Griff Rhys Jones.

British comedian and TV travel presenter Griff Rhys Jones is hosting a factual series which traverses Australia on the country’s most famous trains.

Essential Media Group is producing Griff Off the Rails: Down Under (6×60’), which has been pre-bought by the ABC.

Produced and directed by Julia Peters (Miracle Hospital, Nolan, Becoming Superhuman), the series follows Rhys Jones as he travels on the trans-continental Indian Pacific, The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin and the Spirit of Queensland from Brisbane to Cairns.

He will also explore the origins of the railroads, the stories of the people who operate them and the communities that rely on them.

The executive producer is Brendan Dahill, EMG’s general manager for Australasia, who said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Griff to create a very distinctive series that will offer viewers an entertaining outsider’s perspective on the foundation of a modern country and the origins of what it means to be an Australian today.”

Rhys Jones, who has fronted numerous travel shows including Slow Train Through Africa, Three Men in a Boat and A Great Welsh Adventure, added: “This fascinating story will be told about the way Australia built a huge infrastructure to unite the country and its people. It is history, commentary and adventure all wound into one.”

EMG’s parent Kew Media Distribution is handling international sales.

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