• CHANNEL 5 COMMISSIONS THE NEW SERIES OF TRAFFIC COPS

    Channel 5 has commissioned Mentorn Scotland to produce the hugely popular series, Traffic Cops, for Channel 5.

    Mentorn Scotland  produce the series and will continue to follow the West Yorkshire and North Yorkshire forces as they police the roads, motorways and cities across Yorkshire.

    Long running series Traffic Cops has regularly pulled in huge audiences with its unique blend of drama, extraordinary action, humour and engaging story telling. The camera crews work seamlessly with the police in patrol cars using mini cameras to capture every angle of the action as it unfolds, witnessing every nuance of the encounters between the enforcers of the law and those who are trying to break the law.  As well as finding a new home, the all new Channel 5 Traffic Cops will have even more exciting and innovative ways of capturing the on-road action.  And the programme’s presenter Jamie Theakston will also stay with the series in its new home with an expanded on-screen role. 

    Mentorn Scotland’s Creative Director, Iain Scollay said: “We are enormously proud of Traffic Cops and the access we maintain. It was one of the first police observational TV series and we’re delighted that Channel 5 will be its new home.”

    Commissioned by Channel 5’s Guy Davies, the series is due for transmission later this year.

    Guy Davies said: “Traffic Cops has a huge following as one of the most successful police access shows on TV and it’s a real thrill to bring the brand to Channel 5.”

    The previous series of Traffic Cops have been broadcast on BBC One.

     

  • LOST IN IRAQ: THE GREAT BRITISH MOVIE ADVENTURE (W/T)

    A new documentary from Channel 4 tells the extraordinary story of Saddam Hussein’s farcical venture into the movie business, revealing for the first time on UK screens, a film that has been lost in a garage in Surrey for the last 35 years.

    This tale involves notorious hell-raiser Oliver Reed, a lavish film set, debauchery, black humour, and a terrified cast and crew trying desperately to get a film in the can as the Iraq-Iran war raged around them.

    The epic film, which had a multimillion pound budget on a par with Return of the Jedi, was bankrolled by Saddam as he was determined to tell the birth story of modern Iraq. However, when filming began, so too did the Iran-Iraq War.

    Described by his cast mates as ‘a weapon of mass destruction,’ Oliver Reed wreaked havoc off set, drinking the bars of Baghdad dry, horrifying the locals and risking the entire production as Saddam’s henchmen demanded he be thrown off set.

    Against all the odds, the movie was finished but disappeared without a trace, along with Saddam’s regime.

    With the discovery of the tapes, the cast and crew now assemble for the first time since their Middle Eastern adventure, to piece together with the help from never before seen rushes, behind-the-scenes footage and set photos, the unbelievable story behind one of the most bizarre movies ever made.

    The documentary has been made for Channel 4 by Mentorn Media. The director is Stephen Finnigan.

     

    Rob Coldstream, Commissioner:

    “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a story quite like this.  It’s amazing the film ever got made, with a drunken leading man and a real life war zone to say nothing of the pressure of keeping Saddam Hussein happy.  It’s like Lost in La Mancha meets Carry on Baghdad.”

    Iain Scollay, Creative Director, Mentorn Scotland and Executive Producer: 

    "While Saddam waged war on Iran, Ollie Reed was involved in his own campaign terrorising the bartenders of Baghdad. You could not make it up.  But this is not just a romp about making a lavish feature film in a country at war; it’s also an insight into Britain’s involvement in the Middle East and the rise and fall of Saddam.”

    Producer, Nick London:

    “I saw the material when Lateif, the producer of ‘Clash,' led me to the lock-up garage, where he keeps his archive.  Amid the cobwebs, there’s an Aladdin’s cave of film reels, cuttings and publicity photos, even an old Steenbeck, belonging to someone who has spent 50 years in the film business.  I couldn't believe it when I saw the piles of rusting film cans with Saddam's lost movie in them. The story of Oliver Reed and Saddam, both tyrants in their different ways, coming together to make this epic, is absolutely extraordinary.”

     

    Mentorn Media for Channel 4

    Produced and Directed by Stephen Finnigan

    Executive Producer, Iain Scollay

    Producer, Nick London