British broadcaster Channel 4has unveiled its latest programming slate including a Muslim punk comedy, a three-part doc series about Russian President Vladimir Putin and a reality series set within a Namibian tribe.
The shows were announced by Channel 4 at the start of the Edinburgh International Television Festival.
NBCU-backed Working Title Television is making Lady Parts, a six-part comedy about an all female Muslim punk band. From writer/director Nida Manzoor, the half-hour series follows the eponymous band, featuring geeky PHD student and lead guitarist Amina Hussein and fierce and enigmatic front-woman Saira. Saira uses Amina’s desperation to find a husband as leverage, offering to hook up dates for her if she agrees to join the band. Amina has never, ever met girls like this before, and soon gets swept up in their joyful anarchic energy. But will she be the key to the band’s success? And – will she finally find a husband?
The show, which started as a comedy pilot via C4’s Blaps strand, is written and directed by Manzoor. It was commissioned by C4’s Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott and Commissioning Executive Laura Riseam. It is exec produced by WTTV’s Mark Freeland and Surian Fletcher-Jones.
Manzoor said, “I had such a blast making the C4 Comedy Blap and am so thrilled to have the opportunity to make a full series. The show is so close to my heart and I feel very lucky to be working with the incredible people at Channel 4 and WTTV who have been so supportive and encouraging throughout.”
McDermott added, “Lady Parts promises to be an audacious, celebratory and hilarious new comedy. Nida is a phenomenal talent who had such vision for this show and the women and world she wanted to portray, it was impossible not to succumb to it after the success of the Blap. We’re thrilled to be working with her and all at Working Title on scaling it up.”
On its doc slate, C4 has ordered Putin: A Russian Spy Story from The Gun Shop producer Rogan Productions. The three-part series is set to be a definitive account of Putin’s power and how it changed the modern world. Filmed across Russia, America, Europe and the UK, the series will show how Putin brought his knowledge of spy-craft to define the presidency of a nuclear power. Landing 20 years into his rule, this will be the definitive account of Putin’s power and how it has changed the modern world. It will explore how Putin’s personal experiences have influenced his politics, how modern Russia has been created through an acute sense of betrayal, pride and anger, and how Putin’s values have been exported around the world – from Crimea to Salisbury to Washington DC.
Told using Putin’s own words, by those close to him and by those most impacted by his actions, it will explore Putin’s beginnings in 1968, Leningrad, USSR and his role at the KGB as well as his path to power.
Directed by Nick Green, Paul Mitchell is series produer with James Rogan as exec producer. The series was commissioned by C4’s Head of Specialist Factual Fatima Salaria.
Salaria said, “This new exciting commission promises to deliver new revelation and insight into a figure who we are all intrigued by. Nick Green, Paul Mitchell and James Rogan will bring intricate storytelling, beautifully assembled archive and fascinating interviews from those who witnessed and lived through these events.”
Rogan added, “To understand what is happening in the world right now, it is necessary to understand Vladimir Putin. Putin has shown his staying power as one of the most formidable politicians of the 21st century. This series will explore how as a former spy he has redefined politics and the impact this has had globally.”
On the reality slate, C4 is taking Gogglebox star Scarlett Moffatt (right) and her family to spend four weeks with the Himba tribe in a remote Namibian tribal village in The British Tribe Next Door. The four-part series will see the Moffatt’s bring all of their home comforts, including running water, electricity, iPhones, hair straighteners and television to the small village of semi-nomadic Himba cattle-herders
In the spirit of the 2007 anthropological series Meet The Natives, it will look at the differences between the two cultures.
The British Tribe Next Door (w/t), was commissioned by C4’s Head of Factual Entertainment Alf Lawrie. It is a Voltage TV and Motion Content Group co-production and exec produced by Sanjay Singhal and Dominique Walker for Voltage and Melanie Darlaston for Motion Content Group. Series Editor is David Vallance and the Series Director is Christian Watt.
Lawrie said, “For the first time in human history, British suburbia and Himba tribal life will co-exist side-by-side. This series contrasts two worlds on a spectacular scale – but at its heart, is about the extraordinary relationships it creates. Scarlett and the Himba are the perfect foils, both hospitable, curious, friendly … and sharing wicked senses of humour.”
Sanjay Singhal, co-executive Producer for Voltage TV added, ‘We’re excited to be making such an ambitious and innovative programme. It feels totally unpredictable and I’m intrigued to know what the Himba and the Moffatts will learn about themselves from taking part.”