Australian pubcaster ABC has commissioned a factual series from Sydney-based content producer Essential Media Group featuring British comedian and travel enthusiast Griff Rhys Jones.
Produced and directed by Julia Peters, Griff Off the Rails: Down Under (6 x 60 minutes; pictured), chronicles Jones’ journey as he explores Australia’s landscape via its railways. The program will also follow the train enthusiast as he uncovers the origins of the railroads, the people who operate the rails and the communities that rely on them.
Jones is known for his love of trains, rivers and waterways and has explored them in Slow Train Through Africa with Griff Rhys Jones and Three Men in a Boat. Additionally, Jones also writes a travel column for the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.
Griff Off the Rails is executive produced by Essential Media GM Brendan Dahill. The series begins filming across Australia this month.
Global sales house Kew Media Distribution, a division of Toronto’s Kew Media Group, is handling international distribution for the series.
Dahill, in a statement, said the series will “offer viewers an entertaining outsider’s perspective on the foundation of a modern country and the origins of what it means to be an Australian today.”
“This fascinating story will be told about the way Australia built a huge infrastructure to unite the country and its people,” added Jones. “It is history, commentary, and adventure all wound into one.”