British broadcaster Channel 4 is moving into natural history programming with an eight-part series on the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya as part of a slate of new shows for 2020.
Living Wild (working title), produced by Sky-owned Blast! Films, promises to take viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of a cast of wild animals, through the eyes of the 600-strong team of rangers and others who oversee them.
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Each of the eight episodes charts the stories of various animals at the 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta, including male lions fighting to the death, and vets performing emergency surgery on an injured elephant.
Executive producer and Blast! CEO Edmund Coulthard said: “Everyone loves TV programs about animals in the wild — we’re excited to be creating a new kind of natural history show on what animals really get up to.”
Sarah Spencer is the executive producer alongside Coulthard, while Pip Banyard is the series producer and Jim Incledon is the series director.
Channel 4 director of programs Ian Katz said Living Wild is part of the network’s three priorities of “noise, scale and fun,” and forms part of a raft of new shows unveiled on Tuesday.
Other highlights include Unexplained (working title), a 90-minute documentary from Keo Films exploring the unexplained death of Stuart Lubbock, whose body was found in British TV presenter Michael Barrymore’s swimming pool in 2001. The film features never-before-seen police footage from the scene and audio of the emergency services call that sparked the investigation, as well as interviews with those involved.
Elsewhere, The Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood is heading to Japan for Paul Hollywood Eats Japan (working title), made by All3Media indie North One Television, while Endemol Shine Group’s Shine TV is making a two-part show about adult illiteracy — hosted by Hollywood’s Bake Off colleague Sandi Toksvig.
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