Foul-mouthed layabout Rab C Nesbitt looked to be heading south with Basil Brush and Anthea Turner yesterday.

The comedy icon is being courted as part of a move by London-based programme maker RDF Media to buy Scottish production house The Comedy Unit.

RDF admitted it was in talks, with one report putting the value of any deal at £10 million.

A tie-up would bring together the Glasgow- based company - best known for Rab C Nesbitt - with a string of high- profile RDF shows including Location, Location, Location and Anthea Turner's Perfect Housewife.

If a deal is rubber- stamped it would be the latest in a string of RDF acquisitions since its £48.8 million flotation on the Alternative Investment Market last year.

The company, which also makes Scrapheap Challenge and Wife Swap, has already picked up Welsh firm Presentable and Scotland's largest independent TV producer

IWC Media. Earlier this month it struck a £10 million deal for Maidstone- based Foundation TV Productions, home of Basil Brush and Saturday morning show Ministry of Mayhem.

As well as Rab C Nesbitt, The Comedy Unit makes the Karen Dunbar Show and Chewin' the Fat.

It also produces radio shows for Radio 4, Radio Scotland and Radio Five Live.

The company was set up ten years ago by former BBC Scotland producers April Chamberlain and Colin Gilbert and is working on new children's sketch show Freshly Squeezed for Channel 4.

RDF is based in London and has offices in Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff, New York and LA and employs 500. In the year to January 31, pretax profits came in at £5.4 million on sales of £59.5 million.

Unlike many other independent TV production firms, RDF has its own international distribution business and consumer products arm generating revenues from DVDs, books and merchandise.