UK commercial broadcaster ITV has ordered a local version of The Bully Project, the Dutch format that captures footage of kids being bullied and then seeks to address and resolve the problems at hand.
The format is sold by Lineup Industries, the international distributor set up last year by former Sony and Endemol execs Ed Louwerse and Julian Curtis.
The show was originally created by Dutch indie Skyhigh TV and created a huge buzz for RTL locally.
Jamie Oliver’s UK prodco Fresh One optioned The Bully Project in the UK and will make the series for ITV. In the show, the day-to-day lives of bullying victims is filmed and is then shown to the child’s family, schoolmates and teachers, before a discussion is encouraged about the changes that could be instigated to tackle the problem.
The bullies are not identified in the show, which the producers say is not designed to name or shame individuals or groups of children. UK government-funded organisation Anti-Bullying Ambassadors is backing the series.
Jo Clinton-Davis, controller of factual with Richard Klein, Director of Factual commissioned the show for ITV. Clinton Davis said: “This series, highlighting an endemic issue through the most personal and emotional of stories, will touch all of us as well as providing a real opportunity to be an agent of real and positive change for those involved.”
“This is such an innovative way of tackling the devastating impact of bullying – shining a light of hope into the lives of those being bullied in a positive way,” said Fresh One boss Claudia Rosencrantz. “The results from the Dutch series were inspirational.”
Julian Curtis, co-founder of Lineup Industries added: “Bullying is a prevalent problem in British schools – with over 46% of children and young people directly affected by it at some point during their education. Lineup Industries is proud to be partnering with Fresh One and ITV to give this issue a national platform in the UK.”