About Us

Started in 1993 by Duncan and Kee-Leen Irvine, Rapid Blue is built on passion, strategic thinking, innovation, quality and deep insights into our audiences. We’ve grown from a boutique business into a production powerhouse, infusing a host of global hits with local flavour, developing original content, creating authentic brand experiences, winning loads of awards and building deep, lasting relationships.

Our productions and facilitations include Dancing With the Stars, The Bachelor, Family Feud, Got Talent, Shark Tank, Come Dine With Me, Love Island, and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to name just a few.

Creativity and agility are at the heart of what we do and we’re experts at finding innovative and cost effective solutions to any content challenge that comes our way. Whether it is a television commission or developing content around a brand’s marketing strategy, we’re able to draw on our incredible production experience and world class networks to create talked-about content that makes a measurable difference to our clients and their audiences. We are currently proposing a number of broadcast and online solutions for various clients who are facing unprecedented challenges due to the worldwide pandemic of Covid-19.

Rapid Blue is all about strategy, process, craft and collaboration and we’ll work hard to get to know a brand, channel or platform to make sure we deliver on their objectives as seamlessly and as swiftly as possible. We are experts in putting together advertiser funded programming, with a track record of hit-shows that have had a positive impact on our clients’ bottom line. We’re able to align brands with the world’s biggest entertainment formats, or create something bespoke that truly gets a brand’s message out there.

Online and mobile are the strongest platforms for turning content into personal, intuitive and accessible experiences, especially for mobile-conscious African audiences, where broadcast access may be limited. We know how to adapt content designed for on-air viewers to non-linear creative strategies for online consumers. 

BBC Studios invested in Rapid Blue in 2016 and we are their production partners in Africa, having produced The Great South African Bake Off, the evergreen Come Dine With Me and, a new offering, First Dates South Africa.

The Core Team

Duncan Irvine
Chief Executive Officer

An award-winning Executive Producer who exudes passion, vision and an incredible work ethic, Duncan imbues Rapid Blue with his own spirit of entrepreneurship and adventure. A trailblazer who started out as a cameraman some 30 years ago, he understands every aspect of the content-creation industry and is always looking for new ways to deliver quality and stay ahead of the curve. International broadcasters call him for insights into the local market and he often presents at TV forums around the world. A hands-on man, he’s equally at home on set, in an edit suite or around the boardroom table, and is largely responsible for Rapid Blue’s reputation as South Africa’s leading independent production company.

Ziyanda Ngcaba
Managing Director

Ziyanda has some 20 years in the industry ranging from production to channel management. At eMedia Investments, Ziyanda managed e.TV’s local content selection and creation as well as channel acquisitions for the country’s fastest growing digital free-to-view platform, Openview, playing a critical role in Openview crossing the major threshold of 2 million homes in the market. Under her leadership, e.TV has enjoyed formidable growth and reach, particularly in terms of daily drama where she was instrumental in the creation and development  of Imbewu, a jewel in the e.TV crown and the 2020 SAFTA winner of Most Popular TV Soap/Telenovela.

Kim Thwaites
Head of Television

Kim’s career in television spans over two and half decades, and in this time she has proven herself to be a sought-after producer with an uncanny ability to pull rabbits out of hats. She has worked both locally and abroad on a variety of different productions, from massive live shows to studio formats and location-based productions. Since joining Rapid Blue she has been integral in helping the company set up and produce numerous international format shows, like I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, X Factor (Nigeria and South Africa), Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think You Can Dance and Come Dine With Me. She has also previously worked on Big Brother and Survivor.

Grant Flynn
Head of Creative Development

Grant’s career in television started in front of the camera over ten years ago, as a presenter on SABC 2’s daily youth show, Hectic Nine 9. His love for television and content creation saw him take on production company leadership roles and go from strength to strength in creating original content for local and international markets. Grant’s previous roles include, Head of Creative Development, and Head of Business Development & Commercial Affairs with extensive experience in unscripted ideation, while focussing on structuring deals with local broadcasters, international distributors and commercial brands.

Mmabatho Kau
Head of Scripted productions

In her 20-year strong creative journey, Mmabatho has worked as a producer, broadcaster (SABC, TopTV, Kwese TV), development executive as well as a script consultant. Roles that have harnessed her love for story and helping writers and producers find their voice as storytellers. Her catalogue of work, ranges from novel adaptations to politically potent films and television series.  She has helped birth projects with acknowledgement from well-respected festivals such as the Venice Biennale College Cinema, Sundance and Durban International Film Festival. Mmabatho holds a Journalism and Media Studies degree from Rhodes University and an MSc in Media Management from Stirling University.