BBC Studios Scores C4 Doc; Ian McKellen As King Lear; MTV UK Channel Launch – Global Briefs

BBC Studios has scored its second third-party commission this week after UK broadcaster Channel 4 ordered a one-off documentary about a mass of congealed fat and waste clogging up London’s sewers. The independent producer’s Science Unit is making Fatberg Autopsy (w/t), presented by Tool Academy host Rick Edwards and looking at the engineering challenge of removing the massive waste. It comes after BBC Studios scored its first non-BBC commission, a major natural history series The Red List for Discovery, and marks its first third party order in the UK. The show will be exec produced by Paul Overton and produced by Rob Liddell. Gilly Greenslade, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 said, “We’re delighted to have a first commission from the talented team at BBC Studios. We hope to present our inquisitive viewers with a unique and accessible exploration of an issue affecting Britain’s growing towns and cities.”

Ian McKellen is heading to London’s West End after agreeing to reprise his role as King Lear. The Lord of the Rings star previously starred as Lear in 2007, directed by Trevor Nunn for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The performance, directed by Jonathan Munby, will start in July at the Duke of York’s theater and comes after a feature doc about the actor, McKellen: Playing The Part was scooped by Trafalgar Releasing in the U.S., UK and Scandinavia. “It’s a small theatre but we shall make it even more intimate by removing half the stalls seats,” McKellen tweeted.

MTV is launching a new gossip and music channel in the UK. The Viacom-owned broadcaster is launching MTV OMG via pay-TV platforms Sky and Virgin Media on March 1. It will feature shows such as The Official Charts: Weekly Top 40, Artist Hosted Playlists, Voiceover Playlists, Themed Countdowns and Quizzes and will join channels such as MTV Music, MTV Base and MTV Rocks in the music pack. It replaces free-to-air channel Viva as the brand looks to invest further in music television. Kelly Bradshaw, VP, Brand Lead, MTV UK said, “We’re really excited to be launching MTV OMG as the latest instalment to our booming MTV music pack. The channel will be a great complement to the rest of our portfolio, bringing audiences all the latest pop culture moments, music and gossip from the world of entertainment.”


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