Celebrities Vs. Sharks in ITV’s ‘Alan Partridge’ Pitch

When Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) sat down to lunch with BBC TV’s Chief Commissioning Editor Tony Hayers (David Schneider) in the first episode of I’m Alan Partridge, no-one could have guessed that Partridge’s ridiculous programme pitches – from Inner City Car Park Sumo and Arm Wrestling With Chaz and Dave to the legendary Monkey Tennis – could have defined the direction of  TV for years to come. The proliferation of digital channels and their desperation for cheap, time-filling material with some form of hook in the way of a celebrity presenter has given rise to some unlikely sounding but perfectly real TV series, from Alan Cumming’s Paradise Homes and Sue Perkins Celebrity Build a Snowman to Tiny Tempah’s Outrageous Extensions, Inside Chernobyl with Ben Fogle, Pet Psychic with Beth Lee-Crowder and Penguin A&E With Lorraine.  Now, in what will no doubt become a defining moment in TV history, ITV has commissioned UK-based Plimsoll Productions (Super/Natural, A Bug’s Life), to produce a new entertainment and wildlife crossover format –  SHARK! Celebrity Infested Waters.

Slated to air next year in time with the 50th Anniversary of the three-time Oscar-winning film Jaws, the show will dare a group of ocean-phobic celebrities to confront their greatest fear – sharks. Throughout their adrenaline-fueled, challenge-heavy journey in the Bahamas – the shark capital of the world – these ‘A-listers’ will push past their limits to come nose to nose with nature’s ‘villains.’ Their firsthand experiences will provide immeasurable excitement and new perspective; they’ll come to appreciate sharks’ valuable place on the food chain and in our ecosystem, recognizing that a world devoid of these notoriously terrifying creatures is downright frightening.

The celebrities will be tasked with diving with a different species of shark, with the breeds getting bigger and more dangerous each time. Bimini, the Bahamas island where the show will be filmed, is home to around 7-10 different shark types including Hammerheads, Bull sharks and Tiger sharks.

And if that isn’t enough, the celebrities will also face fear inducing challenges whilst learning first hand the important role sharks play in our oceans.

Pet Psychic with Beth Lee-Crowder, © C5

Fish Out of Water

“The team at Plimsoll is uniquely positioned to pioneer this format that blends conservation with wildly entertaining pop culture,” says Karen Plumb, Head of Factual Entertainment, Plimsoll Productions. “We’re constantly looking for innovative approaches to wildlife storytelling and are certain that our fish-out-of-water spin – delivering 50 years after Jaws – will transform the world’s perception of these critical predators before it’s too late.”

Katie Rawcliffe, Head of Entertainment Commissioning ITV said: “We’re super excited to be combining the work of Plimsoll – a Blue Chip natural history production company – with the expertise of ITV Entertainment. SHARK! Celebrity Infested Waters promises to be a once in a lifetime challenge for some of the bravest celebrities out there.”

Celebrity casting for SHARK! Celebrity Infested Waters is currently underway; Plimsoll is also actively pitching a U.S. adaptation.

Anyone for Monkey Tennis?

See also: Musical Stars in Gibson’s Gered Mancowitz Photo Exhibition

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