Channel 5 is raising its stakes with its first space series, produced by British astrologer Tim Peake, as it looks to challenge rival channels with star-studded, high-profile programming. above.
Peake is exploring the secrets of our planetary system and the galaxies beyond in his first TV role in Tim Peake: Secrets of Our Universe.
The series is part of a season of new shows announced by C5, including the provocative domestic work series about “tough fights” between couples called Wife on Strike and the return of the Anneka Rice-fronted series Challenge Anneka, along with new programs from Jay Blades. , Ruby Wax and Alexander Armstrong as well as dramas including the thrilling Blindspot – marking Ross Kemp’s return to TV acting after a 15-year hiatus.
As the first Briton to sit on the International Space Station, Peake will draw on his experiences on the show, as well as using CGI and archival footage to explore the universe.
Peake said: “The site is a lifelong passion for me and to be able to share my experiences and knowledge with the Channel 5 audience couldn’t be happier.
“There is always more to learn and discover – we will never know everything there is to know about the universe – but it is endlessly fascinating to me and to people around the world, and I am happy to continue my journey to uncover its secrets.
The show may be seen as a move to the area occupied by the BBC by Brian Cox, which is something that is welcomed by Ben Frow, the chief executive of the UK at the owner of C5 Paramount.
However, he said Peake would bring something new to C5 viewers: “BBC Two has made programs in the universe, but not about someone like Tim. Channel 5 is by the people for the people and he is not exclusive; he has worked difficult to explain the mysteries of the place.”
Although so-called “pastoral-idyll porn” shows such as Our Yorkshire Farm have been very successful for the channel, it has been suppressed recently and the publication has moved slightly from the country – and while C5 will continue to produce such games. as a play All creatures great and small.
Frow said rural programs have proven popular during the lockdown when people moved to rural areas but said the “zeitgeist and public opinion” seems to be moving towards space.
“We managed to get the right stuff at the right time, and I’m always looking for what’s next,” he said, pointing to Sam Ryder’s 2022 Eurovision hit Space Man as one of the signs of growing interest in UK location. . C5 has also commissioned a show about the moon, led by Dara Ó Briain.
Ó Briain is one of the few broadcasters who have worked for other channels but now work for C5. Frow said the channel is now “on the rise”, thanks to the presence of famous faces such as Blades and Michael Palin.
“Talent is very important,” he said, adding that having a trusted face at the front of the series “helps with publicity and promotion”, bringing in new audiences and explaining the tone of the show to viewers. He said that C5 is “too many hands”, which is why talent likes to work online.
This strategy appears to be paying off as C5 announced earlier this month that it has increased its audience share for the fourth year in a row, and says it is “the largest public service broadcaster in the last four years”. .