Film mystery: 'There is no guarantee'

A FILM company given Jersey taxpayers’ money to help fund a proposed local production has debts of more than £200,000 and has not provided any accounts to the States, it has emerged.

Economic Development chief executive Mike King facing questions at the hearing yesterday
Economic Development chief executive Mike King facing questions at the hearing yesterday

A FILM company given Jersey taxpayers’ money to help fund a proposed local production has debts of more than £200,000 and has not provided any accounts to the States, it has emerged.

In developments that are likely to fuel concerns about the legitimacy of the project, Economic Development chief executive Mike King yesterday admitted that few checks had been carried out on the people behind the production or the company’s finances.

After fierce questioning from the Public Accounts Committee about his department’s decision to hand over £200,000 of public money to Canbedone Productions Ltd to help produce the film Knights of Impossingworth - some of which it is claimed will be shot in Jersey - he was ultimately forced to admit that there was no guarantee that the deal would work out.

Yesterday morning, the film company assured the JEP that filming would go ahead in Jersey in September, as planned.

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Comments for: "Film mystery: 'There is no guarantee'"


Heads must Roll!


This just about beggars belief! If what is reported is true regardless of what the end result of this handout is, someone will have to stand up, take responsibility and be shown the door.

This simply would not have happened in a commercial company without some sort audit being undertaken of the potential benefactor.

This truly shows that we are being run by a bunch of idiots throwing public money around like confetti.

Well done lads, you have absolutely confirmed in my and many others minds that the States are a total disgrace, more concerned about trailing around mirroring trivial UK issues that are making headlines than looking after the Island.


Mr King I have a great idea that would promote Jersey all over the UK & further with the right backing,just leave a message on here & I will contact you direct.

PS I am free to meet April 1st at anytime to suit.


And yet another " Chief Executive " with salary to match no doubt. How much pointless Empire building must we suffer?


What project? They have been conned!

Will anyone be held accountable? Nope!

Situation normal for the good ship Jersey happily cruising along like the Titanic! Say no more!!


Bye bye ring-binder boy!

Oh Really

... i'm sorry, could you just repeat that - few checks were carried out and no guarantees given ???

Who is this mike king joker and which planet does he live on - what a complete muppet.

R E S I G N - film or no film !

Lindsay Garrod

Even if the film project does actually get off the ground and is completed to a successful conclusion, Mr King and his dept. of clowns should still resign given his 'stunning' admission that 'few checks' were carried out before handing over public money. This is just sheer incompetence. I'm sure he wouldn't be so cavalier if the money was his own. It's a complete and utter joke.


They will make him Chief Executive next!

Bowie 2

If I did this in my job I'd be dragged in front of the fraud team and asked to explain myself, primarily under the auspice of receiving back handers, shortly after I'd be off looking for another job no doubt.

The doors open and the clock is ticking.............

Pip Clement

Did anyone even have a Google?

Finding Me;Mo

So Pip would I be guessing that we are not talking Spielberg here?

OMG!!! What idiots rule over us?


Good link.Think I will make a Carry On Film here in Jersey,No problem finding actors for the leading roles in Carry-On-Minister

Is there at least a contract?

If so can we see it?

Who approved it?


A hand shake is as good as a nod with the like of some states members,,,,,,perhaps he was a friend of a friend, say no more

Laurie Oliver

Ever heard of film production as a tax efficient investement? Most of us have in Jersey apart from the politicians who have a potential to finance tax losses. Oh surprise it's our tax losses!!

Pip Clement

It seems that Keith Cavelle may have made a film called Knights of Impossingworth Park in 2005;

It sounds familiar to the film that Economic Development has helped fund; same people, etc.

Funny thing is that Ben Kingsley's filmography makes no mention of it. :-(

Oh well lessons to be learnt, nasty smack for the ringbinder!

I would say that no checks at all were made.

Louis B. Flat

no wonder Jersey has a black hole when senior civil servants and Ministers think its OK to hand over £200K to a company with no "Due Diligence" having been undertaken, if this were done in the private sector heads would role.

If the States didn't check this film company out how many other projects have they simply just not bothered to undertake the necessary due diligence on and how much has this cost the tax payer, not to mention the cover ups?.

At least when Guernsey were conned out of the £2M re their airport project the civil servants responsible for the error were sacked and I think may be even the relevant Minister as well.

But here in Jersey I have no doubt that "lessons will be learned" but no one will be held to account as usual (lets watch this space but don't hold your breath).

The Ecomonic Development Minister dear Old Clanger seems to have really dropped one this time if nothing else he and the relevant civil servants should get the bullet if this all goes belly up.

Come on Clanger spin your way out of this little mess!


He'll get out of it. If Ozouf can wriggle out of Lime Grove and the millions that his interference and rank incompetence cost the taxpayer, (not to mention getting shot of the CAG) this will be a piece of cake for MacLean.


'Clanger' needs only to bumble his way onto the set of Blandings and join Clarence, where he will fit in perfectly!

Martin David

The latest Annual Accounts submitted to Companies House in the UK for Canbedone Productions Limited for the year up to 31/08/2011 reported 'cash at bank' of £3,105, 'liabilities' worth £208,472, 'net worth' of £-204,724 and 'assets' worth £3,105.

So no due diligence done there then....


So, the 200K we dished out will nearly match their net debt position. What a coincidence!


The lady sitting next to Mike king is thinking what a load of chumps these senior executives are. As previous post have said, heads must roll if proven guilty.

These people are an embarasement to the Island and themselves


It will be a shame if this turns out to be a con, because Film & TV locations can have a massive impact on tourism. Obviously, we have first hand experience of this with Bergerac, but apparently, Goathland in North Yorks still gets coach loads of Heartbeat fans arriving, just proving the power of the screen.

Offering ourselves as a filming destination is a good idea, but it will probably become another dead duck if this current project goes belly up


How distressing that our money can be spent so easily. I have no problem in taking a calculated risk on a venture such as this, but surely we needed to know who we were dealing with so that we could understand that risk? And this question stands regardless of whether or not the film is ever made - if it is, we can be happy that we got away with it, but next time....please!

the thin wallet

i will believe it when the unit is set up and some one shouts " quite please" " action"

followed by " its a wrap".


Hi Mike,

I'm planning on shooting a movie in Jersey, any chance you can send us £200,000. The movie will most definately happen.

What a joke, but sadly this is the kind of government we have....

I hope Mr. King has the common decency to resign!


You'll need to drop a famous name or two into the conversation otherwise Mike just won't believe you.

tut tut

I have just formed a film company named Wontbedone Co Ltd and am looking to use Jersey for film making, would you be interested in helping, Mr King. I only require a small input of cash, say £500,000 and then we can get started.

Yours X

The Jersey Bull

When the dirt in this deal come out in wash, we will probably see it for what it is - a real A plus Maclean mess-up orchestrated in conjunction with some naive inexperienced bureaucratic underling.

Although Mike King is the chief executive of Economic Development, I strongly doubt that he would ever knowingly enter into or condone such an amateur fly-by-night deal as this - he knows what a proper film deal entails.

Unfortunately as such, Mr King will probably have to shoulder some of the responsibility for Maclean's inept activity - the only States Member who can talk for an hour and say absolutely nothing!


Mr King was sitting at a meeting discussing the possible loss of LVCR and he did,nt realise that if the likes of left what it actually meant, the hike in freight charges as there would be 20 containers a day less coming ang going on the boat, the fact that less tax will be paid and how the loss will affect about 1000 people........he has NO clue about business and yet he is in charge of building the economy in Jersey.............the big problem is that he will cost more to sack than the £200,000 he has given away!!!!


What a joker,no doubt Mike King will be leaving in a couple of years with a golden handshake to keep quiet.I really wonder why i bother paying tax.


Mike King needs to go for this also the Minister Tefal Alan Maclean who must have approved this farce.Private company they would already be out the door,in the states there seems to be nobody accountable.

R. Williams

Time to wind-up this department completely. Sack all those responsible with no parting hand-outs. We have had enough of this playing at being businessmen with our precious taxes. Either none of them have a clue or there was some underhand dealings going on.


if it was me i would not let him wast my tax this is why you are on 25%


Mike King must resign now and take his Deputy overlord with him!

Archie Rondel

Short and sweet.....Mr Alan Mc Clean ,AKA the estate agent, please resign NOW before the embarrassment of an election humiliation more cock ups. Leave them to Phil


Dear Mr Economic Man,

My late father was the finance minister for Burkino Faso but was killed in an aircrash. I have 90 million dollars to move from one country to another. If you give me Jersey's bank account number, I will give you 2 million for helping me,

Yours in the strictest confidence,

Laila Mugabe


It is without question that Mike King along with Ozouf and Mclean who gave the money should resign with immediate effect.

This is the misappropriation and negligent use of taxpayers money.

Who sanctioned the sending of it?

Who did not carry out the diligent checks required?

This is the incinerator fiasco all over again.


Why not sell the recordings of the States sittings as a comedy series? bet they would make a fortune!! Trouble is they would have a job convincing anyone it was not fictional.


Minister and Chief Exec must resign or be dismissed, simple as that.

God's Mentor

You couldn't make it up. They should make a film about this lot. Canbedone more like havebeendone.


Here we go again ! When will they ever learn ? When will these complacent and too comfortable servants stop wasting our hard earned cash without proper accountability ? In the paper edition Mr King is quoted as saying that "if any of this is found not to be genuine, then we will evoke the clause that exist in the agreement and take all the necessary steps to recover the money" What a ludicrous statement ! The clause will be worthless as the money will have gone ! What steps ? Would the States sue the company spending much more of our cash on legals fees only to find that the company is pennyless ! How naive ! Someone's head must roll ! I suppose Mr King will volunteer as he is near retirement and will get a nice pay off


We'd be lucky to get a penny in the pound back.


It's surprising how many people get conned by a slight whiff of celebrity.


Wow, I'm agreeing with all.



This is worse than the money given by Tourism to the Corporate Games people a number of years ago to supply two years worth of competitions. 'They' supplied the first year and never came back for the second year.

Arguably for the better.


Why the fuss? We're only talking about a couple of years' salary of a banged up former Assistant Magistrate. And we know that the States Members aren't that bothered about such paltry sums (to them).


This is happening time and time again...

Hold these people responsible for their actions like other workers are...

No doubt he will get a pay off bigger than £200k, 'most' of the states members are a total disgrace, they wouldn't last in the private sector.

I feel ashamed to be from Jersey when you have muppets like this representing our island.


Is it only now that you are realising that its muppet that are running the island, they are pathetic and between they have no brains.... 200K of the tax payers money erm makes you think how much they are ripping the taxpayer off of.... honestly they couldn't organise a pppp up in a brewery... pack of muppets... no wonder Jersey is in a mess!!!!!!


Are all of us - quite rightly upset - contributors really going to accept that there will be no accountability for this?

It is only one in a long line of amateur blunders that Mclean and King are responsible for.

I would welcome - (I would demand if I could) - a full audit of EDD. Lets see how much money has been spent visiting China, The UAE and other far flung 'conference destinations'

The EDD 2012 Business Plan for their 70 staff states - in Black & White...


1. We put the customer at the heart of everything we do

2. We take pride in delivering an effective public service for Jersey

3. We relentlessly drive out waste and inefficiency

4. We will always be fair, honest and act with integrity

5. We constantly look for ways to improve what we do and are flexible and open to change

6. We will achieve success in all we do by working together

6 out of 6 fails.


Davey West

Why blame poor Mr King or Minister Maclean, are your memories so short ?

In the great scheme of things this is just £200,000. A

Glance back at recent history and the trend becomes clear. Remember Harcourt, when the ex Chief Minister confidently preached to States that the ruler had been run over them and Harcourt were whiter than white. It then went very bad and smelly, and the Chief executive Mr Izatt said Harcourt " SHOULD HAVE TOLD US ".

Down the road, Mr Izatt not only kept his job, big pension, secret golden handshake.

The CM Walker also kept his job, why on earth should you blame those in charge today for trying it on ?

This is the natural extension and default position of no accountability by a weak and rudderless Government controlled by executives who are non accountable, if caught out they get paid off.



Couldn't agree more, hence my point in an earlier post about Ozouf and Lime Grove. To this day I don't know how he got out of that one - Houdini would have been proud of him!

I do think you may have slightly over estimated the bit about Executives though because when push eventually comes to shove it's usually the civil servant that takes the plunge, (see again Ozouf/Lime Grove and David Flowers). The problem is that push rarely comes to shove so the politicians and executives end up covering each other's back.

The politicians are indeed amateurs served by amateur Senior Executives....and no matter how loud the outcry is, I'll bet a pound to a penny that King/MaClean will still be 'in control' after the event.

Just wait now for the next 'big news' story to hit the JEP - a good day to bury bad news - it will soon come along.


You call them amateur but they seem very professional at spending OUR money to their benefit.




where are the police .mabey some one should phone them

Venture taxes?

I'm surprised that most of these comments seem to relate to giving money to a company that might not produce a film based in Jersey. Where are all the comments saying it is wrong for taxpayers' money to be used in risky ventures of any type? Taxes should not be used as seed-funding for any type of venture. That's the role of the entrepreneur not the taxman. Taxes are for Education, Health etc. Why, for example, do we have a States-owned Active Card system when private companies provide these facilities to those that wish to purchase them? Why are taxes used to promote tourism when there are heaps of tourism businesses that should fund tourism promotion? Why is taxpayers money being given to finance when there are heaps of finance businesses that should fund finance? If the States want to fund business in order to make money, I suggest they open a supermarket.

Judge Jeffries

Lets break the habit of a lifetime and actually sack someone for incompetence and negligence. No usual garbage of " lessons have been learned, time to move on ". Make the right person culpable and get rid without a pay off !


This is outrageous. Heads must roll. £200,000 could have funded five nurses for a year, or given our existing nurses a pay rise.

On the other hand, we should probably count ourselves lucky. Two hundred grand is only 36% of one Bill Ogley pay off.

Anyway, this Mike King guy from Economic Development. Is he the same Mike King who hangs out at Jersey Rugby Club, the club that is, erm, sponsored by the Economic Development department?


"Carry on States of Jersey" would be a good comedy film to make.

We could ask Jimmy Carr to play Ozouf and Sid Little to play Gorst. Any other ideas.........


it really amazes me how complacement these executives and politicians are , to date no one has apologised or resigned it seems that they will just sweep it under the Carpet and carry on as usual, are there no states members with backbone or are they all collaboraters ?


Problem is the we have a gutless C M so these mistakes will continue until he is voted out!,

the comedy of it all

That's another 200k down the drain that could of gone towards Fort Regents Swimming Pool refurbishment... I should of wrote to them asking for blank signed cheque and throwing in a few 2nd rate celeb's names in there for a bit of a punch. damn it who stole my idea!

Hottest Place in Town

Been up there recently?

200K wont even paint the place.

We need a pool out East.

Brian B

I can't believe how simple it is to get an idea of a company just from googling "Canbedone Productions Ltd ". 7,240,000 results (0.31 seconds). That's right, 0.31 seconds is all you need, to be able to make an informed judgement.

Try it for your self and then ask your self would i invest just £1 in this outfit?

So how has £200k of our money been handed out for this company?


Very interesting that the producers of this film already made the same film in 2005.

On the face of it, this looks like a huge mistake. This film has obviously been bounced around for over a decade. Who knows how much money has been lost on this project already.

Tesco are going to stock the computer game? No they're not. Unless it's made by a massive developer, with the same budget as the film, no one will give a stuff about the video game.

The 200k should have been spent on another great tv advert like the ones we've seen lately. They've been amazing to watch and make Jersey look incredible.