AL MURRAY EXPLORES THE COMPLEX LEGACY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE FOR SKY HISTORY
LONDON, 18th September 2023: A+E Networks EMEA has commissioned Avalon and Motion Content Group to produce a 4x60’ history series, Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? authored and presented by Al Murray.
Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? marks the third collaboration between Avalon and Sky HISTORY for a series featuring historian and writer Al Murray and his comedic alter ego, The Pub Landlord. Following in the footsteps of the award-winning Why Does Everyone Hate the English? (2018), which explored the roots of England’s most deep historic enmities, and the ratings success Why Do the British Win Every War? (2020), which discussed whether Britain has been helped or hindered by its military legacy.
Now Al Murray returns to examine a piece of British history that today is under the microscope like no other – the British Empire. Al Murray will be taking a global history lesson to try and unpick the legacy of the empire and, importantly, how it’s viewed today by the citizens of these countries.
In each country, Al will pair up with a local comedian, to explore the history of British colonial rule in that country and its legacy. In India, Al will be joined by Anuvab Pal; in Jamaica, by Chris Daley; in South Africa by Loyiso Gola; and in Australia, by Aboriginal comedian, Kevin Kropinyeri. Together, they’ll find out about the origins of British rule, its impact upon each country and how its legacy continues to influence governance, culture and attitudes.
Al Murray said: “This is a debate that is ongoing and becoming more and more heated. The history demands exploration, the legacy assessment. I’ve been lucky enough to go all over the world to take a look for myself, find out what legacy remains and, most importantly, how it figures in the lives of people in Britain’s former colonies. Is this a story with a happy ending or is it not yet over?”
The series was commissioned and executive produced by Dan Korn, VP of Programming at A+E Networks UK, with Diana Carter, Commissioning Editor and Head of Talent at A+E Networks UK.
Dan Korn said: “As the country views its history through the eyes of a new generation, with new sensibilities and perspectives, who better than Al Murray, The Pub Landlord and SKY History to examine what remains the most controversial, debated and obscured part of our nation’s history; the British Empire.”
Produced by Avalon, Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? is a series directed by Andrew Fettis (Three Men in a Boat, Top Gear) while the Executive Producers for Avalon are Jay Taylor, Jamie Isaacs and Richard Allen Turner. The series is co-produced by Motion Content Group and the Executive Producers for Motion are Martin Oxley and Deep Sehgal.
Jay Taylor, Executive Producer for Avalon, said: “There is no better person than Al to explore the ‘hot topic’ of the British Empire, his blend of humour with historical insight means his discoveries are always fascinating and we’re delighted to be working the great team at A+E EMEA on this new series.”
Deep Sehgal, Executive Producer for Motion Content Group, said: “In this series Al Murray and his alter-ego have probed some of the most uncomfortable areas of the colonial past – and re-examined some enduring myths of Empire in the process.”
Al Murray: Why Does Everyone Hate the British Empire? is set to broadcast in the UK on Sky HISTORY and on The HISTORY Channel across key European markets in the autumn of 2023. The show will air in the Netherlands and Belgium in 2024.
For more information, please contact:
- Sky HISTORY is available on Sky 123, Virgin 131, Talk Talk 327 and streaming service NOW.
- Clips, viewing materials and images to be provided on request when available.
- Interview access available depending on availability.
- Al Murray’s bio can be accessed here http://avalonuk.com/clients/al-murray/
- Contributors to be announced.
About Sky HISTORY
Sky HISTORY is the flagship brand of the A+E Networks® EMEA portfolio which is made up of true crime channel Crime + Investigation®; Sky HISTORY2® and free to air channel BLAZE®. Sky HISTORY is available in the UK on Sky, Virgin and on streaming service NOW. www.SkyHistory.co.uk
About A+E Networks EMEA
At A+E Networks EMEA, we share stories that matter everywhere, anywhere. A leader in factual entertainment, our compelling, award-winning content connects with millions across the UK, Nordics, Benelux, Germany, Italy, Spain, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Our portfolio of premium brands – The HISTORY® Channel, Crime + Investigation®, HISTORY2®, BLAZE®, and COSMO TV® - inspire and excite viewers with hit franchises (Forged in Fire), must-see dramas (Vikings) and original commissions (The Hunt for Baltic Gold and Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter). Our stories are global and local, linear and digital, and always compelling. With offices in London, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw, Munich, and Johannesburg, we are a truly international company that celebrates difference and diversity.
About Al Murray
Most famous for his multi-award-winning comedy creation The Pub Landlord, Al is also very well-known for his love of history, writing and presenting multiple successful history television programmes. He has authored several popular books including, Watching War Films with My Dad and, most recently, Command, an entertaining and sharp analysis of the key allied military leaders in WW2, and co-hosts the perennially popular and top-charting WW2 history podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk, with fellow bestselling military author James Holland.
Avalon is a multi-award-winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.
Avalon, Artist Rights Group (ARG) and The Agency represent a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors. Avalon’s numerous ground-breaking returning television shows currently in production include: Not Going Out (BBC), the UK’s longest running sitcom on air; Taskmaster (Channel 4), the BAFTA-winning hit entertainment format showing in 150 countries; multi Emmy-winning, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), one of the network’s most successful entertainment show launches since 2010; Starstruck(HBO Max/BBC), a sitcom from Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo; Buffering (ITV), a sitcom co-created by and starring BAFTA-winning comedian and voice of Love Island, Iain Stirling. Breeders, the comedy series starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky); the immediately recommissioned, The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show (BBC); a brand-new series of the iconic comedy football show blending football fanaticism with celebrity chat, Fantasy Football League(Sky); and multiple comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Netflix. Other landmark Avalon shows include BAFTA winning and multi Emmy nominated Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), multi BAFTA-winning TV Burp (ITV), and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon also distributes its catalogue of programmes to over 150 countries worldwide. Avalon has produced many globally successful podcasts and is regularly at the top of the UK iTunes chart with the multi-award-winning Shagged. Married. Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsey.
As a leading promoter of live comedy, Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK’s first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK ‘Best New Musical’ awards; and has continued to produce and promote live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company.
For Avalon news visit: www.avalonuk.com/press or follow @avalonent
About Motion Content Group
Motion invests into entertainment content to support the commercial and editorial needs of over 200 network and platforms. It uses its global scale and relationships with the world’s leading talent, producers and distributors to gain access to the world’s best content for the benefit of our clients and media partners. Motion provides support and expertise to GroupM’s agencies and their clients to help realise and scale client entertainment ambitions. Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Motion currently operates in 40 countries and has a broad range of award-winning programming distributed globally including LOVE ISLAND, on air in 21 markets, and Netflix’s hit social experiment THE CIRCLE.
Motion Content Group is the entertainment business of GroupM, the world’s leading full-service media investment management operation, a WPP company.