publishing – there’s a lot of uncollected material out there – music content and even themed escape rooms.”

And, of course, toys.

“We have high hopes for an expanded toys and collectibles range – and not just for kids. Who doesn’t want to have a Thunderbird 2, a Stingray or a Space 1999 Eagle on their office desk?”

The range of IP to work with is pretty wide too. Anderson is about more than just the Supermarionation puppets of Thunderbirds and Stingray that made it famous. There’s live action like UFO, animated comedy like Dick Spanner and more recent output such as First Action Bureau, an audio sci-fi drama now on its second series.

Clearly, decades after he started out, the Anderson name still resonates. Hence the decision to launch Gerry Anderson Day on his birthday, April 14th. But the timing of the first Gerry Anderson Day is important for other reasons.

“More and more of Gerry’s classic shows are appearing on TV and streaming services; there will be special showings on Gerry Anderson Day. The classics are also enjoying strong sales on DVD and Blu-Ray, while new series and new product ranges are on the way. It’s a good time to celebrate the guy who started it all.”

The continuing relevance of Gerry Anderson’s work is underlined by written and spoken input from writers, stars, famous fans and guests on Gerry Anderson Day. But what inspired the creativity that they are all queuing up to praise?

“Dad’s main inspiration came from real life,” says Anderson. “Right from his early days he was fascinated by aviation. In fact many of the pilots in his shows were inspired by his brother Lionel, a flyer who was killed in the Second World War. But news stories, science documentaries, and things he saw in real life, including, on one occasion, a plane doing an emergency landing, inspired him too. He stored up hundreds of ideas – and many made it to the screen.”

And what about his own creativity? How far did the apple fall from the tree? Take even just a glance at the output that Jamie Anderson has to his own name, and it’s a strong argument that creation is genetically encoded into the Anderson gene. However, in his role at Anderson Entertainment, where do his focuses lay? Is is in IP creation, or spotting the right opportunities for the Anderson brands?

“It’s both,” says Anderson. “Obviously my own background as a writer, director and producer helps me to see opportunities for both new IP and developing existing IP.

“One of our big projects right now is a new series of audio books, the first of which is Thunderbirds: Terror from the Stars. It boasts impressionist Jon Culshaw, star of Dead Ringers and Spitting Image, as Parker and Jeff Tracy and Genevieve Gaunt of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as Lady Penelope.”

Many other audio books will follow, bringing early novelisations to a new audience with the help of some major names. Many of these actors – like Jon Culshaw – were themselves, childhood fans of Gerry Anderson.

“Famous fans like Jon – and Jonathan Ross, Eddie Izzard, John Barrowman and so many others – perfectly illustrate the fondness of so many generations for Gerry’s tremendous legacy,” adds Anderson.

That said, Anderson Entertainment has done lots of new work – against, it has to be said, some tough odds. “Dad would love the idea that we completed series one of First Action Bureau and the new audio book during a lockdown,” says Anderson.

There will be even more famous names featured in a forthcoming Gerry Anderson documentary – “the first serious, in-depth look back at his life, amazingly” – which is being produced by The Format Factory. Coming to TV screens in 2022, it will be, as Benjamin Field of The Format Factory puts it “an appraisal of a great and sometimes flawed man – honest, unflinching, but always fascinating”.

Jamie Anderson has been surprisingly busy given a year of lockdowns. What’s the first thing he’ll doing when all restrictions end?

“In work terms, I’ll probably be doing much the same as I was during lockdown: planning, having meetings, writing, directing – except that I can now do all that with real people in real studios and offices. And I suspect there’s going to be lots to do…”

Anderson Entertainment partners with Gail Myerscough to launch limited edition mug set

Anderson Entertainment has detailed a new collaboration with the surface pattern designer and illustrator Gail Myerscough that will witness the launch of a limited edition set of mugs and coasters bearing designs inspired by shows created Gerry Anderson.

The designs were commissioned by Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment and son of Gerry Anderson, who was impressed by a design inspired by control panels seen in shows like Thunderbirds. Each of the bone china mugs are hand finished at James Dean Pottery in Kent.

The mugs and coasters will be sold exclusively through Anderson Entertainment’s successful e-commerce site, the Gerry Anderson Store, which boasts an expanding list both of licensee-supplied product and new items developed and created by Anderson Entertainment. They will be available from the beginning of April.

The core market for the mugs is expected to be Gerry Anderson fans and gift buyers of all ages, along with lovers of stylish, unusual homeware. 

Gail Myerscough said: “I take my inspiration from mid-century design and modernist architecture and I grew up watching Gerry Anderson shows, so bringing all these interests together in these designs has been a real pleasure for me. Anderson Entertainment has been a delight to work with and I’m looking forward to more collaborations in the near future.”

Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment, added: “Gail is a creative and versatile designer with a new and fresh way of looking at the Anderson classics which at the same time captures the essence of their appeal. These, stylish, original and fun mugs and coasters are an integral part of our ongoing plans for an expanded offering from the Gerry Anderson Store to meet growing demand. It’s going to be a very busy 2021.”

Anderson Entertainment launches first official Gerry Anderson Day as consumer demand drives further growth

Anderson Entertainment, the production company founded by the creator of the original Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson, has detail the first International Gerry Anderson Day to take place on April 14th – marking the birthday of the man behind other hits including Space: 1999 and Captain Scarlet.

Celebrating the life and works of the producer, Gerry Anderson Day will feature special events, live streams, unique new content from Anderson Entertainment, limited edition products, and a special YouTube programme.

There will also be special guest appearances from a number of celebrity fans.

Supporting these plans is the redesigned corporate website, which launched in mid-January, while the event wouldn’t be an event without its own hashtag – #GerryAndersonDay

The launch of the event coincides with what is shaping up to be ‘one of the biggest years ever’ for the company that has recently secured broadcast deals with a slate of TV and streaming services to run series from its library of classics, while Thunderbirds, Fireball XL5, Stingray, and the 2005 reinvention of Captain Scarlet continue to enjoy strong sales on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Meanwhile, consumer demand is also driving merchandising growth. An expanded direct-to-consumer and retail merchandising offering on the popular online Gerry Anderson Store will see a large number of major launches during the first half of the year. The site is already on course to more than double its year-on-year sales in 2021.

New series are on the way too, overseen by Gerry’s son Jamie, himself a celebrated writer and producer and MD of Anderson Entertainment, including the new sci-fi drama Firestorm and a reboot of ’80s hit Terrahawks. The second series of the popular audio drama hit First Action Bureau – developed and produced during the spring lockdown – will also arrive this year. Series one has just been released on CD. 

Jamie Anderson said: “Gerry Anderson’s work has been popular for decades and is still gaining new fans. His creations are today a multi-platform phenomenon that is inspiring an expanding product line and the continuing planning and development of new content.

“With interest high – and growing – across multiple generations of consumers and viewers, we expect strong engagement from both fans and media in the first-ever Gerry Anderson Day.”

Anderson Entertainment readies ‘for exciting 2021’ with D2C merch, broadcast partners and new content

An expanded direct-to-consumer and retail merchandising platform, more broadcast and streaming partners, and more new content development will all be at the heart of Anderson Entertainment’s 2021 plans for expansion.

Detailing a line-up of activity for the year ahead, the firm – founded by Gerry Anderson, the man behind the iconic Thunderbirds and Space:1999 – has earmarked 2021 to be “an exciting and busy year” for its merchandising and licensing activity.

This strategy will be led by the company’s highly successful e-commerce site, the Gerry Anderson Store, which boasts an expanding list both of licensee-supplied product and new items developed and created by Anderson Entertainment.

With 2020 sales from the Official Gerry Anderson Store having already eclipsed the 2019 figure, Anderson Entertainment is now building on the strength of its direct-to-consumer business and working with new partners. This year will also see many more products – and product categories – launching on the store’s site and through other online and physical retail outlets. 

This expansion will be enabled by a new cross-category licence that Anderson Entertainment recently signed with ITV Studios, the underlying rightsholder for many classic Gerry Anderson properties.

This licence allows Anderson Entertainment to build on the global recognition of the Gerry Anderson portfolio with expanded product ranges and to build sales opportunities with other retail partners. 

On the content side, classic shows will land across more streaming platforms as well as linear TV, DVD and Blu-Ray. New productions will also be a strong focus.

The popular audio drama hit First Action Bureau – developed and produced during the spring lockdown – is now on CD and a new series is planned. Firestorm and the imminent reboot of Terrahawks lead a growing slate of series under development or in production, many of which will be announced later this year.

A new corporate website was launched in mid-January at which has been redesigned for easier navigation, highlighting the company’s classic and new content, along with its ongoing IP development, consumer products and services.

Jamie Anderson, MD of Anderson Entertainment, said: “We’ve spent a number of years establishing a strong merchandise offering, expanding into new platforms and developing new IP. Anderson Entertainment is now perfectly placed to build on the success of this coordinated strategy. It’s going to be a very exciting 2021.”

Anderson Entertainment plans portfolio expansion following deal with ITV Studios

Anderson Entertainment, the content production company set up by the late Gerry Anderson, has signed a new license agreement with ITV Studios, to expand the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson portfolio into apparel, publishing, toys and figures, homeware and giftware – and then sell products worldwide.

Anderson Entertainment’s portfolio is home to iconic retro and heritage properties such as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, UFO, and Space: 1999.

Today, with Gerry’s son Jamie, a respected writer and producer, as its managing director, Anderson Entertainment develops its own IP and projects from its founder’s personal archive, as well as manages his estate and existing works. Anderson Entertainment has also developed new content for delivery across a variety of viewing and audio platforms.

Another important part of Anderson Entertainment’s business is its ecommerce offering – the Official Gerry Anderson Store, which sells and makes official and exclusive merchandise available to Anderson fans across the globe. The store has been trading for five years, selling licensed merchandise and a number of exclusive products. Its range encompasses such categories as DVD, Blu-ray, audio, toys, collectibles, clothing and accessories, books, comics, homeware and giftware

Under the terms of the new agreement with rightsholder ITV Studios, Anderson Entertainment is now able to build on the global recognition of the Gerry and Sylvia Anderson portfolio. Importantly, the new agreement also enables the company to build sales opportunities with other retail partners.

Recent years have seen a strong growth in the popularity of the classic Gerry and Sylvia Anderson hits and growing demand for new content from Anderson Entertainment. Product demand has also grown; sales from the Official Gerry Anderson Store are already on course to double the 2019 figure.

Jamie Anderson said: “We’re delighted to have come to this agreement with ITV Studios, which retains its interest in a group of properties with massive revenue-producing potential, while growth is driven by the instantly recognizable Anderson name and iconic brands – many of them known and loved around the world for more than 50 years.”

Christina Lima, VP global franchise management and creative services at ITV Studios, added: “ITV Studios has been working with Anderson Entertainment for some time now, and it’s very clear to us that they have a loyal, engaged and growing fanbase around the world.

“They are the perfect partner to drive consumer product development and sales in an authentic and sensitive way which balances a commercial approach with respect for a group of highly respected heritage brands.”