Downing Ventures Leads Investment in BBC Maestro that Launches Today

29 October 2020

Downing Ventures is excited to announce its role as lead investor in BBC Maestro, a new e-learning service designed in partnership with BBC Studios, that launches today. Additional funding was provided by Great Point Ventures. BBC Maestro offers courses that are taught by some of the most experienced and talented creators in the world – the Maestros - including Gary Barlow, David Walliams, Jed Mercurio and Marco Pierre White.

In a year where the arts have taken a hit, and people have limited means to experience them, BBC Maestro is providing an opportunity for creativity to flourish and thrive in the comfort of our own homes. Open to all, users are taught through a series of digital tutorials by an expert who is internationally renowned in their respective field.

2020 has seen the exponential growth of online digital classes and e-learning, and this growth seems set to continue: the global “Mass Open Online Courses” (MOOC) market size is expected to increase from $3.9 billion in 2018 to $20.8 billion by 2023. BBC Maestro illustrates the creative possibilities that the MOOC market is able to offer consumers.

Each course is personally crafted by the Maestro, as an intimate and informative experience that brings them directly into the lives of the participants. Their motivational courses are designed to provide a combination of practical skills and insight, and are as inspirational as they are instructional.

The courses are filmed in 4K resolution and offers several hours of content, for both novices and aficionados, broken down into 20 to 40 easily digested lessons accompanied by downloadable course notes filled with hints and tips. There is a one-off cost of £80.00 per course that allows participants unlimited access. The courses can be viewed on most devices with an internet connection and a web browser, such as mobile, tablet, laptops, and desktop computers.

The service launches today with four courses:

●          Over 45 million albums sold, with 12 number ones, Ivor Novello winning songwriter and musician Gary Barlow, teaches Song Writing

●          40 million books sold, 29 books written and the UK’s best-selling children’s author David Walliams, teaches Writing for Children

●          Multi-award winning screenwriter and creator of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, Jed Mercurio, teaches Writing Drama for Television

●          The Godfather of modern British gastronomy, and the first British 3 Michelin starred chef Marco Pierre White, teaches Delicious Food Cooked Simply




The service will then quickly expand to cover a diverse range of subjects and Maestros including;

Malorie Blackman - Writing for Young Adults

Heston Blumenthal – Ingenious Cooking at Home

Ozwald Boateng - Fashion Design: From the Blank Page to the Catwalk

Helena Bonham Carter – Acting

Julia Donaldson – Writing Children’s Picture Books

Peter Jones – Entrepreneurship

Sir Tim Rice – Performing and Writing Musical Theatre

Vineet Bhatia – Teaching Indian cuisine

Jancis Robinson – An Understanding of Wine


Stephen Davies, Managing Director of BBC Studios, Consumer Products & Licensing says “BBC Maestro offers the ultimate guides for anyone who has a dream or a passion that they’ve always wanted to perfect. Whether you want to write a best-selling book or TV series, become a songwriter, learn to act, cook like a Michelin-starred chef or become an entrepreneur, these lessons provide a rare opportunity for novices and experienced amateurs alike to hone their craft and learn from the very best in the world.”

Richard Lewis, Partner at Downing Ventures says ““BBC Maestro has developed a unique platform that connects people to some of the most extraordinary creative talent out there. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that BBC Maestro offers consumers and look forward to assisting the team as the platform continues to grow and launch new content over the coming weeks and months.”

The service is available at www.bbcmaestro.com

For more information, please contact Lallie Fraser, Lallie.fraser@downing.co.uk, +44 (0) 7743 077773


About Section

BBC Maestro

BBC Maestro, operates under license from BBC Studios, but is an independent business which is not taxpayer funded in any way.

About BBC Studios

BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, with brands like Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing with the Stars, Top Gear, Doctor Who and Bluey. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including ten production bases in the UK and production bases or partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which ordinarily makes around 2500 hours of content a year for both the BBC and third parties including Apple, Amazon and China Mobile, is a champion for British creativity around the world. It is also a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles. To the BBC, BBC Studios contributes both cash dividends and funds for programme-making, supporting the licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences. 

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