PinkNews.co.uk can exclusively reveal British TV producer Charlie Parsons, who created Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast and The Word, has added global dating site Gaydar.co.uk to his business portfolio.
He has become the majority shareholder.
Parsons, 54, famously co-founded the production company Planet 24 with his civil partner and Labour peer Lord Waheed Alli, along with singer and Live Aid organiser Bob Geldorf in 1992.
Before its reported £15 million sale to Carlton Television in 1999 (now ITV plc). Planet 24 was best known for producing Channel 4’s iconic morning show The Big Breakfast, which ran for ten years until 2002. The programme boosted the careers of a host of British TV celebrities including Chris Evans, Mark Lamarr, Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen.
Parsons now runs Charlie Parsons Creative.
The company said at the time it had received a “number of recent investment inquiries” with Ashcombe Advisers appointed to assist in any deal.
Gaydio, a not-for-profit station in Manchester was given GaydarRadio’s DAB licences for London and the Sussex Coast.
In a statement on Friday, Gaydar Chief Executive Trevor Martin told PinkNews.co.uk: “It is a privilege to become CEO of this wonderful brand and as a management team we are excited about the future. The gay dating market has changed considerably since Gaydar first launched in 1999 and this investment will ensure that we surpass expectations and lead from the front once again.”
As part of the management changes, Gaydar founder Henry Badenhorst has left the company and the new management team, led by Trevor Martin, will include Charlie Parsons and Mark Speeks who will both join the Gaydar board of directors with immediate effect.
Charlie Parsons’ civil partner, Lord Alli, is one of the few openly gay Muslims in politics.
He was made a life peer as Baron Alli, of Norbury in the London Borough of Croydon, in 1998 at the age of 34, becoming the youngest and the first openly gay peer in Parliament.
He sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords. Lord Alli spearheaded the campaign to repeal Section 28, which banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools and also fought to equalise the age of consent. It was during a heated exchange with conservative opponents, led by Baroness Young, that he informed his fellow peers that he was gay in April 1999.
Lord Alli also spearheaded an effort to repeal clauses in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 which prohibited religious institutions from conducting the ceremonies on their premises.