UK pubcaster Channel 4 has commissioned the specialist factual investigation Is COVID Racist? (w/t) from Scotland’s STV Studios and reality competition format The Bridge from Banijay Group prodco Workerbee.
Presented by Dr. Ronx Ikharia, also known as “Dr. Ronx” — an East London A&E (accident and emergency) doctor and presenter for BBC3′s The Unshockable Dr. Ronx — the 60-minute Is COVID Racist? explores why the coronavirus has killed more people of color on the NHS frontline.
Part tribute to frontline workers and part investigation, the prodco says Ronx will look into possible causes, reveal solutions and examine health and race equality in the UK.
Is COVID Racist? (w/t) was commissioned by Harjeet Chhokar, commissioning editor, factual and Fozia Khan, commissioning editor, documentaries for Channel 4.
John Deol is producer and director and Nikita Punia is assistant producer.
The special is scheduled to broadcast this winter.
As well, Channel 4 Entertainment is moving further into the reality space with the five-part competition format The Bridge, narrated by actor James McAvoy.
The series — set to air later this year — will see 12 strangers come together on the banks of a lake in the British countryside in the hopes of winning £100,000 ($131,000).
The prize lies out of reach on an island 250 metres away from where the contestants are based. To reach it, they must work together to build a bridge in 20 days.
If the group successfully works as a team and reaches the prize before the deadline, each competitor will vote for who they think is “most deserving” of the money. The winner is then left to decide whether they’ll keep the prize or share it.
Manchester-based Workerbee, originally part of Endemol Shine Group and now under the Banijay umbrella following the merger of the two global production-distribution superindies, says The Bridge is being filmed regionally with strict COVID-19 production protocols in place.
The Bridge was commissioned for Channel 4 by Steve Handley, commissioning editor for entertainment and Phil Harris, head of entertainment.
Based on a format originally created by Zeppelin, a Banijay Iberia company, The Bridge made its international debut in Spain in 2017 and aired for two seasons on Movistar+ channel #0 where it is known locally as El Puente.
The format was also sold to France’s M6 for a local adaptation.