BBC commissions show in SA


As per an agreement with ITV Studios Global Entertainment, BBC Worldwide Channels has commissioned a South African version of the ITV format, Come Dine With Me. It will be produced by Johannesburg-based Rapid Blue and is the first show to be commissioned by BBC Worldwide Channels in this region.

The 10-part series will be filmed in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Come Dine With Me South Africa will debut on the BBC Entertainment channel on DStv in October and will also air on BBC Worldwide Channels networks across the Middle East, Scandinavia and Poland.

Jon Farrar of BBC Worldwide comments: “We have ambitious plans for growth in Africa. BBC Worldwide has been really successful in bringing the best of the UK to the continent and while our viewers are very loyal, we also recognise the need to appeal to new viewers, including those that watch other international channels.

“We have lots of great programming coming through from the UK but we also want to do what we can to stay relevant and exciting for African audiences. I would love to do more African versions of UK shows that have been made popular on the BBC channels.’

Rapid Blue’s Kee-Leen Irvine says they are thrilled to be producing the series. “We have over 21 years experience in producing a range of shows, both home-grown and international formats. We are over the moon to add Come Dine With Me to our slate. The key to producing good shows is an exciting format with interesting characters, intelligent and entertaining scripting, coupled with great production values.’

Farrar says that the reason they chose Rapid Blue to produce was because they have “a fantastic reputation’ for making highly creative and ambitious shows. “They thrive on working on big projects and have made a huge success out of African versions of other international formats, particularly SA’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing.’

Irvine explains how the format works: “We follow four people who have never previously met as they snoop around each other’s homes, sample each other’s cooking and pass judgment on each other’s entertaining skills.

“Each night for a week the contestants take it in turns to cook up their ideas of the perfect evening. As the guests travel home they give their verdicts on the evening, and give a mark out of 10. The series taps into people’s fundamental domestic differences: their cooking and their tastes and what it takes to entertain in style.’       

Farrar believes that the South African version will appeal to an international audience because: “South Africans are full  of personality, are very sociable and charismatic and great cooks. These are the perfect ingredients for Come Dine With Me.’


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