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BBC One commissions Kilimanjaro: The Return (w/t) for Comic Relief


BBC One has commissioned Shine TV, part of Endemol Shine, to produce Kilimanjaro: The Return (w/t) as part of this year’s Comic Relief programming – following some of Britain’s best loved celebrities as they scale the highest mountain in Africa.

The hour long programme will follow the gruelling challenge faced by nine celebrities as they take on the might of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Red Nose Day, and help to transform the lives of vulnerable people and communities throughout the UK and internationally.

The celebrities taking part in the 2019 climb are:

• Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock
• Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge, Shirley Ballas
• Pointless host Alexander Armstrong
• NFL star and BBC Sport pundit Osi Umenyiora
• Countryfile host Anita Rani
• BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker
• Love Island winner Dani Dyer
• Former MP Ed Balls

These nine intrepid climbers will face all the hazards associated with the actual climb, as well as battling altitude sickness and coping with the loss of all home comforts and mod-cons. In addition to capturing their arduous ascent, the BBC One documentary will also feature the rigorous preparations undertaken by the celebrities as they undergo punishing training sessions, medical examinations and altitude chamber testing.

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content says: “We are delighted to mark Red Nose Day 2019 with this very special documentary. BBC One will be following a fantastic line-up of famous faces undertaking the mammoth task of scaling Kilimanjaro. The BBC is proud to support Comic Relief every year and we’re grateful to all of our celebrities for digging deep and helping raising awareness of a great cause.”

Tanya Shaw, Managing Director of Shine TV says; “We’re delighted to be making this show for BBC One. The team at Shine are well versed in logistically challenging productions having made several series of The Island and Hunted but Killimanjaro is a new challenge for us and one we can’t wait to take on.”

A nine-person strong crew from Shine TV will capture every moment, charting the highs and lows of the eight day, 19,000ft trek.

Tom Hutchings, Executive Producer Shine TV, who was part of the original crew of Kilimanjaro: The Big Red Nose Climb in 2009, said: “I’m really excited to be taking on Kilimanjaro – again. I’ve clearly forgotten about the blood, sweat and tears from ten years ago and what a Herculean task it is not only taking a group of celebrities up there, but a film crew too.”

Kilimanjaro: The Return (w/t) is due to be broadcast on BBC One in March in the run up to Red Nose Day. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content and David Brindley, Head of Commissioning, Popular Factual & Factual Entertainment. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Michael Jochnowitz.



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