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First international version of River Cottage commisioned
The hunt for the Australian Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is underway after KEO films signed a deal with Australian broadcaster Foxtel and The Lifestyle Channel to launch the first international TV version of River Cottage.
The new version - featuring a new Aussie presenter who will be mentored by Hugh - is set to create a new benchmark, embracing all the River Cottage fun-filled adventures in a celebration of the seasons.
Hugh will visit Australia in the New Year and feature in the first series, testing his new apprentice's foodie know-how, their enthusiasm for all things wild and organic and resilience in setting up a sustainable farm.
“The River Cottage commission adds a new and incredibly exciting venture ot the Lifestyle Channel’s robust production slate,” said Duane Hatherly, General Manager of Lifestyle Channels and Head of Production at Foxtel in Australia.
KEO films will co-produce the new series alongside Granada Media.
Leonie Lowe, MD at Granada Media Australia commented: "We're delighted to be appointed the production company for Keo films' River Cottage series as they embark on their first outing into global markets.
"This is a special privilege and the Granada Media Australia team look forward to working with Keo films on bringing the format to the southern hemisphere," she added.
"The Australian version is set to create a new benchmark, embracing all the River Cottage fun-filled adventures in a celebration of the seasons." Hugh swapped the city for the countryside 15 years ago, setting up River Cottage orginally near Bridport in Dorset before re-locating it to its current location outside Axminster in east Devon.
"It is KEO films aim to grow and develop its international footprint," said Debbie Manners, MD of KEO films.
"The opportunity to replicate what we have done with River Cottage in the UK in Australia feels right and Foxtel are the perfect partners."
Debbie added: “Granada Australia are big fans of the show and it has been a delight working with them to set up the series.”
Meanwhile Hugh's looking forward to making the 10,000-mile trip to Australia to finally come face-to-face with his loyal Aussie following.
"It’s brilliant to be taking River Cottage down under," said Hugh.
"Australia’s a country I have long wanted to get to know. We’ve had some lovely Aussies visit us here at River Cottage HQ in Devon and it’s high time I repaid the compliment.
"I know there are great things happening with local, seasonal wild foods and I can’t wait to tap into them, and I’m looking forward to meeting some Aussie Hughs. At least I think I am!"
Fans in Australia are invited to apply to be the next Hugh by visiting the LifeStyle website here.
• For more information, please contact: Dawn Bebe at Onshore Media, email dawnbebe@weareonshoremedia or call 07831 790416.