UK terrestrial Channel 4 (C4) has commissioned indie prodco Back2Back Productions to produce The Unofficial… Royal Wedding, an alternative documentary take on the William/Kate union, which will air 48 hours after the royal marriage, realscreen can reveal.
The quick turnaround project will be shot from Thursday April 28 to Saturday April 30 – the day after the wedding – and will follow around a dozen people representing a cross-section of the UK public, gathering their unique takes on the regal event.
It aims to uncover the significance of the event to the nation’s psyche and its attitudes to the monarchy, and will air the next day, on Sunday, May 1, at 10 p.m. GMT.
The project will be distributed internationally by MercuryMedia International, which – like Back2Back – is chaired by former ITV director of programmes Simon Shaps. Mercury will offer the title to international broadcasters an hour after its transmission by C4.
“The uncertainty and unpredictability of this project is what drew us to want to distribute this,” MercuryMedia CEO Tim Sparke told realscreen in Cannes. “We’re not exactly sure how it’s going to turn out, which is what makes it so exciting to be involved with.”
The doc was commissioned by Dorothy Byrne, C4′s head of news and current affairs.
C4 has now unveiled details of a portfolio of royal wedding programming to air alongside the doc. In addition to the Back2Back commission, the network will also air Meet The Middletons (1 x 60-minutes), a Monkey Kingdom-produced doc in which Kate Middleton’s wider family – cousins, aunts and distant relations – throw open their doors to share stories.
Elsewhere, in Dox Productions’ Kate and William: Romance and the Royals (w/t, 1 x 60-minutes), Dr David Starkey will argue that the marriage of William and Kate is not the radical break with royal tradition that has been widely claimed; while the network’s factual entertainment dinner party series, Come Dine With Me, will host a themed episode, with four royalists from around the UK each throwing a royal wedding-themed street party.
Finally, C4′s digital sister channel E4 will look at outrageous weddings with the TwoFour-produced 50 Worst Wedding Shockers (1×120-minutes).