Thursday 24 August 2017
Multi-award winning broadcaster UKTV today announced it has commissioned two series of NHS Rescue Squad (w/t) from Air Television for its free-to-air channel Really. It has also ordered an additional two series of Helicopter ER from the 2017 Yorkshire RTS region winner, Air Television.
NHS Rescue Squad, a 20 x 60 episode order, is a land-mark in British television - the Yorkshire Ambulance Service is the first in the UK to grant access to its Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). It's one of 15 specialist medical units set up after the 7/7 London bombings to treat badly injured patients in extreme environments.
The unprecedented access will allow viewers to see the camaraderie and courage of men and women who risk their lives to save ours. They are trained to enter burning buildings, deal with the victims of terrorist attacks, brave toxic gas clouds and abseil to the rescue down cliff faces.
The series will also capture the banter in the mess hall and the blood sweat and tears of a training regime that demands high levels of physical fitness and skills ranging from nuclear decontamination to using high-speed flood relief boats.
The team's advanced medical capabilities allow them to perform surgical procedures in a range of locations from the street to the cramped confines of a collapsed building or down a Pennine pothole, keeping patients alive long enough to reach specialised medical care.
The Air production team will also be among the first to use drone cameras at real emergency scenes thanks to a ground-breaking agreement with ambulance and fire service officers. Air Television has already captured dramatic footage of a major fire, a river rescue and several major road accidents.
The additional two 15 x 60 series of Helicopter ER will continue to follow the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as its paramedics, doctors and pilots respond to accidents and emergencies across the UK's biggest county.
NHS Rescue Squad and Helicopter ER were ordered by Really general manager, Luke Hales and UKTV director of commissioning, Richard Watsham. They were commissioned by commissioning editor Arch Dyson for UKTV.
The series producer for Air Television on NHS Rescue Squad and Helicopter ER is Matt Richards and executive producers are Arch Dyson for UKTV and Ian Cundall and Andy Joynson for Air Television. NHS Rescue Squad and Helicopter ER are currently in pre-production and will transmit in 2018.
Luke Hales, general manager, Really, said:
After the success of Helicopter ER we are delighted to be working with Air Television on the unprecedented series, NHS Rescue Squad, as well as a further two series of Helicopter ER. The Really viewers have come to expect high-octane blue light documentaries from us and I am sure this will raise the bar with non-stop action making for unmissable viewing.
Ian Cundall, executive producer, Air Television said: "We believe the footage gathered by our drone, bodycameras and embedded shooting PDs will add to the very real drama of many incidents and allow viewers to understand the technical difficulty of many of the HART team's rescues."
Andy Joynson, co-executive producer, Air Television added: "We're excited to bring the extraordinary lives of Yorkshire's amazing medics to the screen."
Arch Dyson, commissioning editor, UKTV said:
We have had a big drive in the commissioning team to remain very focused in what we would like our shows to offer on Really. NHS Rescue Squad is testament to how far we have come. Air Television has supported us from the beginning of our commissioning journey on Really and I am thrilled that we will be working with them on this extraordinary new series.
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 saw success with its UKTV Originals in 2016, Helicopter ER series premiere reached an audience of 3.3m individuals and Cops UK: Body Cam Squad debuted with an audience of 233k individuals.
Notes to editors:
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Sky 155, Virgin 129, Freeview 17, BT, TalkTalk 017 & Freest 160. On demand on UKTV Play
Really is a leading real life TV channel, offering viewers an exhilarating, emotional roller coaster of programming. Championing astounding documentaries, real life crime stories and lifestyle programming plus premier paranormal content. Free to air channel Really offers a compelling variety of real life and lifestyle favourites including documentaries such as 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.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 41m viewers every month.
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 nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £344.8m and EBITDA of £91.3m. It invested £151.2m in programming and related launches last year, and is a significant investor in British creativity.
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 over 20 years 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 first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.