Co production deal features former Welsh rugby international in series of global adventure challenges
(11th March 2013 – London) Leading independent TV production Company Zig Zag Productions and GroupM Entertainment together with Channel 5 today announces a new adventure series featuring former Wales rugby player Richard Parks.
The 4 x 60 minute series will follow Parks as he prepares for and embarks upon a series of punishing adventure challenges throughout 2013. These include the world’s toughest endurance race – the Vietnam Jungle Marathon, the world’s highest mountain biking race in the Himalayas; the Yak Attack, a double Iron Man event in Wales called ‘The Brutal’ and culminates in a secret ‘world first’ expedition, currently codenamed ‘Project X’.
After a distinguished 13-year professional rugby career in which he represented Wales and the Barbarians including matches against South Africa, Fiji, Scotland and Ireland, Richard’s professional rugby career was cut short due to a shoulder injury. Inspired by iconic British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Richard turned his attention to the world of adventure and endurance challenges and created the 737 Challenge – a pioneering 7-month race to climb the highest mountain on each of the world’s continents and venture to the Geographical North and South Poles. Richard is currently competing in the Yak Attack event, having also just returned from a solo challenge in the South Pole.
Executive producers for the series are Clare Hollywood and Danny Fenton for Zig Zag Productions and Tony Moulsdale and Melanie Darlaston for GroupM Entertainment. Andrew O’Connell, Channel 5’s Head of Factual, News and Current Affairs commissioned the series, overseen by Simon Raikes.
“‘Richard has chosen three challenges that will stretch him to the limit both physically and mentally” said Clare Hollywood, Zig Zag’s Head of Entertainment, Factual and Features. “We’re following him every step of the way and the series will provide a fascinating document of Britain’s next great adventurer in action as he prepares for his ‘world first’ at the end of the year”.
“Richard is a true adventurer and throughout this series he pushes himself to the absolute limit. It’s going to be fascinating following him as he takes on some of the toughest challenges in the world” said Simon Raikes, Channel 5’s Commissioning Editor.
“Richard Parks is phenomenally driven, you only need to follow him on Twitter to see how far he’s prepared to push himself. It’s great to be working with him and Zig Zag to deliver such a grueling and ambitious series to Channel 5” said Tony Moulsdale, Head of Programming, GroupM Entertainment.
The programme is scheduled for broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK in early 2014.
The as yet untitled series is the latest in a succession of new commissions for Zig Zag Productions. The company develops a wide range of programming ranging from factual documentaries to groundbreaking entertainment shows, supplying a wide range of international broadcasters. The company is based in London with offices in New York.
About Zig Zag Productions:
Zig Zag Productions is a young innovative television production company, well respected for its eclectic approach to programme making. The company focuses on making high quality, good value television programmes for the global market that are distinct in attitude and tone. Started by Danny Fenton and Kevin Utton in 1999, Zig Zag has made almost 500 hours of programming to date. Ranging from top end factual documentaries to ground breaking entertainment series, Zig Zag caters for a varied range of worldwide broadcasters. The company is based in bespoke offices in Clerkenwell, London with a U.S. office based in New York. Zig Zag was recently voted the 5th most respected U.K Production Company by its peers in the Televisual Top 100. http://www.zigzag.uk.com/
About Group M:
GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare. Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.