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BBC orders Farmer Wants a Wife-inspired format

Formats-logo-460_2Sarah CoxThe BBC had ordered a new take on the much-travelled Farmer Wants a Wife format back to the UK, and has commissioned an historical crime series from Chalkboard TV.

Farmer Wants a Wife originally aired on ITV in the UK in 2001, but is now headed for BBC Two, which has ordered a six-part series.

Channel 5 ran a version in 2009, by which point it was established as one of distributor FremantleMedia’s top selling reality formats.

The new series, Love in the Countryside, will run to six episodes, with FremantleMedia UK-owned Boundless attached to produce.

A FremantleMedia UK spokesperson told TBI the format was an original Boundless format inspired by the original Farmer Wants a Wife.

The new format sees farmers, rural vets and other pastoral singletons attempting to find their perfect match, while introducing the romantic interest to life in countryside. Presenter Sara Cox (pictured) is attached as host.

“More than a dating show Love in the Countryside shines a light on the realities of life where the land and farming is still at the heart of the daily routine,” said Rachel Ashdown, commission editor for BBC Entertainment.

“With both rural and urban singletons embarking on new experiences across this series I look forward to seeing how contributors from town and country can come together to learn from each other’s lives.

Meanwhile, BBC One has commissioned a ten-part factual series My Grandad Was Innocent in which criminal barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein investigate historical murders that resulted in the convicted being hung despite pleading innocence.

They join forces with a living relative of the convicted criminal’s family to re-examine the case, using modern forensic techniques to test if the conviction holds up.

UK-based Chalkeboard is attached as producer, with Sky Vision taking international sales rights.

“This series is based on an ambitious and powerful idea,” said Dan McGolpin, controller of BBC Daytime. “Ten families who believe that their relative may have been falsely convicted of murder and hanged will get the opportunity to clear their name.”