BBC commissions 2 new documentaries

BBC Worldwide has confirmed two new Australian factual titles.

Free Rein is a 1 x 50’ special for BBC Knowledge, as Bryan Brown and Rachel Ward go in search of the spirit of Australia on the ultimate horseback adventure across The Kimberley.

Although they come from very different backgrounds, two passions that this husband-and-wife team share are a love of horses and a fascination with the true stories of our history. These are the drivers that set them on a challenging personal journey across the remotest region of Australia.

Produced by Lonely Planet TV and Freehand, it is now filming in The Kimberley.

Executive producer Sue Norton says “This is a fantastic project – we’re heading to Australia’s wild west and taking a step back in time to give audiences a true grit Lonely Planet experience.”

It will launch on BBC Knowledge internationally in 2011.

The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment is dramatised documentary for UKTV as either 1 x 90 or 2 x 60.

It will tell the story of a brazen band of Australian thieves who ran riot in London for more than a decade.

Led by its charismatic ‘King’ Arthur Delaney, the gang targeted the plush retailers of Knightsbridge and Mayfair, as well as crossing Europe to lay siege to the luxury emporia of Paris, Brussels, Rome and beyond.

Based on the book King of Thieves, by best-selling author Adam Shand (Big Shots), The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment is produced by The Full Box Productions for UKTV.

Deirdre Brennan, BBC Worldwide Australia’s Director of Television, says, “Free Rein and The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment are two superb Australian programs that will have huge appeal to our local audiences.

“In Free Rein, we share a remarkable experience with two fascinating Australians as they journey through the breathtaking landscapes of the Outback.

And The Kangaroo Gang: Thieves by Appointment is an innovative recreation of a famous chapter in Australian and UK crime history; it will be a world premiere highlight of our cross-channel Crime & Justice event in October.”

Both will air later in 2011.

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