London - 4th February 2016
Multi-award winning broadcaster UKTV has commissioned 20 episodes of factual entertainment series, Deadliest Pests Down Under (20x30'). This fast and funny 'job-doc' series will air in Spring 2016, on leading entertainment channel Dave.
This new and exclusive series, follows a group of brave (and occasionally hapless) British pest controllers as they take on the challenge of spending a summer season in Australia. The series is made by Popkorn TV and is a co-production with Passion Distribution.
For pest controllers down under, every day is a brush with death and it's getting even more dangerous as the continent's critters are winning the battle. So desperate for help, they have called in the cavalry from the motherland. Nine brave Brits will be matched with their Australian counterparts as they leave the cold streets of the UK behind, swapping mild moles for psychotic possums, baby bed bugs for super-sized spiders and mundane moths for killer crocs.
Their guides are some of the toughest pest controllers that Australia has to offer. There's a real life Crocodile Dundee, Barefoot Bushman Rob Bredle in Northern Queensland, who is never happier than when he is riding on the back of his one-tonne pets. Col the exterminator from New South Wales, who regularly juggles lethal funnel-web spiders with his bare hands, and Kylie who describes herself as a 'snake yoda'.
Dreaming of sun, sea, and cold beers on the beach after a gentle day's pest catching, the reality will be very, very, different. They come face to face with snakes, crocodiles and feral pigs that could kill them. After all an Aussie pest controller who hasn't been to the emergency room just isn't doing his job right.
UKTV commissioning executive, Victoria Summer said,
We are delighted to be working with Popkorn TV and Passion Distribution on this project. Popkorn TV are specialists in producing compelling documentaries and Deadliest Pests Down Under has all the comedic hallmarks of a series that is sure to entertain Dave viewers.
Managing director of Popkorn TV, Rory Wheeler, said,
I am thrilled at the confidence that UKTV have shown in commissioning this original series. It's a huge project but one that has the potential to reap fantastically funny rewards. Imagine Rodney Trotter meeting Crocodile Dundee, and it should give you an idea of the comedy potential this trailblazing new series has.
Steve North, Dave general manager, said,
Deadliest Pests Down Under is a great chance to see whether British pest control experts can deal with vermin on a totally different scale. They truly have no real idea what they will be letting themselves in for. With amazing characters from this fascinating world it's set to be the channel's latest job-doc that our audience will love.
Elin Thomas, Director of Global Sales at Passion Distribution, said,
Passion Distribution is very excited to get behind this project with Popkorn TV and UKTV. Deadliest Pests Down Under is a fabulous investment. The series delivers hilarious entertainment with shocking animal encounters and a great cast of characters. Deadliest Pests Down Under is a perfect fit for buyers schedules around the globe.
Deadliest Pests Down Under has been ordered by UKTV's director of commissioning, Richard Watsham, and Dave's general manager, Steve North. Rory Wheeler and Viv McGrath are executive producers for Popkorn TV, overseen by UKTV's Victoria Summer. Passion Distribution co-produces Deadliest Pests Down Under with UKTV and Popkorn TV and has international distribution rights for the series.
Deadliest Pests Down Under will join the successful raft of UKTV Originals on Dave, including two brand new series of Taskmaster later this year alongside new Storage Hunters UK and Hoff the Record. UKTV's flagship free-to-air entertainment channel has retained its place as the number one non-PSB channel in the UK and grew by 1% year-on-year in 2015. The channel's acquisitions also bolstered this growth with Emmy award-nominated The Last Man on Earth's highest rating episode attracting 596k adults.
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Dave proudly presents a plethora of original commissions; award-winning Crackanory, Ross Noble Freewheeling, Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish, and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Not to mention a brand spanking new original series' of Hoff the Record and Taskmaster.
There's national treasures like QI, Red Dwarf X, Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, plus the Red Bull trilogy of Cliff Diving, X-Fighters and the Soap Box races. And of course, we still have Top Gear.
Dave is the UK's most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, featuring hit US shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits, the ludicrously addictive Lizard Lick Towing and the wonder that is Storage Hunters and now original commission Storage Hunters UK, the gift that keeps on giving.
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