BBC Entertainment to launch Lonely Planet block in India

BBC Entertainment to launch Lonely Planet block in India



MUMBAI: Viewers of BBC Entertainment in India will begin a new journey of discovery on 29 November 2011 with the launch of Lonely Planet branded programming blocks on the channel.

The news follows Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer president Jana Bennett?s announcement in June of plans to integrate the travel brand into BBC Worldwide?s international channel portfolio.

The block will feature on BBC Entertainment, as part of the multi-genre schedule that airs on the channel. Elsewhere the block will air on BBC Knowledge.

In India, Lonely Planet will debut with ?Free Rein? and ?Amazon With Bruce Parry?.

The Lonely Planet block will provide a dedicated home to the channel?s most compelling and immersive travel programming, including ?Free Rein?, specially commissioned by BBC Worldwide Channels from Lonely Planet?s production arm and Freehand.

The programme follows screen legends Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds) as they set out on the ultimate adventure across The Kimberley, the Outback?s last frontier.

Also destined for the new programme block in 2012 is the action-packed series ?Year of Adventures?, starring Ben Fogle and based on the Lonely Planet book of the same name. Currently filming in Wales, Europe, the USA and Australia, the series is a Lonely Planet TV and BBC Bristol production for BBC Worldwide Channels.

Bennett said, "This dedicated home on BBC Knowledge marks a major step in our development of Lonely Planet as a television brand. BBC Worldwide will continue to support its growth through these programming blocks and through specially commissioned Lonely Planet productions. We hope that in time, the brand can evolve into a standalone television channel."

The new block will roll out across all of BBC Worldwide?s localised BBC Knowledge feeds around the world - Poland, Africa, Italy, the Nordic Region (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden), Australia, New Zealand and Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea).

The block will debut in Asia on 1 November, with ?Arctic With Bruce Parry? as the launch title and ?Free Rein? to follow in December.

Australia and New Zealand follow on 2 November, with ?Free Rein? premiering in Australia that day, and on 12 November in New Zealand. On 5 November, the block launches in Europe, Middle East and Africa with ?Tribe?, ?Long Way Round? and Lonely Planet TV production ?Roads Less Travelled? among the programme line up.

Further programmes set to roll out on Lonely Planet include ?Paul Merton in India?, ?Tropic of Cancer with Simon Reeve? and ?Russia: A Journey with Jonathan Dimbleby?.

BBC Worldwide senior VP Programming and TV Channels David Weiland said, "The Lonely Planet schedule is designed to take our viewers on a journey of exploration and discovery, and we?ve selected these titles to feed their passion for experiencing the world through travel. Along with our own growing roster of original commissions - like ?Free Rein? and ?Year of Adventures? - these programmes will find a natural home in the Lonely Planet block, with a host of engaging personalities and experts to transport viewers right to the heart of a place."

Lonely Planet was founded in 1973. In February 2011, BBC Worldwide took full ownership of the brand, having held a 75 per cent stake in the company since 2007.

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