Angels the Costumiers, which has provided clothes for West End productions such as Wicked, has purchased the BBC’s entire collection of costumes, comprising more than a million items.
In a separate move, the Corporation’s collection of wigs has been sold to the Wig Store Limited, a new company established by Philippa Devon and Alan Godleman. The pair were the former management team of the BBC costume and wigs department, which closed in February.
The department’s future had been under review for some time and, after exploring a range of options, it was decided to close the department and dispose of the stock.
Both sales mean the collections will remain in the UK and continue to be available for hire to TV and film productions.
Angels is the UK’s biggest costume supplier to the film, TV and theatre industry. It is currently working on costumes for Trevor Nunn’s musical production of Gone with the Wind.
By acquiring the BBC’s costume archive, it has gained clothes used in television shows including Waking the Dead, Ashes to Ashes, Extras, Little Britain, and Hotel Babylon.
Tim Angel, chairman of Angels, said: “I anticipate the stock from the latter part of the 20th century will become more popular over the next few years, as TV and film makers increasingly turn to the sixties, seventies, and eighties as decades in which to set quality dramas.”
Mike Southgate, chief executive of BBC Resources, said he was delighted “that the collection will continue to be available to the production community going forward”.
Profits generated by the sales will be returned to the BBC, to be reinvested in programme making.