Andrew Neil Handed Channel 4 Politics Show
Andrew Neil, the British news heavyweight who launched GB News last year before leaving within weeks, is to host a Sunday night political show on Channel 4. Sunday Politics with Andrew Neil (working title) will see the ex-BBC presenter and founding Sky Chairman interview high-profile politicians and newsmakers, accompanied by a weekly podcast. Channel 4 News producer ITN Productions will produce the half hour show. Neil has had a hugely successful 50-year career but was left embarrassed last year after launching GB News then leaving within weeks due to differences of political opinion with the other founders. He is known for grilling politicians and attracted the government’s ire in 2019 when he called out Prime Minister Boris Johnson for failing to appear on his show. Speaking at a Freeview event in November, Neil said he didn’t want GB News to be the “full stop on my career” and he had been rumored to be joining Rupert Murdoch’s soon-to-launch Talk TV.
Italy To Remake BBC’s ‘The Split’
Hit BBC legal drama The Split is being remade in Italy after BBC Studios struck a deal with Italian indie Palomar. Titled Studio Battaglia, the six-part remake will be made by Palomar and Tempesta Film in association with Rai Fiction, written by Lisa Nur Sultana and directed by Simone Spada. Barbora Bobulova, Miriam Dalmazio and Marina Occhionero will play the three sisters central to the plot, all daughters of a divorce lawyer, who were played in the Sister-produced UK version by Nicola Walker, Annabel Scholey and Fiona Button. Abi Morgan’s original, which is co-produced for Sundance TV, is currently in production on its third and final series. Turkish production company MF Yapim licensed the format earlier this year for Fox TV in Turkey. “The Split is a moving and compelling study of the universal themes of love, marriage and divorce – all of which audiences around the world will no doubt be able to relate,” said André Renaud, Senior Vice President – Global Format Sales at BBC Studios. The deal was brokered by Tommaso Muffato, Sales Executive at BBC Studios.
Rapid Blue’s Duncan Irvine Exits After 30 Years
Duncan Irvine, the CEO and Co-founder of Come Dine With Me South Africa producer Rapid Blue, is exiting the South African production outfit after three decades, replaced by Managing Director Ziyanda Ngcaba. Irvine founded the BBC Studios-backed company in 1993 with Kee-Leen Irvine, who left recently, and it has produced a range of hit formats in South Africa including versions of Dancing with the Stars and Love Island. Ngcaba joined as Exec Producer and Business Director in 2020 and was promoted a year later. She previously worked for eMedia Investments and SABC, driving scripted shows such as Rhythm City and Scandal. “I am hugely honoured to take the helm and steer this ship,” she said. “I look forward to carrying ahead Duncan and Kee-Leen’s values, creative ambition and passion for quality entertainment.”
Fremantle And Red Production Company Hire Production Bosses
Global production-distribution outfit Fremantle and Studiocanal-backed It’s a Sin producer Red Production Company have both hired Heads of Production. Fremantle has signed Olivia Sleiter in the role for its Global Drama division, along with Robert Delamere as Creative Producer. Sleiter will have oversight across Fremantle’s shows globally, working on all forthcoming co-productions. Delamere’s role is newly created and he will work on the development and production of scripted projects. Christian Vesper, Fremantle’s President Global Drama, hailed the pair’s “exceptional creative vision.” Meanwhile, Red has signed Fresh Meat Line Producer Margaret Conway as Head of Production. Joining next month and reporting to CEO Sarah Doole, Conway will oversee productions across the outfit’s scripted slate and factual label Sow the Seed. She will be responsible for ensuring that all shows are delivered on time, within budget and of the quality that is synonymous with the Red brand. She has experience of working across a variety of UK productions such as Cold Feet, The Bay and Fresh Meat. Doole said she is “one of the best in the business and hugely passionate about what she does.”