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BBC1 preps holiday specials from NHU, Tern TV; WBITVP to distribute “The Wheel”

A number of specials are headed to the BBC1 this December, including two wildlife titles from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit (NHU) and A Very Country Christmas from UK ...
November 25, 2020

A number of specials are headed to the BBC1 this December, including two wildlife titles from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit (NHU) and A Very Country Christmas from UK factual producer Tern Television.

Premiering on BBC1 and Bilibili this holiday season will be the 60-minute special Meerkat: A Dynasties Special (pictured), which is narrated by David Attenborough and follows the award-winning series Dynasties.

The special tells the story of a young meerkat queen, Maghogho, on a quest to establish her dynasty in the Makadikadi salt pans in Botswana.

It is co-produced by Bilibili with Mike Gunton, creative director of the NHU, executive producing.

Penguins: Meet the Family, meanwhile, is narrated by Liz Bonnin. The hour-long special follows penguins living in dense forests, desert burrows and city streets, from the Equator to Antarctica. Doug Mackay-Hope is EP.

Both titles were commissioned by BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore and Jack Bootle, head of commissioning for science and natural history.

Also on the British pubcaster’s holiday slate, Zinc Media-owned Tern will produce the 3 x 60-minute series A Very Country Christmas for BBC1.

Presented by Cotswold farmer and naturalist Ellie Harrison and country lover Angellica Bell, the series follows three regions of Britain — Yorkshire, Scotland and Cornwall — as they prepare for Christmas.

The series was commissioned by Daisy Scalchi for BBC1. Harry Bell and Brendan Hughes are EPs for Tern Television.

In other news, Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP) and Hungry McBear Media have signed a partnership that sees WBITVP appointed as the exclusive international distributor of BBC1 game show The Wheel, premiering Nov. 28.

Hosted by Michael McIntyre, the quiz format sees contestants battle it out to win jackpot prizes, helped only by a rotating roster of celebrity experts.

WBITVP will bring The Wheel to international audiences through its network of local production companies and take the show to the international marketplace for remaining territories.

The company will represent both format and finished tape rights outside of the UK and U.S.

The Wheel (10 x 60 minutes) was commissioned by Moore and Kate Phillips, BBC1 acting controller, and Kalpna Patel-Knight, commissioning editor of entertainment.

EPs for Hungry McBear Media are Dan Baldwin and Tom Blakeson.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is the Associate Editor 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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