BBC gets access to Inside Monaco and The Countess and the Russian Billionaire
Staff Reporter | On 18, Mar 2020
BBC Two has bagged unprecedented access into the lives of the world’s super-rich with two new documentaries.
Inside Monaco is filmed over a season of grand events that Monaco is famous for, such as the Grand Prix weekend, Red Cross Ball and the international yacht show. It will shine a light on this glitzy, glamorous and extremely wealthy corner of the Mediterranean.
Home to more millionaires than any other nation, the series will examine the legacy Prince Albert (pictured below) inherited from his parents Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, and what life is like for a modern-day Head of State. We will see the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to make this jet-set destination relevant to today’s generation of the rich and famous.
The three-part series from Spun Gold Television and Whisper is produced by Sunil Patel and Richard Gort for Whisper, and directed by Michael Waldman. It will offer a glimpse into life in Monaco. The population of 40,000 is drawn from 120 different nationalities and we get to know some larger-than-life characters, discover what brought them to this place and what life is really like in one of the most desirable places in the world.
The Countess And The Russian Billionaire steps inside the secret world of Sergei Pugachev, a Russian oligarch, and his British partner Countess Alexandra Tolstoy, mother to their three children.
Filmed between the UK, France and Russia, it sets out to tell the story of their Russian romance, unimaginable wealth and privileged lifestyle. Sergei, once known as Putin’s banker, amassed a $15 billion fortune, owning one of Russia’s largest private banks, shipyards, a coal mine and designer brands until his fall from favour with the president.
His empire now at risk from the Russian government, and threats to his life see Sergei flee to his chateau in France in a bid to fight back. Alexandra is left behind with the children in London, and the pressure on their relationship soon starts to show, with events quickly taking over their fairytale story of power, money and love. The one-hour doc was commissioned by Clare Sillery, Head of Factual Commissioning, and is directed by Lucy Hillman and Sam Whittaker.
Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, says: “Both these documentaries promise the very best filmmaking, engaging with worlds that often hide themselves from view. It’s great to have such exclusive and hard-won access on the channel.”