BBC Studios has licensed the immensely popular “Top Gear” format to Finland’s Nelonen channel and Ruutu streaming service to create a Finnish adaptation of the long-running and Emmy-winning series. The Finnish adaptation will be presented by comedian, musician and author Ismo Leikola, former elite Ice hockey winger Teemu Selänne and actor Christoffer Strandberg. It will air in the spring of 2024.
Set in the world of cars and driving, the show will see Leikola, Selänne and Strandberg compete in various car-related challenges to determine who among them is the ultimate driver.
The license to Finland is the 11th adaptation of the format globally. “Top Gear” began in the U.K. in 1977, where it has run for 33 seasons. However, the U.K. version has been paused after host Andrew Flintoff was involved in an accident on the show’s test track in December 2022.
Keshet International’s British production arm Keshet U.K. has appointed producer Christine Healy (“White House Farm,” “Catherine the Great,” “Doctor Foster”) to the newly created position of COO, reporting into MD Jamie Munro. Healy will oversee all aspects of production, and her focus will be working with the Keshet U.K. team to mine Keshet International’s catalogue of international IP to build a scripted slate of English-language adaptations specifically for the U.K. broadcast and streaming markets, while also developing original projects with international appeal. The first title to be identified for development is relationship drama “A Body that Works” (Keshet 12), which recently received its international premiere in competition at Series Mania 2023.
Leading African content producer MultiChoice Group has debuted a trailer for its big-budget prime-time drama series, “Shaka Ilembe,” an epic 12-part tale that follows the origins story of the African monarch and military strategist, King Shaka. Six years in the making, the series features some of South Africa’s biggest stars, including “Coming 2 America” actor Nomzamo Mbatha, Lemogang Tsipa, Senzo Radebe, Wiseman Mncube, Thembinkosi Mthembu, Mondli Makhoba, Khabonina Qubeka, Sthandiwe Kgoroge, Dawn Thandeka King, emerging star Hope Mbhele and newcomer Ntando Zondi.
The series is created by Bomb Productions, with Mbatha taking on double billing as lead actress and executive producer. It is launching across sub-Saharan Africa on MultiChoice’s video entertainment service DStv later this month.
Indira Varma, who starred as Ellaria Sand in HBO‘s “Game of Thrones,” will launch a costume display at the Game of Thrones Studio Tour at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland on June 30. It will feature costumes worn by characters from the kingdom of Dorne including dresses donned by Sand’s daughters, Obara, Nymeria and Tyene, a Dorne Guard costume and a dress worn by her character. The display will also include a prancing horse created by the show’s special effects team.In addition, the battle outfit worn by Pedro Pascal’s Oberyn Martell during his showdown with The Mountain, will be displayed for the first time.