Thursday 3 November 2016
The UK's fastest growing broadcaster, UKTV, has commissioned a new comedy drama, Murder on The Blackpool Express (2 x 60'), for its comedy channel Gold, continuing its investment in original scripted content.
The two-part UKTV Original, produced by Tiger Aspect Productions, is a mixture of comedy and classic murder mystery and is set on a guided tour coach trip to Blackpool. It has been created by Jason Cook, the award-winning writer behind BBC comedy Hebburn.
The story follows Terry, the despondent driver of the coach who's stuck in a rut. He has no goal or passions, apart from an unrequited love interest in tour organiser, Gemma. But everything changes when an OAP dies under suspicious circumstances and Terry suspects something sinister is afoot. Soon the number of passengers has seriously dwindled and Terry feels compelled to solve the mystery and save Gemma's business; hopefully winning her love in the process.
UKTV's senior commissioning editor, Hilary Rosen, said,
We are delighted to be working with both Jason Cook, who has delivered a highly entertaining script, and Tiger Aspect, after the huge success of the award-winning Crackanory on Dave. Murder on The Blackpool Express provides a delicious twist to the murder mystery genre and shows our continued ambition to grow scripted comedy on Gold through a range of different durations and voices.
The programme was ordered by Gold's general manager, Steve North and UKTV's director of commissioning, Richard Watsham, and commissioned by Hilary Rosen. The executive producers are Hilary Rosen and Tanya Qureshi for UKTV and Andy Brereton for Tiger Aspect.
Steve North, general manager for Gold said,
With a raft of comic characters, large set pieces and a thrilling whodunnit twist, Murder on The Blackpool Express will provide an ambitious and truly unique offering for the Gold audience. Following an overwhelmingly positive response from viewers to new scripted comedies such as Marley's Ghosts and The Rebel, we're delighted to be announcing another cracking piece of brand-defining comedy for the channel.
Andy Brereton, Tiger Aspect's head of comedy entertainment and an executive producer on the project says,
Working with the team at UKTV is always a pleasure. They've shown an unflinching passion for the excellent script written by Jason Cook and we're all really looking forward to getting those passengers on a bus to Blackpool... and seeing who survives!
This announcement marks another step in UKTV's ongoing strategy to order fresh and original content and introduce it to the Gold audience. UKTV has enjoyed success with recent homegrown programming for the channel including Marley's Ghosts and The Rebel. Gold recommissioned Marley's Ghosts after it became the second highest rated show on the channel in 2015, with the second series launching 117% above slot last month. More than 9.2 million viewers tune into Gold every month, with share of viewing up 6% year-on-year*.
* Jan-Sept 15 v Jan-Sept 16
Notes to Editors:
For all press enquiries please contact;
Iain Mccallum, Head of Press and PR, Tiger Aspect Productions: IainMccallum@tigeraspect.co.uk
Sky 110, Virgin 126, BT and TalkTalk 408 On demand on Sky, Virgin and Now TV
Dedicated to celebrating the best of British comedy, Gold is the nation's favourite comedy channel.
Much-loved comedy series such as Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley and Outnumbered sit alongside successful commissions including Comic Strip Presents...Red Top and Catherine Tate's Do Not Disturb, and the live broadcast of the final ever performance of the Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down Five to Go stage show which became the highest rating programme in Gold's history in 2014.
The perfect tonic to make you laugh whatever the time of day, Gold shows universally funny content that everyone can enjoy.
UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.
The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.
UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
About Tiger Aspect Productions
Tiger Aspect Productions, an Endemol Shine Company, is internationally recognised as one of the UK's most successful and prolific independent television producers. The company portfolio includes Children's/Animation, Comedy, Drama, Entertainment and Factual/Features genres.
We create a wide range of critically acclaimed and award-winning programming for all the UK's major terrestrial and non-terrestrial broadcasters. In addition our creative output now enjoys high profile internationally through commissions for major foreign networks. Our programmes are shown by a host of broadcasters in hundreds of territories.
Our programming is built on our relationships with the best on offer in UK talent. The company's belief in nurturing and supporting creativity on every level means that Tiger Aspect consistently attracts the ultimate in on-screen, writing and production talent.