BBC acquires RTÉ drama co-production Hidden Assets

Crime thriller set in Ireland and Belgium will be shown on BBC Four

The BBC has acquired Hidden Assets, the six-part crime thriller that aired on RTÉ One late last year, and will broadcast the series on BBC Four, its home for European drama.

Set in Ireland and Belgium, Hidden Assets opens with a routine Criminal Assets Bureau raid that exposes links between a wealthy Irish family, a stash of rough diamonds and a series of Belgian bombings.

Originally commissioned by RTÉ and US-owned streaming service Acorn TV in association with Screen Ireland and Screen Flanders, it was produced by Irish production company Saffron Moon with Canada's Facet 4 Media and Belgian producer Potemkino.

The series averaged an audience of almost 500,000 on RTÉ One last November and December, excluding RTÉ Player views.

Starring Angeline Ball as a detective in the Criminal Assets Bureau and Wouter Hendrickx as the Belgian police commissioner with whom she teams up, Hidden Assets was described as "a satisfying blend of crime drama, political conspiracy and thriller" by the BBC's head of programme acquisition Sue Deeks.

The BBC acquired the series from distributor DCD Rights.

International co-production

Filmed under pandemic conditions in Shannon, Co Clare, and Antwerp, the international drama – which also includes Simone Kirby, Cathy Belton, Peter Coonan and Charlie Carrick among its cast – was written by Peter McKenna, whose CV includes RTÉ's 2021 gangster family hit Kin, and Morna Regan, while it was directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan and Belgium's Kadir Balci.

Ms Ball’s character first featured in 2017 series Acceptable Risk.

The Irish-Belgian-Canadian co-production is one of several Europe-set dramas over the past decade to use co-operation between police forces in different jurisdictions as a narrative backdrop to expand their production financing options.