UK’s Channel 5 picks up shows from seven BAME-led indies

UK broadcaster Channel 5 has commissioned a range of projects from seven BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic)-owned and managed production companies, following the launch of its BAME indie initiative last year.

Set up in collaboration with the TV collective, the initiative teamed nine prodcos with Channel 5 commissioners, with the aim of supporting their delivery of mainstream programmes for the channel.

As a result, Big Deal Films has secured two commissions from the broadcaster, including the 1 x 120-minute special  Greatest Christmas Toys, which takes a nostalgic look at the UK’s top Christmas toys, and The Greatest Toys of all Time (3 x 60-minutes), which explores the social history of Britain through toys.

Afro-Mic will meanwhile produce a 2 x 60-minute documentary programme, Scenic Ireland: Coast To Coast, exploring the hidden beauty of Ireland’s coastline, while Meridian Line Films has been commissioned to produce an as-yet-untitled 2 x 60-minute documentary going behind the scenes of one of Britain’s most popular national attractions.

Chatterbox will produce the 3 x 60-minute series Sally Lindsay’s Poshest Homes Sleepover (3 x 60), which will take viewers inside some of Britain’s multi million pound homes, while the 1 x 60-minute Top 10 Ways to Add 20K To Your Home, produced by Ten66 Television, will reveal the 10 most cost-effective ways to improve the value of a house.

Meanwhile, Doc Hearts will produce the 1 x 60-minute Living With Chronic Pain, following the struggles of those who have to endure chronic pain.

Lastly, King of Sunshine Productions will produce Most Expensive Celebrity Break Ups (1 x 60-minutes), featuring the stories of some of the biggest celebrities battling through marriage and huge financial splits.

Of the two remaining indie prodcos that took part in the initiative, but did not receive commissions from Channel 5, Clockwork Films is in development with Daisybeck Studios on a feature length documentary, while Chapter 1 Films has entered into a funded development partnership with Knickerbocker Glory.

Ben Frow, director of programmes at ViacomCBS Networks UK, which owns Channel 5, said: “It has been a delight to partner with Simone [Pennant] at the TV Collective to help diversify the production companies we work with and bring new perspectives to our programme-makingShe has been a brilliant advocate of Channel 5’s BAME initiative and I’m thrilled to bits that each of these indies has landed a much-deserved commission.”

The TV Collective founder and director, Pennant, added: “This initiative which has resulted in seven BAME producers delivering programming to Channel 5 is an example of what can be achieved when a broadcaster moves beyond platitudes to take positive action.”

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