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Show of the week: Borderline

With immigration policy in the headlines, Borderline takes a humorous look a the day-to-day lives of the people working for the UK Border Force, which is on the frontline of policing entry into the UK.

Set up as an Office-style mockumentary, and taking its cue from real life series such as Sky’s UK Border Force, the comedy was shot in Coventry airport and is set in a regional airport.

It launches on Channel 5 today at 10pm, and is produced by LittleRock, the indie set up by Ralf Little (The Royle Family) and former Sprout Pictures exec Zoe Rocha. Little makes a cameo appearance, but is not be a regular member of the key cast of six.

LittleRock has a distribution deal with Sky Vision, but took this project to FremantleMedia, which backed them to make a 15-minute teaser, which convinced Channel 5 to commission a six-part series. The order was significant as it marked the first original comedy for the UK terrestrial channel for a decade.

Michael Orton-Toliver and Chris Gau created the show and create a skeleton of a script, which the actors then improvise around.

“They work out the storylines and the comedy beats and workshop that with the cast,” Rocha says. “It’s a much quicker way of making television; the workshopping took three weeks and them we shot six parts in six weeks.”

FremantleMedia International is distributing the series and will be presenting it to buyers at MIPCOM later this year.

The show: Borderline
The producer: LittleRock Pictures
The distributor: FremantleMedia International
The broadcasters: Channel 5 (UK)
The concept: Improvised comedy following day to day life in an immigration office