London - 26th May 2016
Multi-award winning broadcaster UKTV today announced it has greenlit two exclusive series of Helicopter ER (30x60'), for its real life channel, Really. The commission is a build on the successful Helicopter Heroes brand, but the channel looks to move the show into a peak slot and bring in primetime audiences.
The series, commissioned from Air Television will follow the flying doctors and paramedics of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, who cover thousands of square miles of rugged landscapes, dramatic dales and bleak moors.
Using British television's only full-time team of qualified medical helicopter aircrew, Really will put viewers in the cockpit with some of the NHS's toughest medics.
The series will be made by many of the team who created Helicopter Heroes, which has successfully repeated on Really. This commission of thirty episodes is one of the largest by the channel to date. The new show will also be moved to a peak slot with a grittier editorial edge to reflect its new home.
Every day the helimed team must use courage, speed and ingenuity, making life of death decisions to keep their patients alive long enough to reach the hospital for the care they desperately need. They fight to save a variety of cases; stricken hill farmers, badly injured bikers, downed hang-glider pilots and tourists who've fallen down the fells they've come to enjoy.
Ian Cundall, Executive Producer, Air Television said
We are proud to have worked with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance crews for many years. Our specially trained shoot PDs are able to shadow the medical team on the most complex rescues and to the most exposed locations. The access is extraordinary, the stories heart-warming and sometimes heart-breaking. We are delighted to be continuing to make the series for Really.
Emma Ayech, General Manager, Really, added,
We are thrilled that Air Television is making this series for Really. Helicopter Heroes is a tremendously popular show with its unmissable combination of heart-warming human stories and real-life heroism in one of the UK's most-loved landscapes. We are shifting it editorially to sit in the shoulder peak schedule while retaining the characters and stories that people love.
Air Television was founded by former BBC staffers Cundall and series producer Andy Joynson. This is the new company's second major commission - it recently delivered 15 episodes of Emergency Rescue Down Under to BBC One, following the work of Australian flying doctors.
The series is in currently production and is will transmit at the end of the year and into 2017. It is commissioned by Deputy Director of Commissioning Hilary Rosen and produced for UKTV by Tanya Qureshi.
Hilary Rosen, said of the Commission,
As UKTV continues to invest in creating new and exclusive content, I'm thrilled to announce our first ever original series for Really. The original Helicopter Heroes is a hugely popular show. We are building on the brand to bring a compelling combination of human stories and real-life heroism, set against the arresting Yorkshire Landscape.
Executive Producer for Air TV is Ian Cundall, the Series Producer is Andy Joynson and the Co-Series Producer is Matt Richards. UKTV's free-to-air channel Really has established itself as the home of real life programming. Real life rescue is a key content pillar, alongside crime, paranormal and lifestyle programming. Really's successful commissions in 2015 included Most Haunted Live, which saw the channel surge to its highest ever ratings as the nation was gripped by a live ghost hunt.
For more information contact: Katie Sheldrake, Publicist
Lou Plank Plank PR 020 8995 3936 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
Sky 155, Virgin 283, Freeview 17, BT & TalkTalk 017, Freesat 164 On demand on UKTV Play
Leading free to air channel Really focuses on powerful, emotionally engaging real-life stories. Really has a mix of documentaries spanning crime and lifestyle plus premier paranormal content. Shows include Embarrassing Bodies, Helicopter Heroes, I Survived Evil and One Born Every Minute, lifestyle titles such as Homes Under The Hammer, DIY SOS and Escape to the Country as well as being the leading paranormal broadcaster with titles such as Paranormal Witness, Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures. Really is also known for its live Halloween ghost hunt shows.
UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.
UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m 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 and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
Now celebrating its 22nd 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 to be recognised by Best Companies.