BBC Worldwide announces new factual commissions

23 May, 2011 by IF

Press release from BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide has confirmed two stunning new Australian factual titles for launch later in 2011.


In Free Rein, a 1 x 50’ special for BBC Knowledge, film and television legends Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward 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 our history. These are the drivers that set them on a challenging personal journey across the remotest region of Australia.

Now filming in The Kimberley, Free Rein is a Lonely Planet TV and Freehand production for BBC Knowledge. It will launch on BBC Knowledge internationally in 2011.

Executive producer Sue Norton of Lonely Planet TV says “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.”

In the dramatized documentary The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment (1 x 90 or 2 x 60), UKTV 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 best-selling author Adam Shand (Big Shots, the inside story of Melbourne's gangland wars), The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment is produced by The Full Box Productions for UKTV and BBC Channels globally.

“Free Rein and The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment are two superb Australian programs that will have huge appeal to our local audiences,” said Deirdre Brennan, BBC Worldwide Australia’s Director of Television.

“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 & Justice event in October.”