UKTV and the BBC will partner with FremantleMedia International for prime-time adventure series Expedition with Steve Backshall, exploring uncharted areas of the planet.
From hiking through unmapped jungle in South America, to the first descent of a white-water river in the Himalayas and discovering the deserts of the Middle East; Steve Backshall, with a team of world-class specialists and a film crew will chart them all, as they venture into new territories.
The crew, which includes divers, kayakers and mountaineers will record their trials and tribulations, and this footage will be at the heart of the story.
“If you think our planet was explored long ago, think again,” said Steve Backshall. He added, “There are still dark and forgotten corners of our world with hidden secrets and we plan to reveal them.”
BAFTA award-winning Backshall began his career in the early 2000s on the BBC's The Really Wild Show. He has since presented nature programmes for most of the major channels, including Down the Mighty River with Steve Backshall and Japan's Northern Wilderness, which both aired in 2017 on the BBC. Backshall was also a contestant on the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing from September 2014 and was partnered with former champion Ola Jordan.
In a new kind of distribution model, the first four, hour-long episodes of Expedition are set to air on BBC Two in 2019. UKTV channel Dave will then premiere six exclusive episodes later in the year, followed by its own versions of the BBC’s episodes.
“This is a truly innovative commissioning model that forges an exciting new partnership between two of Britain’s leading free to air broadcasters,” said Richard Watsham, UKTV’s Director of Commissioning, “The fact that both the BBC and Fremantle want to invest in Expedition is a testament to the spectacular scale of this project.