Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share

New ITV series coming to Belfast

The Northern Ireland television sector looks set to have a happy New Year as the province is poised to welcome one of Europe’s biggest television production companies to its shores in January.
Emmy Award-winning Initial, part of the hugely successful Endemol Group, is coming to Northern Ireland to shoot the first 26 episodes of a new children’s television drama series, ‘Bel’s Boys’, which has been co-funded by the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission (NIFTC).
The show is to air in 2006 on the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster, ITV1, in its children’s slot CITV. Bel’s Boys follows the fortunes of pop-obsessed nine-year-old Bel, who ends up managing a new boy band. Bel really does know what works, music wise; but will the band, her Dad and the world take a 9 year old seriously?
Although Northern Ireland has recently seen a spate of feature films go into production, there has been a distinct lack of home-grown television product for network broadcast and the growth of this sector has been a major objective of the NIFTC.
Chairman Colin Anderson and CEO Richard Williams have been working with Initial for nigh on a year now and both agree it is a huge coup for Northern Ireland that a company of this calibre is coming to the province, not only to shoot the series, but also to do all the postproduction.
Anderson commented: “There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work to reach this point. The presence of a film or television crew often brings a sense of excitement but you have to remember that with it comes economic benefit for the province – in terms of utilising local cast and crews and facilities. And of course when the series is broadcast on television, it helps build positive exposure for Northern Ireland to a much wider audience.”
Williams added: “We’re all about building a sustainable industry here in Northern Ireland. Now that Endemol has discovered Northern Ireland’s potential, we hope they will come back again – and we’re working hard to ensure that others will follow.”
Initial’s Christopher Pilkington is Executive Producing the series. He commented: “This is a great aspirational story, and we are excited at the opportunity of basing and shooting the series in Northern Ireland. The NIFTC has been really helpful in facilitating this creative relationship, and we are looking forward to working with the rich talent base across the province. The series celebrates story-telling, and great music, so where better to be working? This is a hugely important series for us, and to be working with CITV and the NIFTC feels like the beginning of a big story, and one that we want to run and run.”
Overall, from pre-production, to shoot and through to post-production, Bel’s Boys will spend just over 6 months in Northern Ireland. All the cast is being sourced from there and the production team is headed up by local producer Colin McKeown.
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Production News : BBC Two Series Back In Time Returns For Second Series
The popular Back In Time strand returns to BBC Two, with Sara Cox and social historian Polly Russell hosting as a family of five head Back In Time For
Production News : BBC And NI Screen Sign New Partnership
The BBC and Northern Ireland Screen have signed a new partnership agreement to support the television and online industries in Northern Ireland. The p
HBO Fantasy Epic For Northern Ireland
Fantasy filmmaking is on the way to Belfast. Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Culture and Arts Minister, Nelson McCausland have
Barnfind Introduces Upgrades To Core Solution Series
Barnfind Technologies has announced that it has upgraded the control, configuration and functionality of its Core Solution Series, continuing its role
Production News : Filming Commences On New Drama Series
Filming has commenced on a new drama series by Vox Pictures. The eight-part thriller, Un Bore Mercher/Keeping Faith, is a joint commission by BBC Wale
Mainland Broadcasters 'Failing NI'
There is broad support today to the damning conclusions of this morning's Northern Ireland Affairs Committee report 'TV Broadcasting in Northern Irela
NI Screen Returns £22m To Economy
As cameras start to roll in Belfast on HBO's Game of Thrones, a TV series which is said to be one of the largest ever to shoot in Europe, Northern Ire
Northern Ireland Film And Television Commission Announce £12 Million Package
At an event billed as 'Building on Success', The Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission announced its new 3-year strategy and revealed the ma
Production News : Ripper Street Returns For Final Series
Ripper Street is to return to BBC Two for its fifth – and final – series, it has been announced. The previous season introduced a new serial killer to
Production News : Sky Atlantic To Launch New Series Of Riviera
Sky Atlantic is to launch a new series of Riviera, a 10-part drama created by Oscar-winning writer and director, Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, The Bor
Production News : E4 Commissions New Series Of 'Don't Tell The Bride'
E4 has announced the commission of 18 new episodes of the show which sees grooms take control of their wedding day leaving the bride -to-be clinging t
Production News : Channel 4 Announces New Docu-Drama Series Nightmares
Channel 4 has announced the commission of Nightmares, to be produced by Eleven; a docu-drama series will depict chilling tales of real life horror sto
Production News : BBC Announce Series Dedicated To Victoria Wood
BBC One has commissioned a new series that will look back and celebrate Victoria Wood. The late comedian, writer and actress had a career spanning fou
Production News : Still Game To Return For New Series
BBC one has announced that comedy series Still Game has been commissioned for a new series. The news follows the show's successful return to televisio
Ofcom appoints new members to Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland
Ofcom has announced the appointment of new members to its Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland. As set out in Section 20 of the Communications Act