Docs

Channel 5 preps animal content, Air Force series

UK pubcaster Channel 5 has commissioned a raft of animal-focused content from various prodcos and a docuseries about the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows from ITV Studios label Shiver. The animal-centric series ...
December 19, 2018

UK pubcaster Channel 5 has commissioned a raft of animal-focused content from various prodcos and a docuseries about the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows from ITV Studios label Shiver.

The animal-centric series have been unveiled in the lead up to Channel 5′s first telethon, Help the Animals at Christmas, on Dec. 21, as part of the channel’s commitment to raising awareness and creating quality animal content.

“We are reflecting our national obsession with animals and building on our existing slate with brand new, heart-warming commissions that will appeal to our animal-loving viewers across the UK,” said Ben Frow, C5′s director of programs, in a statement.

The four new commissions will roll out in 2019. The full slate consists of the following projects:

  • Saving Britain’s Hedgehogs (2 x 60 minutes), produced by Anthena Films and commissioned by Greg Barnett, commissioning editor at Channel 5, is a look at the falling numbers of Britain’s hedgehogs.
  • Dogs Behaving Badly (6 x 60 minutes), produced by Avalon and commissioned by Emma Westcott, commissioning editor at Channel 5, follows Graeme “The Dogfather” Hall as he helps dog owners and their out-of-control pets.
  • My House and Other Animals (2 x 60 minutes), produced by Lambent Productions and commissioned by Westcott, follows everyday people who have turned their homes into animal sanctuaries. The series is executive produced for Lambent by Kate Morey and Emma Wakefield.
  • Dog School (3 x 60 minutes), produced by DSP Productions and commissioned by Lucy Willis, commissioning editor at Channel 5, takes a comedic look at the goings on at doggy day school.

Meanwhile, the free-to-air broadcaster has also commissioned The Red Arrows: Kings of the Sky (6 x 60 minutes; pictured) from Shiver, about the British Royal Air Force’s famous Red Arrows squadron, marking their centenary year.

The Red Arrows are a world-renowned areobatic display team. The series tells the group’s history while following the current team and its new leader for a year, capturing a training process that has never been filmed for TV before.

The series is produced and directed for Shiver by Jamie Simpson. It is the third military series recently commissioned by Channel 5, following Warship: Life at Sea and Raw Recruits: Squaddies at 16.

“We are incredibly proud to deliver the most in depth documentary on the Red Arrows in a generation,” said Guy Davies, commissioning editor of factual at Channel 5, in a statement. “We’ll get to know the cast of characters, and put Channel 5 viewers right at the heart of the action, giving them a taste of what it’s like to be in the cockpit of a jet flying complex aerobatics at 600 mph, within just six feet of its neighbor’s wing tips.”

“This is a series that not only showcases some of the most jaw-dropping flying and aerobatics, it also gets up close and personal to an amazing group of people, the pilots and engineers who make up the Red Arrows,” added Mike Blair, EP at Shiver. “They gave us 12 months of access during one of the hardest years in their history, revealing their human face as they dealt with tragedy, and their passion and professionalism in the sky and on the ground.”

The Red Arrows: Kings of the Sky will premiere Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. on Channel 5.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a staff writer at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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