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BBC2 gives viral stars own series

Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain features former University Challenge contestants

BBC2 in the UK has commissioned a part travel, part science series fronted by University Challenge stars Eric Monkman and Bobby Seagull.

Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain will follow the Cambridge University graduates as they travel the UK in search of the country’s best scientific and technological achievements.

The 4×30’ series is being produced by FremantleMedia-backed factual prodco Label1, which is known for its work on BBC2 observational doc Hospital.

Monkman and Seagull will learn about everything from Si Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines to the deep-fried Mars Bar.

The series is executive produced by Label1 co-founders Lorraine Charker-Phillips and Simon Dickson. It was commissioned by Patrick Holland, controller of BBC2 and Tom McDonald, head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual.

Monkman, originally from Ontario, shot to fame through his appearances on the long running University Challenge quiz show, which became a viral hit and spawned the #monkmania hashtag.

Charker-Phillips said: “Bobby and Eric are kind, sincere and very smart.  We hope their warm on-screen dynamic will encourage knowledge-hungry viewers to join them on their journey through our nation’s most unusual and enigmatic technological and scientific achievements.”

Dickson added: “Forget travelogues in which idiots go abroad.  Here’s one in which two very smart guys show us what’s special on our own doorstep.  Expect technological marvels, amazing inventions, and feats of engineering. And some pretty surreal motorway conversations.”

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