6 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
BBC Three confirms first commission and pilots from collaborative partnership with Northern Ireland Screen and BBC NI
22 Apr 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Fast and Farmerish
Round one of the scheme resulted in two pilots, Scran with my Nan from Rare TV and The Fast and the Farmer(ish) from Derry-based Alleycats.

Following delivery of the pilots BBC Three and BBC Northern Ireland decided to take The Fast and the Farmer(ish) forward and commissioned a 7 x 30 series. The pilot for Scran with My Nan has been made available on BBC iPlayer.

Since the launch of the scheme, there have been two commissioning rounds where local companies submitted format ideas with the promise of a series commission.

The Fast and the Farmer(ish)

With 11 million people living in rural areas of the UK and about a quarter of these under 30, The Fast and the Farmer(ish) provides a glimpse into the lives of young farmers in an entertaining new competitive series which showcases tractor driving talent.

Presented by Tom Pemberton, each episode of this 7 x 30 series from Alleycats pits two teams of petrol heads and their ‘souped up’ tractors against each other in a series of entertaining and imaginative challenges that puts their driving skill and vehicle power to the test. Across the series, teams from Wales, England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland will compete via heats, semis and a grand finale, with the winner claiming overall bragging rights for their nation.

“Alleycats have a done an amazing job with The Fast and the Farmer(ish), showing how rural competitiveness can be converted into high-octane entertainment, that fits perfectly with BBC Three’s core brand,” said Eddie Doyle, Head of Content Commissioning at BBC NI. “We’re delighted that our work with BBC Three and Northern Ireland Screen has led to this wonderful new series, and are equally excited about the upcoming set of pilots.”

The Fast and the Farmer(ish) was commissioned by Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three and Eddie Doyle, Head of Commissioning, BBC Northern Ireland, the commissioning editors for the BBC are Clare Mottershead and Mary McKeagney. The Executive Producers for Alleycats are Des Henderson and Ed Stobart.

“The quality of ideas from the Northern Ireland sector has been astonishing and deciding which idea we took to series was not easy,” said Fiona Campbell, BBC Three Controller. “It’s exactly why this collaborative partnership exists and we’re really excited about The Fast and the Farmer(ish) and what it will bring to BBC Three. We can’t wait to see the new pilots and we already know we’re in for an equally tough decision deciding which one we take forward.”

For the second round, the two pilots in the running for the next series commission are competitive formats. Stitch, Please! from Waddell Media hosted by drag queen Blu Hydrangea sees amateur costume-makers and cosplayers try to create incredible outfits against the clock, inspired by iconic characters from the worlds of film, gaming, comic books, high fashion and beyond. Fast Food Face Off from Stellify media is hosted by comedian Josh Jones and sees two local celebs and their favourite takeaways go head-to-head in a battle to be crowned the best in town. 

“We’re delighted to continue working with BBC Northern Ireland and BBC Three on this initiative,” said Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen. “Our local indies are bursting with talent and great ideas and it is wonderful to see such a wide range of new formats coming through. We offer our huge congratulations to Alleycats and look forward to seeing The Fast And The Farmer(ish) when it hits our screens. We wish Stellify and Waddell good luck as they take their fast food and fashion formats to pilot stage.”

The decision about which pilot will be taken forward to series will be made soon.

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