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Nighy to narrate C5, Smithsonian rivers doc

Broadcasters in the UK and Canada are on board a documentary series about some of the world’s most scenic river journeys, to be narrated by Golden Globe-winning actor Bill Nighy.

Bill Nighy

World’s Most Scenic River Journeys (6×60′) is an original commission for ViacomCBS-owned Channel 5 in the UK and will also air on Blue Ant Media’s Smithsonian Channel in Canada.

Saloon Media, part of Blue Ant Studios, is coproducing the series with BriteSpark East, part of the Argonon Group.

As part of the partnership, Saloon Media will produce episodes featuring rivers in North America while BriteSpark East will cover the rivers in Europe, allowing completion of the series during travel restrictions due to Covid-19.

It will be distributed by Blue Ant International, the distribution arm of Canada-based producer and broadcaster Blue Ant Media, outside of Canada and the UK.

It is being executive produced by Tom Porter at BriteSpark, alongside series producer Helen White. Steve Gamester is executive producer and producer at Saloon Media.

Overseeing the series for Channel 5 is commissioning editor Daniel Pearl and overseeing the series for Smithsonian Channel Canada is Sam Linton, head of original content at Blue Ant Media.

“Bill Nighy’s iconic voice will add an extra element of storytelling to this new and fascinating look at rivers, which combines history, engineering, culture and breathtaking natural history,” said Michael Kot, MD of Saloon Media.

“Collaborating with BriteSpark on the international shoots gives our teams the resources and proximity we need during this global pandemic, to divide and conquer, in order to capture the most beautiful footage of these locations with our best-in-class production teams.”

Nick Godwin, co-founder and creative director at BriteSpark East, added: “We’ve worked with Saloon Media previously and partnering together on this ambitious and lavish series provides a creative solution to the challenge of shooting in multiple international locations during a pandemic. This unique series offers the wonder, escape and discovery that audiences around the world are craving.”

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