Alibi secures UK broadcasting rights for Irish drama Smother


LONDON - 26th March 2021

UKTV today announces that Alibi will exclusively broadcast the new RTE drama Smother (6x60') in the UK, following a deal with BBC Studios. An Irish investigative thriller about the secrets families keep from each other, Smother stars Dervla Kirwan (The Stranger, Safe House) and Seána Kerslake (Hole in the Ground) and is created by Kate O'Riordan (Penance, Mr Selfridge).

Set and filmed on location in a small town on the beautiful and wild west coast of Ireland, Smother follows devoted matriarch Val Ahern (Kirwan) whose husband Denis is found dead at the bottom of a cliff following a party at the family home. As Val explores who might have been responsible and examines her husband's relationships with their children, stepchildren and extended family, she begins to realise the full extent of his controlling behaviour and threatens to uncover secrets, lies and hurt that may tear the entire family apart.

Smother is produced by BBC Studios Production Drama North and Scotland in partnership with Dublin-based Treasure Entertainment, in association with Screen Ireland. The lead writer is Kate O'Riordan, and director is Dathaí Keane (Dominion Creek). The executive producers for BBC Studios are Tom Sherry (Prey, Ordinary Lies) and Michael Parke (Fleming, Life of Crime). Smother has been acquired for UKTV by Charlie Charalambous, global acquisitions manager. It is produced by Rob Walpole and Rebecca O'Flanagan from Irish production company Treasure, with executive producer for Screen Ireland Andrew Byrne. The production of the series has been enabled by a number of partners including the WRAP Fund, through Sarah Dillon.

Charlie Charalambous said

We couldn't be happier to work with our friends at BBC Studios on bringing this hugely exciting series to the UK. Smother is a fantastic addition to our upcoming slate of UKTV exclusive acquisitions.

Emma Ayech, Alibi channel director added

This has everything that Alibi viewers love - intrigue, danger, family drama, and some incredible talent involved on both sides of the camera. We can't wait to try and uncover the mysteries of Smother every week.

Michael Parke, executive producer BBC Studios said

Smother puts a mother at the heart of an investigation into the dark secrets in her own family. Kate O'Riordan's drama explores the deep rooted, primal maternal instinct to protect no matter what the cost. Smother is a bold, twisty and compelling domestic thriller and we are delighted to be sitting alongside the finest of crime dramas on Alibi.

Robert Walpole, producer for Treasure Entertainment, said

Smother is a complex and gripping family drama which presents a truly modern vision of rural Ireland and showcases an ensemble of really great new and established on screen talent. Alibi is a really great fit for the show and we are thrilled that they are bringing it to UK audiences

Smother will air on Alibi later this year.


Praise for Smother

"An entertaining whodunnit murder mystery" - The Irish Times "A rare delight" - Irish Examiner "Clicks together effectively as a Sunday-night whodunnit" - Independent

For more information, please contact: Ben Duncan, Publicist, UKTV

Notes for Editors:

About Alibi

Sky 132/826, Virgin 126/200, BT 312/382, TalkTalk 312, TV Player On demand on Sky, Virgin, BT and TalkTalk Alibi is the only TV channel dedicated to crime drama, investigating the best selection from the genre and premiering hit series from around the world such as Harrow, Evil, Briarpatch and Tommy.

Alibi stepped into UKTV Original crime drama series with guaranteed thrills, twists and turns including hit series Traces, starring Molly Windsor and Martin Compston and We Hunt Together starring Eve Myles and Babou Ceesay.

Now in its 14th series, Murdoch Mysteries has found a safe space on the channel while newcomers Hudson and Rex have become hugely popular additions. British crime dramas including Death in Paradise, Father Brown and Silent Witness give the viewers another chance to catch their favourite shows.

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 25 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC. | | @uktvpress

About BBC Studios Production

BBC Studios Production makes around 2000 hours of content annually for the BBC and other UK and international broadcasters and received 79 awards and over 300 nominations over the past year, making it the most awarded producer in the UK. Spanning drama, comedy, factual, factual entertainment, entertainment, music and events, its award-winning credits include Seven Worlds, One Planet, Good Omens, This Country, Famalam, Louis Theroux and Killed By My Debt, as well as much-loved long-running series like Top Gear, Strictly Come Dancing, EastEnders, DIY SOS and Countryfile. Since launching as a commercial business in April 2017, BBC Studios has won over 30 third-party commissions, including commissions from Apple, National Geographic, Channel 4, Sky, UKTV, Channel 5, Discovery, PBS, Quibi, ABC in Australia and Migu in China.

BBC Studios, a global content company with bold British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen and beyond, its activities span content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries across both its own productions, and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms. It is also a committed partner for the UK's independent sector through a mix of equity partnerships, content investment and international distribution for programme titles.

About Screen Ireland

Screen Ireland is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry, investing in talent, creativity and enterprise. Screen Ireland's mission is to support and promote Irish film, television and animation through fostering Irish artistic vision and our diverse creative and production talent, growing audiences, and attracting filmmakers and investment into the country.

About Treasure Entertainment

Treasure Entertainment is one of Ireland's leading independent production companies, with a proven record in producing commercially and critically successful films and television for Irish and international audiences. Notable film credits include John Butler feature films, Papi Chulo, Handsome Devil and The Stag, Paddy Breathnach's Oscar shortlisted Viva, and BAFTA nominated Good Vibrations. For television we produced IFTA award-winning comedies Your Bad Self, The Running Mate and Finding Joy.