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Sky Arts orders Elvis show from fledgling indie

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Elvis PresleyUK pay TV channel Sky Arts has ordered The Seven Ages of Elvis, the debut programme from David Upshal’s new indie, Fireball TV.

The 1x90mins doc will follow the entire life of the later singer and actor Elvis Presley, who died 40 years ago.

Fireball is producing in association with distributor and co-financier Raydar Media.

Upshal, who created BBC Two’s long-running Victorian Farm format, is producing and directing.

The doc will use William Shakespeare’s ‘Seven ages of man’ trope as a framework to explore the life of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, from his impoverished childhood in the depressed American South to his huge international fame and his death in 1977.

Sky Arts commissioning editor Barbara Lee said Upshal’s “passion for Elvis is second to none and his approach to the documentary is both intriguing and unique”.

Alison Rayson is executive producer, with Iris Maor head of producton and Will Yates producer.

Upshal, who launched his indie this year, began his career at UK pubcaster the BBC, where he directed series such as Windrush and programmes including The Hip Hop Years. Internationally, he has executive produced shows for the BBC, History Channel, National Geographic, Channel 4 and Arte.

More recently, he oversaw BBC Two’s Ireland with Simon Reeve, BBC Four’s Genius of the Modern World and Channel 4’s Extreme Food.