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BBC4 sails the Tay

The River: A Year in the Life of the Tay will be fronted by Helen Macdonald

BBC4 in the UK has commissioned a 90-minute feature doc looking at a British river over the course of a year.

The River: A Year in the Life of the Tay is being produced by Rare TV, a new production entity formed by the merger of 360 Production and ScreenCut TV. The 1×90’ programme is the label’s first commission.

The show will feature award-winning writer and naturalist Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk) telling the story of Scotland’s longest river, the Tay.

Mixing natural history, travelogue-style content and science examining what micro-organisms found in the river reveal about the origins of all complex lifeforms, the documentary is a celebration of the Tay, which extends from a small Highland burn to meet the North Sea at Dundee.

BBC4 channel editor Cassian Harrison and Tom McDonald, head of commissioning for specialist factual, ordered the show.

It will be executive produced for Rare TV by creative director Rory Wheeler and Belinda Cherrington. Nathan Budd (Yellowstone; Springwatch) is producing and directing, while Emeka Onono is the commissioning editor for the BBC.

The Rare TV Group was founded in 2013 by Antony Fraser with the acquisition of 360 Production. It went on to purchase ScreenChannel the following year, with that company later being rebranded as ScreenCut.


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