Used Car Wars Among New UKTV Originals for Dave, W & Gold


LONDON: At its annual showcase event UKTV Live, multichannel broadcaster UKTV has unveiled four original series for Dave, W and Gold for the 2016-17 season.

New for entertainment channel Dave is the ten-part series Used Car Wars from Renegade Pictures, which follows the intense rivalry between two Derby-based dealerships, Car a Lot and Geoff Cox Used Cars. The companies go head-to-head to see who can earn the biggest profit each week. The series will be voiced by West End star Sheridan Smith and will air on Dave in 2017.

In addition, the series Lizard Lick Touring, produced by Znak & Jones and Rapture Productions, is coming to Dave in 2017. The show features former college football player and ordained minister Ron Shirley (Lizard Lick Towing) and his wife, who run a motor business in North Carolina. It looks on as Ron heads to the U.K. to find classic and luxury cars to ship back to his clients in the U.S.

W channel’s lineup features Dr Christian Will See You Now, an eight-part series from Firecracker Films that sees renowned doctor Christian Jessen diagnose, counsel and treat patients in need of help. The series will transmit in early 2017.

Comedy channel Gold, meanwhile, will air the original series We Have Been Watching from Crook Productions. The series celebrates top comedy clips and offers insight from A-list comedians such as David Baddiel, Maxine Peake, Nigel Planer and Jo Joyner. The series reunites comedy pairs John Challis and Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses), Sally Phillips and Sarah Hadland (Miranda), Ricky Tomlinson and Ralf Little (The Royle Family), and Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani (Him and Her).

At UKTV Live, CEO Darren Childs said, “It feels great to be celebrating all the fantastic new shows we’ve been making with the guests here at BFI today. UKTV is investing heavily in great new programming and we have such riches here to show for it. A massive 73 percent of the British population now watch our channels every month, and what’s really exciting is that UKTV originals, which are all made by the fantastic talent and producers here today, are an enormous part of that success.”

Richard Watsham, the director of commissioning, commented, “UKTV originals are growing exponentially in terms of the number of hours produced and the genres we’re commissioning in. We increased our programming spend by 20 percent in 2015 and it continues to rise. Ratings are growing too, with commissions providing four of the top six shows of 2015 and further success in 2016 with strengthening figures for smash hit Taskmaster and two record-breaking David Haye fights peaking at over 3.2 million viewers.”

Watsham continued: “We’ve built strong relationships with talented people both in front of and behind the camera, giving them opportunities to make the programs they want, the way they want. Most recently with John Bishop In Conversation With… attracting more than half a million people to its premiere episode on pay channel W. Now we’re extending further into scripted, fixed-rig docs and entertainment formats. Signing Dr. Christian Jessen to explore the medical side of sex and relationships for female-skewing W allows us to reflect what’s relevant and important to our audience.

“We’ve strengthened Dave’s shoulder peak offering with three new shows, Joy of Techs, Lizard Lick Touring and Used Car Wars. [Meanwhile,] the satirical talk show Unspun with Matt Forde gives Dave a voice in the chaotic world of politics, an area of increasing importance to our viewers, but one that is underserved in the TV schedules.”