Friday 7 May 2021
UKTV has commissioned Extreme Food Phobics (10x60') for its premium entertainment channel, W, with Dr Ranj Singh and his team offering help and support to some of the UK's most severe food phobics. The UKTV Original will be produced by South Shore Productions and will air later this year.
Dr Ranj said:
Most of us will associate fussy eating with kids. However, there are a significant number of adults with serious food issues that could be damaging their health without even realising. Working on this ground-breaking show has been a real rollercoaster - not just because we get to see the reality of it, but also because the treatment results are potentially life-changing!
Extreme Food Phobics will see patients with a variety of food related fears and phobias visit Dr Ranj and his team at a bespoke hub, to start the process of overcoming their extreme food issues, in the hope of living a healthier and happier life.
Whether it is someone that is so limited in what they will eat, every meal, including Christmas dinner, is a specific brand of chicken dippers; to a person who feels they will vomit the instant they are in the same room as a piece of broccoli; or a grown woman who only eats babyfood and attributes the break up of her marriage to her bizarre eating habits. These people's lives, careers, families and not to mention their health, are all being severely curtailed and they are at crisis point with their extreme food phobias.
Across each episode, the patient will move through three stages of therapy to help them overcome their fears. From the initial check-in to diagnosis, aversion therapy and support from psychologists and therapists, with the aim of each patient's experience building to an intimate dinner with their nearest and dearest, all of whom are willing them to overcome their food fears. With a wide variety of dietary issues on the agenda, the prospect of this final stage will be hard for some to swallow.
W's Extreme Food Phobics has been commissioned for UKTV by Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning, and ordered by Adam Collings, channel director for W. Steve North is genre general manager for comedy and entertainment and Richard Watsham is director of commissioning. Executive producers for UKTV are Hilary Rosen and Kirsty Hanson, commissioning editor, and execs for South Shore Productions are Melanie Leach and Caroline Davies. Richard Park will be series producer. The series will be distributed by ITV Studios.
Hilary Rosen said: "We're delighted to be working with South Shore on this exciting new format. Many people struggle daily with extreme food fears and this new approach will change lives. Our viewers will be rooting for our food phobics and will be willing them to succeed, every step of the way."
Adam Collings said: "We are hugely excited to be welcoming Dr Ranj to W and to be getting a rare glimpse into some of the extraordinary conditions that people are currently dealing with in the UK. It's set to be a fascinating watch!"
Melanie Leach said: "We're delighted to be working with Dr Ranj on our debut commission for UKTV. Extreme Food Phobics is an exciting new features format that we hope will help a cast of characters for whom food has become the enemy."
Extreme Food Phobics is the latest UKTV Original for W and joins other recent commissions including the International Women's Day special, Inside the Ambulance: Wonder Women, Emma Willis: Delivering Babies in 2020 and a second series of Women on the Force. The hugely successful Stacey Dooley Sleeps Over is also back for a second series and currently airing on W.
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W is UKTV's premium entertainment channel, offering audiences a dazzling mix of UKTV Original series with some of the UK's most-loved talent in front and behind the camera.
Part of the W family, Emma Willis trains as a maternity care assistant in Emma Willis: Delivering Babies, while Emily Atack asks herself some big questions in Emily Atack: Adulting and Stacey Dooley spends some time with extraordinary families in Stacey Dooley: Sleeps Over. For its first foray into scripted original series, W welcomed Lorna Martin's Women on the Verge and celebrity PR drama Flack, starring Academy award winner Anna Paquin.
W will also delve into the world of babies and weddings with My Famous Babysitter and The Wedding Fixer, while channel favourite Inside The Ambulance continues to shine a light on paramedics across the UK. Inside the Operating Theatre takes that relationship further, getting to the heart of the surgeons saving lives inside the hospital. Debut series Ski A&E will look at the heroic actions of emergency ski services. And finally, W's hit acquisitions MasterChef Australia, MasterChef USA and MasterChef USA Juniors round out the offering.
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.