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MultiStory Media Secures First Commission For ITVX

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MultiStory Media, the award-winning ITV Studios label, has secured its first commission for new streaming service ITVX, which will shed new light on the infamous siege of Waco.

Using unseen archive and exclusive interviews, Waco: A British Tragedy, is a 2x60 premium documentary series which will explore the untold story of the sizeable British contingent of David Koresh’s Branch Davidian cult, and their experiences during the 51 day ordeal at Waco and its storming by the FBI in 1993. Commissioned by ITV’s Controller of Current Affairs Tom Giles, it is directed by Stuart Bernard (The Man Who Bought Cricket, The Mighty Redcar, Our War), and exec produced by Mike Blair.

The new commission comes as the label has established a new documentary unit which will be headed up by Blair following his recent appointment as Head of Documentaries and Current Affairs. It will focus on creating premium documentary series that tell compelling British and international stories. The unit will also include director Iwan Roberts and producer Claire Savage, both of whose credits include The Real ‘Des’: The Dennis Nilsen Story, The Real Anne: Unfinished Business and Manhunt: The Raoul Moat Story among others, as well as development executive Jack Browne (Return to Belsen; Waco: A British Tragedy).

The new unit will also build on the success of The Real…strand with ITV ordering two drama companion documentaries, The Real Nolly and The Real Stonehouse to accompany the network’s forthcoming dramas of the same names. Both are commissioned for ITV by Jo Clinton-Davis, Controller of Factual. The former tells the story of legendary Crossroads star Noelle Gordon, accompanying Russell T Davies' three-part Nolly, starring Helena Bonham-Carter, while The Real Stonehouse looks back at the life of disgraced Labour MP John Stonehouse, which will sit alongside the three-part drama starring Matthew Macfadyen and Keeley Hawes, directed by John S Baird. The commissions follow on from the ratings success of The Real ‘Des’: The Dennis Nilsen Story, which explored the story of Nilsen, one of history’s most notorious serial killers, alongside the drama Des, starring David Tennant in the lead-role.

Mike Blair said: "MultiStory Media's rich heritage of documentary making, not least with the ground-breaking 7 Up series, provides an incredible foundation for our new unit. Along with these exciting new commissions, we are also in discussion on four other projects for next year as we look to build on an already healthy slate, from award-winning premium documentaries to fascinating drama companion shows and insightful investigative programmes."

Waco: A Very British Tragedy will look at how in 1993, US law enforcement in Waco, Texas, came up against an extreme religious sect known as the Branch Davidians. What should have been a standard raid to execute an arrest warrant, became the longest running non-military siege in US history. The heavily armed cult, led by a self-proclaimed Messiah, David Koresh, killed four federal agents and, 51 days later, an apocalyptic fire would take the lives of all but nine of the 86 strong group.

Within this well-known tragedy, one fact is rarely acknowledged - one third of these Branch Davidians were British. Thirty years on, this two-part feature documentary will shed new light on the experiences of the survivors of the fire, as well as the victims and their families, who feel that their voices have been forgotten in history.

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