DSP builds “Project Interior” for BBC, Netflix

By Daniele Alcinii
May 1, 2018

Digital streaming giant Netflix and British pubcaster BBC2 have commissioned Endemol Shine UK’s Darlow Smithson Productions (DSP) to develop an interior design competition format.

Project Interior (w/t; 8 x 60 minutes) will feature 10 budding designers competing for the opportunity to land a design contract from a prestigious commercial client.

Each episode of the primetime series will see the designers tasked with completing eight weekly challenges as they transform a new space by showing off their design skills, with one designer eliminated each week ahead of the final.

Working in teams, the designers will work under pressure to overhaul real businesses, revamp commercial spaces and restyle family homes. In addition, they will have to manage fellow designers, a team of tradespeople and demanding clients, all while working to exacting specifications and testing briefs.

Project Interior will first launch in its entirety across the BBC before rolling out globally, to all territories (excluding the UK for the first 12 months), on Netflix.

The fact-ent series is executive produced by Donna Clark and Claire Walls, and series produced by Nicky Hammond. It was commissioned by David Brindley and Catherine Catton for the BBC and Netflix.

The series goes into production in early 2019.

“We’re delighted to be working with the BBC and Netflix to bring fresh ambition and scale to the much loved interiors space,” said DSP’s co-MD Donna Clark in a statement. “This exciting new series will be packed with famous faces for the world of design and give real insight into an industry most of us never get to experience.”

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Darlow Smithson sets up shop in Belfast

By Jessica Goodfellow
26 April 2018

Endemol Shine UK-owned indie set to hire team to work with NI head Anne Stirling

Darlow Smithson Productions has hired Belfast producer Anne Stirling to run a Northern Ireland office that will house its growing factual slate.

DSP’s Belfast office, which will open in the coming weeks, will be run by Anne Stirling, who joins the indie as head of DSP Northern Ireland.

Last year, Stirling closed down her Belfast-based production company, Stirling Film and Television Production, after 20 years. Its productions included Cracking Crime and How Low Can You Go for RTE and 6 Degrees for the BBC.

Endemol Shine UK-owned DSP is currently recruiting for several development roles to work alongside Stirling to develop and produce a broad range of factual output including factual dramas, documentaries, and factual entertainment series.

The first production to be made from the new regional office will be the third and fourth series of Ill Gotten Gains for BBC Daytime, amounting to a total of 30×45’ and 10×30’ reversions.

The series, commissioned by BBC controller of programming and daytime Dan McGolpin and commissioning editor Lindsay Bradbury, follows organised crime units and police forces as they close down British criminals by seizing their assets and selling them at auction.

DSP joint managing director Emily Dalton said the indie has a long-established relationship with Northern Ireland, having previously produced two BBC2 dramas in Belfast: We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story and the recent biopic Dave Allen at Peace.

“We have established great relationships with local talent, as well as Northern Ireland Screen, so the logical next step was to invest regionally with the view to making more of our content outside of London,” Dalton said.

Stirling added: “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to put together and grow an ambitious and talented team in Belfast to meet the high standards set by DSP and their established and expanding client base.”

Her appointment comes just weeks after Endemol Shine rolled factual label Tigress Productions into DSP as part of an efficiency drive at the production group.

DSP is currently in production with a range of first-run and returning series for BBC1, BBC2, ITV, C5 and Netflix.

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An Island Parish: After the Hurricane review – battered Anguilla keeps the faith

Review by Sam Wollaston on The Guardian website on Saturday 24th February 2018:

The usual stroll-around-a-parish format takes on extra poignancy when the programme revisits the Caribbean island in the wake of hurricane Irma.

“An Island Parish (BBC2) went to Anguilla a while back, and found a relaxed, close community with a lot of churches. Now it returns to the island in the wake of  that blew the place to bits last September. The programme’s usual gentle-stroll-round-a-parish format takes on a little extra poignancy.

Some of the churches are broken, many houses were destroyed, the infrastructure is in tatters, some parishioners don’t have water, most people don’t have electricity. And tourists – the island’s main source of income – aren’t coming, because they can’t get there, or the hotel they were going to stay in doesn’t exist any more.

Simone and Neville’s business, a restaurant and leisure complex on an outlying islet, simply disappeared. Buildings, trees, everything is gone – stolen by Irma. But Simone is remarkably philosophical and sanguine about it: “Hurricane Irma, she gave us a clean slate,” she says, in her lovely Anguillan lilt. “It’s time to do something fresh … when Mother Nature speaks we’re going to obey, we’re going to rebuild.”

Tim the British governor (I know, still!) only arrived just ahead of Irma. Now he’s rushing around the place helping to put things back together, at the same time as trying to get some cash out of the British government for rebuilding. Do we want to see where the foreign secretary stayed when he came over, Tim says? No! Don’t spoil it … too late, this is the bed in which Boris Johnson slept when he blew in briefly after Irma. Now I’m trying not to imagine him in his jimjams, or maybe no jimjams, in the Caribbean … Thanks Tim.

It wasn’t just the human population that suffered and lost homes. Irma destroyed most of the island’s turtle nests as well. Not this little one’s though, a rare hawksbill hatchling – even rarer now – scuttling down what used to be the beach to the ocean. Maybe when it comes back in 20 years or so, to start a family of its own, Anguilla will be back to normal.

People called it an act of God. Not true, says Father Hodge of the Anglican church. “We need to remember that God does not cause evil,” he says. Yeah Irma, you can huff and puff all you like, but you can’t blow away the faith.”

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