News, 01/05/2008
Takeaway Media is pleased to announce a clutch of upcoming documentary commissions for the BBC.
Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights is a 60’ film for BBC One in which Joanna Lumley will finally realise her life’s ambition as she journeys ever northwards across the Arctic Circle through Northern Norway and right up to Svalbard, the most northerly inhabited place on earth, to find out more about the people, culture, unique science and history of the region. Most of all, she’s desperate to see the elusive Northern Lights – but will she succeed? "Growing up as little girl in tropical Malaya I had never seen snow and never felt cold. I grew up dreaming of the north, with its rich folklore of snow-queens, trolls, Norse Gods and the mighty Vikings. Ever since then the 'biggest sign on the compass' has held an enduring attraction for me” Joanna said today as BBC One and Takeaway Media announced the commission.
The film is being directed by Takeaway Creative Director Archie Baron and produced by Helena Braun. It is Executive Produced by Takeaway’s MD Neil Cameron and the BBC’s Alison Kirkham. The film was commissioned by Ben Gale. TX is scheduled for later this year.


Takeaway Media is also following up last year’s acclaimed and high-rating film for BBC Four, Ian Hislop’s Scouting for Boys, the story of Baden Powell and the origins of scouting, with another film fronted by the Private Eye editor. In Ian Hislop Goes Off the Rails, Ian re-examines the notorious Beeching Report of 1963, which led to the closure of many of Britain’s rural railway lines and stations. So was Beeching a kind of Genghis Khan with a slide rule or was he simply the fall guy for something that had to happen? And what was lost to British landscape, community and culture when the map of Britain changed? Ian gives his views…
The film sees Ian team up again with producer/ director Deborah Lee and will be broadcast on BBC Four in the autumn. It is commissioned and Exec-ed by BBC Commissioner for Independents, Specialist Factual Mark Bell and Exec-ed for Takeaway by Neil Cameron and Archie Baron.
Takeaway Media has also gained one of the first independent commissions from BBC World Service’s new BBC Arabic television channel. This is London is an observational documentary following some of the new channel’s journalists in London and around the world in the frantic weeks of piloting ahead of the channel’s launch in March 2008. The film was commissioned following the success of Takeaway Media’s three-part BBC4 series in 2007, London Calling: Inside the BBC World Service, which documented 18 dramatic months for the global broadcaster. This is London is produced and directed by Katia Saleh and Exec-ed by Neil Cameron. The Arabic version of the film will be first broadcast on May 11th.
For Takeaway, Archie Baron commented “We’re really enjoying these latest Takeaway commissions – they are tasty, nutritious and there’s a nicely balanced diet of popular documentary, drill-down history with attitude, and classic ob doc for an interesting new supplier.” Neil Cameron added “As with much of our previous work, Balderdash & Piffle and Motherland, for example, we’re managing to combine robust content, attractive talent, emotion plus some humour into the mix.”