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.

Kee-Leen Irvine
Managing Director

With a career spanning over 3 decades, multi award-winning Kee-Leen Irvine is regarded as South Africa’s leading entertainment television producer, boasting titles such as Dancing With The Stars, Come Dine With Me, SA’s Got Talent, Shark Tank and many more. Her passion for, and understanding of South Africa and her people is essential to delivering the engaging and resonant entertainment she has become synonymous with. Kee-Leen has a strong commitment to development and mentoring, and is particularly proud of the vast range of skills-transfer she has delivered to many young men and women throughout the industry.

Ed Worster
Head of TV

With more than 36 years in television, Ed brings a wealth of experience across production, content and channel management. Ed was at the SABC for most of those years – from producing and directing shows to being Programme Manager at SABC2, and Acting GM of the Content Hub and SABC3. He joined Rapid Blue in 2013 as Head of Television and has been across a number of productions including Project Runway, The Great South African Bake Off, Pawn Stars, First Dates and East Africa’s Got Talent.

Donald Clarke
Commercial Director

Donald has had over 20 years’ experience as a television creative, showrunner and producer. He founded and grew Lucky Bean, an award winning independent production company, before joining Rapid Blue in 2018. He has created and produced over 20 original television shows including productions that have international distribution such as My Story, Girl.Eat.World and Mandela’s World Cup. Donald is known for adapting international blockbuster formats and his credits include Survivor, MasterChef, Total Request Live, Fear Factor and The Bachelor. He is an iEmmys and SAFTA juror and is a M&G Top 200 Young South Africans.

Ziyanda Mngomezulu
Business 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 Production

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.