ITV greenlights Belgian sport-themed format

UK broadcaster ITV has commissioned a British version of Belgian sporting reality competition format Eternal Glory.

The commercial channel will air a six-part series later this year, with Twofour – whom ITV is deep in takeover talks with – attached to produce.

This follows a deal with distributor Small World IFT, which sells the format in some territories on behalf of  Belgian indie TV4mats, and after ITV optioned the show back in February.

Eternal Glory follows a group of sporting legends living together in a beautiful location as they undertake physical and mental challenges, with one being eliminated each week. TV4mats sister firm De Filistijnen created the original.

Richard Bacon will present the UK series, with sports scientist Professor Greg Whyte offering expert insight.

Twofour CEO Melanie Leach, Andrew Mackenzie and Cat Lawson will executive produce, with TV4mats CEO Bruno Wyndaele, who hosted the original Belgian show.

Small World backer Content Television will handle international sales of the UK series.

Small World sells the format in some territories after recently striking a deal with Belgium-based rights holder The New Flemish Primitives, which is closely associated with TV4mats.

This agreement sees Small World distributing various TNFP formats in the UK, US, Asia (excluding China) and Latin America.

“We’re really pleased to announce such a landmark commission so soon after partnering with our friends at TNFP,” said Small World senior VP Luci Burnley.

Eternal Glory offers hugely entertaining primetime viewing, as the country’s top sports stars compete against each other in demanding challenges that, despite being outstanding in their field, they will never have faced before.

Eternal Glory has been produce in various territories in Europe, including on NRK in Norway, where it recently completed its sixth season. SVT’s Swedish version has run to seven seasons, while the others are in Belgium on Eén and the Netherlands on AVRO, plus Denmark and Finland.

ITV’s commissioning editor, entertainment, Kate Maddigan, who commissioned the show, said: “We have seen sports stars succeed in dancing, the jungle, cooking and the ice, but I can’t wait to see them take on each other in these specially created challenges. This show is designed to reveal what makes sporting legends tick.”

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