Kennington Film Studios

2001 – 2012,  2014 – present

(Revised March 2020)


Cactus TV

cactus studio


In May 2001 Richard Madely and Judy Finnegan unexpectedly announced that they were to leave their highly successful show on ITV1 – This Morning with Richard and Judy.  Their reasons for leaving are not the subject of this website and are well-documented elsewhere.  They were signed by Cactus Television to produce a new daytime show for Channel 4.  Cactus had been operating since 1994 as an independent production company but this was to be their biggest undertaking yet.

They decided that with an initial two-year contract with C4, it made financial sense to build their own studio for the show rather than hiring an existing one.  They found a suitable site in Kennington – an industrial warehouse unit, which was duly converted into a fully equipped TV studio.  Channel 4’s  Richard and Judy  began broadcasting in November 2001.

The studio is 74 x 48 feet wall to wall (approx 3,500 sq ft).  As with most conversions, the grid was relatively low and consisted of a simple trussing structure.  This type of grid is usually slower to work with than one with monopoles or hoists.  However, this was not too much of a problem here since the studio normally had only one show in it.  From June 2006 Saturday Kitchen shared the studio space but this too had a standing set.


Technically the studio was well equipped – with 5 Sony BVP 950 cameras, a Sony 7350 vision mixer and a Calrec 48 channel sound desk.

In January 2006 Paul O’Grady did a similar trick and left his ITV tea-time show to go to C4.  The decision was made to alternate his new show with Richard and Judy’s for three months each. The New Paul O’Grady Show was made at TLS (TV Centre for one series) so the studio at Cactus became available for other users for half the year.

Richard and Judy’s C4 show ended in the summer of 2008.  From 7th October 2008 they began a new show – Richard and Judy’s New Position – transmitted every night on the UKTV channel Watch.  This ended in July 2009.  Saturday Kitchen remained the one regular show made in this studio.

During 2010 Cactus began to look for alternative premises.  However, the new Channel 4 Fern show began to be made here in March 2011 for a few months, preserving the studio’s future for a while.

In June 2012, Amanda and Simon Ross, the owners of Cactus, bought back the company from super-indie All3Media.  (The firm was originally sold in 2003.)  They decided to build a new studio in an old Victorian building in Clapham.  This studio was closed and the building stripped of all its TV technology.





kennington spectrecom studio 1 450p
studio 1, Kennington.
with thanks to the Spectrecom website


In October 2014 the studios were reopened, a 10 year lease having been purchased by Spectrecom Films, who also operated Waterloo Studios – some relatively small 4-wallers.  They installed a new truss grid in studio 1 and also opened studio 2 (33 x 23ft) and a third somewhat smaller one.  Studios 2 and 3 are basic 4-wallers but studio 1 is marketed as a sound treated TV studio.  It has an L-shaped green infinity cyc.  The first booking was the BBC’s Food and Drink which started recording in October.  Late in 2016 studio 1 was used for The Chris Ramsey Show – made by Avalon for Comedy Central. 

Spectrecom’s studios in Waterloo closed for redevelopment once these studios were fully operational. 


This site is now marketed as Kennington Film Studios.  Much of their work now appears to be commercials, interviews, product demos, on-line conferences etc.  The studios have over 20 staff working here – they describe themselves as a combined film production company and studio complex.  Although they refer to ‘film’, in fact their studios are equipped with video cameras, enabling multicamera shoots to be recorded or streamed.  Their facilities now appear to be very well equipped, smart and clean and with a well-trained team supporting projects both large and small.  Good luck to them!