Chris Hunt

CHRIS HUNT is Chief Executive of Digital Classics plc, which comprises
the production company Iambic, Digital Classics Distribution, and Digital Classics Education operations. Born in
Bristol in 1954, Chris Hunt was educated at Clifton College and Jesus
College Cambridge, to both of which he won scholarships. Leaving as an
M.A. Television Features Department in 1979. After making a variety of
programmes for them, he moved on in 1984 to produce and direct ITV’s
“The South Bank Show”. At the same time he formed Iambic Productions
Ltd., which has become one of the UK’s most respected production houses
for arts based performances and documentaries. As a producer, Chris Hunt
currently holds a remarkable record: all his arts documentaries since
1991 – a number well into double figures – have won or been nominated
for major awards, contributing to his current total of over three dozen.
Chris Hunt has also produced and/or directed major films of musicals,
operas, concerts and plays from the (International Emmy winning) feature
film of “Oklahoma!” to “Romeo and Juliet”, from “Kiss Me, Kate” to “The
Merchant of Venice”. In September 2004 he won 2 Primetime Emmys for hid
HBO/BBC production “Elaine Stritch at Liberty”. Iambic Productions Ltd
thrived under Hunt’s management, specialising in programmes for the
international market and as a result achieving margins almost unheard-of
in the independent television sector. In its final year of independence
(to 31 March 2000) Iambic’s turnover was 1,150,329, generating post-tax
profits of 257,717. Hunt became well-known in the co-production
marketplace, concluding deals with numerous foreign broadcasters,
distributors and home video labels, and his business acumen became as
remarked-upon as his production skills. He joined the executive board of
the International Music Zentrum, the trade association of those working
in music and the media (such as opera houses, record labels,
broadcasters and producers). In 1999 Chris Hunt founded the online
broadcaster Online Classics plc, to stream performing arts on video over
the internet. The company floated on the AIM in December of that year,
and launched its website in January 2000, with Hunt as Chairman and
Chief Executive. The main proposition behind the company was that many
people globally find it difficult to experience the performing arts on
video or television, and would pay for the chance to view a large, top-
quality library of such programming, available on demand streamed on the
internet via broadband. It proved ahead of its time, though in 2003 and
2004 is beginning to demonstrate the efficacy of its proposition.