BBC Worldwide announces new factual commissions

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide Channels has confirmed two new factual titles set to launch internationally this year.

Originating from Australia, ‘Free Rein‘ and ‘The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment‘ come from the production companies Lonely Planet TV, Freehand and The Full Box Productions. They will air locally on UKTV, as well as on international feeds of BBC Knowledge, BBC HD and BBC Entertainment.

BBC Worldwide Networks and Global iPlayer president Jana Bennett said, "It remains an important part of our strategy to increase our commitment to local commissions. These titles represent a fraction of the rich plethora of stories across our markets just waiting to be told and I‘m delighted that our international audiences will get to experience them through our channels."

In Free Rein, a special for BBC Knowledge, film and television actors Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward ‘The Thorn Birds‘ go in search of the spirit of Australia on the ultimate horseback adventure across The Kimberley, the Outback‘s last frontier.

Although they come from very different backgrounds, two passions that this husband-and-wife team share are a love of horses and a fascination with the true stories of Australian history.
These are the drivers that set them on a challenging personal journey across the remotest region of the country.

It will launch internationally on BBC Knowledge this year and also air on BBC HD and BBC Entertainment.

Executive producer Sue Norton of Lonely Planet TV said, "This is a fantastic project - we‘re heading to Australia‘s wild west and taking a step back in time to give audiences a true grit Lonely Planet experience."

The dramatised documentary, ‘The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves‘ by Appointment, will tell the story of the most spectacularly successful shoplifting gang in history. The Kangaroo Gang was a brazen band of Australian thieves who ran riot in London for more than a decade.

Led by its charismatic ‘King‘ Arthur Delaney, the gang targeted the plush retailers of Knightsbridge and Mayfair, as well as crossing Europe to lay siege to the luxury emporia of Paris, Brussels, Rome and beyond.

Based on the book King of Thieves by author Adam Shand, The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment is produced by The Full Box Productions for UKTV in Australia and BBC Knowledge globally.

BBC Worldwide Australia‘s Director of Television Deirdre Brennan said, "Free Rein and The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment are two superb Australian programmes that will have huge appeal to our local audiences. In Free Rein, we share a remarkable experience with two fascinating Australians as they journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Outback.

"And ‘The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment‘ is an innovative recreation of a famous chapter in Australian and UK crime history; it will be a world premiere highlight of our cross-channel Crime and Justice event in October."

‘Free Rein‘ and ‘The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment‘ are the latest in a slate of new commissions for BBC Worldwide Channels this year. These follow the announcement of Some Say Love, the comedy pilot currently in production by Freehand, and Andy‘s Wild Adventures, a co-commission with the BBC for the international preschool brand, CBeebies.

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