London - 3 September 2015 - Brand new and exclusive to Watch is a three-part series of authored documentaries by Sara Cox, Grace Dent and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
Each hour-long show explores the personal impact of technology on the lives and careers of Sara, Grace and Sophie through the themes of Friendship, Romance and Celebrity.
Radio and television presenter, Sara Cox looks at how social media has changed friendship in the 21st century. Sara discovers what it is like to be part of the Facebook generation by signing up to Facebook for the very first time. She believes that friendships conducted via social media are less meaningful than friendships conducted in the real world, and she fears that technology may rob her children of the quality of friendships that Sara enjoys with her own friends. But are her concerns justified?
Meeting up with my friends always guarantees belly laughs and hugs - it feels nourishing for the soul. But thanks to social media, friendships are changing. By the time my daughter is an adult maybe face-to-face time with pals will just be reduced to FaceTime. And if more and more friendships are going to be conducted via technology, can that technology ever substitute for what we get from actually being in the presence of friends? - Sara Cox
Journalist and author, Grace Dent investigates romance in the modern world. With internet dating and swipe apps now a familiar way of meeting a partner, Grace questions if technology is doing more harm than good when it comes to finding love - and she'll discover whether the latest advances in technology can help fan the flames of her own relationship, or whether they'll leave her questioning whether Mr Right is the man she's with at all.
I see what's going on and I'm continually amazed. In under five years, everything I know about the rules of finding love has shifted. Grace Dent
Musician Sophie Ellis-Bextor explores the changing shape of celebrity in an instant-access and technology-driven world. Sophie first stepped into the spotlight before the rise of social media and, although she's always engaged with it, she's certainly no Kim Kardashian. Wary of its power, she's chosen to keep social media at arm's length, but now she wants to explore it's potential to see from the inside what it can do for those who fully embrace it. Where does the real power of fame now lie? Is it possible to have a private life when people share everything you do on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat? And how does it feel to be so closely connected to a public that judges your every word?
Social media and new technologies have changed what it means to be famous. Sophie Ellis-Bextor
The season of documentaries is produced by Cactus TV with Nic Guttridge as Series Producer. Amanda Ross Executive Produces for Cactus TV and Victoria Summer for UKTV, Grace Dent is also an Executive Producer for the series. General Manager, Steve North and Director of Commissioning, Richard Watsham, ordered the series for Watch.
Amanda Ross, Joint MD of Cactus TV said, "Cactus TV is thrilled to be making these major new documentary films for UKTV. Working with Sara, Sophie, and Grace has been a joy. Intelligent, insightful, funny and entertaining, they each have a distinctly different voice - and collectively they'll take Watch viewers on a journey of exploration into the modern world that is surprising, fascinating and thought-provoking."
Richard Watsham, Director of Commissioning at UKTV added, "Our new strand of authored documentaries is an important part of Watch's programming going forwards with more to come very soon. It's a fantastic opportunity to work with talented people like Sophie, Grace and Sara on something that not only feels personal to them but covers important issues that affect the lives of all our viewers."
Watch continues to build its original commissions having recently announced Honey I Bought The House, an eight-part factual entertainment series, and Humble Pie hosted by Marco Pierre White and Melanie Sykes.
The season of authored documentaries is set to broadcast early 2016.
Sky 109/245, Virgin 124/191, BT & TalkTalk 407
On demand on Sky and Virgin
Watch is an entertainment channel that promises to surprise with out-of-the-ordinary programming. Premiering hit fantasy and science-fiction dramas such as The Strain, Grimm, Resurrection and Beauty and the Beast, it also showcases a selection of distinctive series like Doctor Who, David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities and Masterchef Australia. Watch is the exclusive home of Dynamo: Magician Impossible, an award winning original commission from UKTV.
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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 £283m and EBITDA of £74.1m. It invested £123m 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.
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