Dinnerladies, spaceships and a Taskmaster Christmas special: UKTV unveils new original slate
Staff Reporter | On 14, Sep 2017Reading time: 2 mins
From dinnerladies to Red Dwarf, UKTV has unveiled its new original slate of content for the coming year – and the broadcaster is getting more diverse than ever.
Broadening out into sports, gameshows and factual programming alongside scripted comedies and lifestyle, the UKTV network has grown its line-up of original content five-fold in the last five years, expanding to its biggest slate of titles in its 25-year history. Building upon the success of its Red Dwarf revival several years ago, UKTV now has 50 origins already in production, including the return of Taskmaster, Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Goodish and more.
That investment into original content has seen the network grow, both live and on-demand.
“Our viewers across traditional broadcast and TV streaming service, UKTV Play are watching UKTV Originals more than ever and we are investing at pace to bring them more of what they love,” said CEO Darren Childs, speaking at the network’s UKTV Live event yesterday.
New shows include dinnerladies diaries, a documentary series with never seen before access to the diaries of the late Victoria Wood for Britain’s favourite comedy channel, Gold; The Wave, hosted by Big Brother favourite and host of Most Haunted Live, Rylan Clarke, for premium entertainment channel W; and a return to live paranormal entertainment with the continuing franchise Celebrity Haunted Mansion, hosted by Christine Lampard and Matt Richardson, also for W.
Dave has also turned to YouTube sensation Yianni Charalambous for a 10-part series, The Customiser Is Always Right (WT) from Barcroft Productions.
These announcements sit alongside new programme launches, from Porters, a brand new scripted comedy written by Dan Sefton (Trust Me, Delicious), based on his own experiences of working in a hospital, to Murder on the Blackpool Express, a comedic spin on the Agatha Christie-style whodunit. Fantasy comedy Zapped will also return for a full series.
Perhaps one of the most exciting announcements is that the BAFTA-nominated Taskmaster will bring together all five of the show’s season champions for the ultimate battle in a brand new two-part special, Taskmaster Champion of Champions.
Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Noel Fielding, Rob Beckett, and the final winner of its current season – one of Aisling Bea, Bob Mortimer, Mark Watson, Nish Kumar and Sally Phillips – will be set a collection of confounding new assignments in a fight to become the ultimate Taskmaster champion, watched over, as ever, by Greg Davies and Alex Horne.
The show is the highest-rated UKTV series of 2017 and the most watched commission on UKTV Play in 2017 so far. You can read our review of Season 5 here.
“Our investment into new content across the network has given us a stable of entertainment commissions, successful launches, and award-winning returning series that has underpinned our strong growth over the last five years,” added Childs. “And that means we can continue to strengthen our position as the UK’s third commercial broadcaster.”