Irish company Sideline Productions to make ‘Great British Castles’
‘Murder, sex, betrayal, battle, torture and intrigue’ as Channel 5 commissions history series
Simon Delaney on location for TV3’s Tales of Irish Castles, made by Sideline Productions. The company has now been commissioned to make Great British Castles for Channel 5.
Sideline Productions, the company behind programmes such as The Great Irish Bake Off and the Irish version of Take Me Out, has won its first UK series commission. Great British Castles, a six-part documentary series for Channel 5, will be co-produced by Sideline alongside GroupM Entertainment.
Presented by one of the new stars of history television Dan Jones, the series “tells the dramatic stories of six of Britain’s best-loved castles”, but it will be produced from and edited in Ireland, says Sideline co-founder Billy McGrath, an ex-commissioner of entertainment for RTÉ.
McGrath says the series, which begins production in March, offers Sideline and its co-producers the opportunity to make tie-in books and DVDs to coincide with its broadcast in early 2015.
“The last 12 months over and back to London meeting commissioners and broadcasters has paid off,” says McGrath, who serves as one of the show’s executive producers.
Channel 5’s commissioning editor for factual programmes, Simon Raikes, says the series will feature “murder, sex, betrayal, battle, torture and intrigue”.
Sideline has form when it comes to castles, having made a similarly themed factual programme for TV3. Presented by actor Simon Delaney, Tales of Irish Castles is set to air in the spring and will hopefully contain just as much murder, sex and intrigue.
Although the company previously produced The Rubberbandits comedy pilot for Channel 4, this is Sideline’s first UK series commission.