Blue Ant International Acquires 30+ Hours of Premiere Factual Entertainment from ITN Productions

By July 29, 2020News

A bevy of fresh, new content on the Royal Family and iconic British historical figures added to Blue Ant International’s offering

Blue Ant International acquires 30+ hours of factual entertainment from ITN Productions, including Harry and Meghan: Two Troubled Years, part of ITN’s extensive collection of documentaries that give fascinating insights into the Royals.

(Toronto, Canada – July 30, 2020) Blue Ant International announces today that it has taken over distribution of 30+ hours of factual entertainment series and documentaries from London, UK-based ITN Productions, the award-winning creative production arm of news and multimedia content company, ITN. The distributor will take exclusive worldwide rights to documentaries and series including The Royal Documentaries, a package of 20 one-off documentaries that present fresh perspectives on the royal family ranging from the present day dynamics of Prince Harry to nostalgic look backs at Diana and Queen Elizabeth II. Blue Ant International has also acquired the rights for ITN’s Iconic British Biographies, which includes four titles: Winston Churchill (w/t) (6 x 60’; HD), Admiral Nelson (w/t) (1 x 120’; HD); Isambard Kingdom-Brunel (w/t) (1 x 120’; HD); and The Real Lawrence of Arabia (w/t) (1 x 120’; HD). The deal was brokered by Fleur Wheatley, Sales Manager, Blue Ant International. 

“ITN Productions has created a rich slate of series and documentaries that give a fresh and contemporary look on fascinating historical figures and intriguing facets of the Royal Family,” says Ludo Dufour, SVP, International Co-Productions and Sales, Blue Ant International. “Audiences all over the world will be captivated by the personal stories of these public figures, their beloved traditions and their effect on culture and society both over time and in the present day.”

ITN Productions included in Blue Ant International’s catalogue: 

The Royal Documentaries: (20 x 60 and 9 x 90; HD), originally commissioned for Channel 5, is a collection of documentaries providing an inside peek and several never-before-seen images of the Royals, while offering a look at their lives through a lens of historical context and cultural significance.

The Royal Documentaries include: 

William and Kate: Too Good to be True? (1 x 60’; HD): He was born an heir to the throne, she was a simple commoner, but Prince William and Kate Middleton will one day be King and Queen Consort. This film will tell the story of their relationship, of Kate’s entrance into royal life and the highs and lows of the couple’s popularity with the British public. 

Harry and Meghan: Two Troubled Years (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): When Meghan married Harry, she also married the whole royal family and everything that goes with it. It became evident that there were issues that led to the bombshell split with Harry and Meghan starting a new life in the United States. Will they manage to make a go of it outside the firm? Let’s look back at what really went wrong, ask if it can ever be repaired and explore what comes next for the couple.

Diana: A Mother’s Love (1 x 60’; HD): Learn how Diana raised her children, from her attempts to protect them from the spotlight to her desire to keep their childhoods as normal and grounded as possible. A combination of archived and insider interviews tells the story of what Diana was like as a mother and sees her through the eyes of her children.

Diana’s Last Summer (1 x 60’; HD): In the months before she died, Diana left her royal life behind and emerged as a different character: confident, stylish and liberated. Those last few months were also marked by the global media’s growing obsession with her, fuelled by her new romantic relationships. What would her future have looked like, and what were her plans before her life was tragically cut short?

Diana: Queen of Hearts (1 x 60’; HD): She was known for those much-publicized, protocol shattering visits with AIDS sufferers and walks through active minefields. But beyond Princess Diana’s official royal duties, she made private visits, secret phone calls and wrote letters to those in need. This film will show how Diana’s true legacy won’t just be the millions she raised with celebrity lunches and auctions of her fashionable clothes, but a peerless compassion she brought directly to people she was helping.

How Diana Changed Britain (1 x 60’; HD): Diana changed Britain in ways no other royal has ever done. She also changed what it meant to be royal in ways we’d never seen before. She was a role model, fashion icon and charity worker. She interacted with the people in unique ways for a royal. She dominated British life and her death resonated with the public in a way not seen before or since. This program looks at the ways in which she changed the royal family and the impact she had on Britain and the world.

Prince Harry: The Troubled Prince (1 x 60’; HD): Prince Harry has led a life of rare privilege but also unique problems. Born into royalty, he was the so-called ‘spare to the heir’ who struggled to align his desire for independence with the need for duty. This revealing documentary charts Harry’s life from childhood to the present day.

The Royals on Holiday (1 x 60’; HD): This documentary looks at what the royal family does to relax and reveals their favourite places to escape from palace life. The program explores how royal holidays have changed through the decades, from their modern passion for safaris and skiing trips, to the old penchant for the Med and Mustique.

The Queen Mother’s Blitz (1 x 60’; HD): This program looks at Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon’s inspirational efforts to improve the morale of the British people during the Second World War. With air raids a constant threat, her insistence that the Royal family remain in London was a reassuring move for the public and this documentary examines how her personality and determination contributed to the strength of the monarchy after the war was won.

King George VI: Brother, Husband, King (1 x 60’; HD): Albert Frederick Arthur George Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was not born to be King, that role was for his elder brother Edward. Albert was ill-suited to the role; shy, reticent, lonely and affected by a stammer from childhood. This documentary examines how that shy and unimpressive boy went on to become a national inspiration in Britain’s darkest days during the Second World War. His lasting legacy is seen to this day in the role his daughter Elizabeth plays as a devoted monarch to her subjects.

Philip: A King Without a Crown (1 x 60’; HD): This is the real story of Prince Philip; from war hero to the rock at the Queen’s side. Explore how Philip dealt with giving up his promising naval career and even his name, Mountbatten, as he took a back seat to his monarch wife. Royal experts give insight into how he molded the role of consort into an invaluable position, from his charity patronages, to founding the Duke of Edinburgh award and becoming an unlikely champion of environmental issues. 

The Queen: Duty Before Family (1 x 60’; HD): The role of monarch is one that comes with many challenges. This documentary charts the moments in the Queen’s life when her duty as the sovereign has outweighed her duty to her family. A host of Royal commentators and insiders will tell us how she has faced those difficult decisions and how there can only ever be one winner when it comes to duty and family. 

Charles and Camilla: King and Queen In Waiting (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): Charles and Camilla’s enduring relationship is the subject of this documentary, which investigates how the pair met and the tumultuous beginning of their romance, from forbidden love that caused scandal in the Palace, to Camilla winning the hearts of the nation. What can we expect from Charles’ reign? And will people accept Camilla as Queen?

Anne: The Daughter Who Should Be Queen (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): This documentary examines the life of Princess Anne. The Queen’s second eldest was born into a world where men had the upper hand and was leapfrogged by her younger brothers in the line of succession. Following a kidnap attempt, a divorce and an Olympic Games, how is she perceived by the public and the press?

Secrets of the Royal Art Treasures (1 x 60’or 1 x 90’; HD): This documentary lifts the lid on the Royal Collection, the largest private art collection in the world, with one million items, including more than 7,000 paintings and 450,000 photographs. Viewers will get a rare close-up glimpse as some of these gems as well as glean insight on how they are maintained and their worth.

The Queen and Charles: Mother and Son (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): This documentary examines the relationship between the Queen and her eldest son. How has it weathered the storms of Charles’ marriage breakdown? And what has he learned from his mother as the monarch-in-waiting?

The Trouble With Margaret (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): The Royal family is meant to be a role model to the nation, the epitome of duty and sacrifice, but along came Princess Margaret, the Queen’s younger sister, who was determined to live her life exactly as she wanted, even if that sometimes meant bringing the monarchy into disrepute. Scandal plagued Margaret and she was frequently criticized for not pulling her royal weight. Margaret suffered from ill health in her later years, before dying of a stroke in 2002.

The Queen and Her Prime Ministers (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): During her reign of more than 68 years, Queen Elizabeth II has had 14 Prime Ministers, from Winston Churchill to Boris Johnson. The monarch and the PM is a relationship like no other. Royal and political insiders reveal how the UK’s head of state and head of government get on and whether the personal ever affects the professional when it comes to their partnership. 

Queen Mary: How She Saved the Royals (1 x 60’ or 1 x 90’; HD): This documentary explores Queen Mary’s history including her birth into an indebted family of the British nobility, losing her first fiancé to an influenza pandemic, marrying his brother and being handpicked by Queen Victoria to become Queen Consort. As mother to two Kings and grandmother to the current Queen, Mary had an influential hand in saving the monarchy. Royal experts and historians reveal how her devotion to duty and country always came before personal emotions.

Iconic British Biographies (6 x 60’ & 3 x 120’; HD): The collection, including a six-part series and three two-hour specials, offers a deep look at renowned historical figures who were not only significant figures in Britain, but whose leadership and legacies also had a huge impact worldwide. All the biographies will explore both sides of their personalities and characters, to present rounded portraits. 

Iconic British Biographies include:

Winston Churchill (w/t)(6 x 60’; HD): This definitive six-part series explores every facet of Britain’s most legendary prime minister, revealing the secrets of his aristocratic upbringing, his formative years in the military, his rise to political power, his wartime leadership and his legacy. A combination of beautiful photographs, nostalgic archive footage and interviews with historians, biographers and those that knew him tell the story of his life as well as a poignant history of modern Britain. Surprising revelations in each episode reveal the man behind his public persona, his love life, hobbies, beliefs and his complex character. 

Admiral Nelson (w/t) (1 x 120’; HD): This documentary tells the story of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson’s incredible life from humble beginnings to one of Britain’s greatest ever war heroes. Featuring expert interviews and extensive museum archive, diaries and letters, Nelson’s extraordinary story comes to life, from the medical saw that amputated his arm in 1795 to his infamous pigtail, cut off after his death, audiences will get explore the many fascinating artefacts of Britain’s finest Admiral, whose column is one of London’s most famous landmarks.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (w/t) (1 x 120’; HD): This two-hour special tells the story of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a British civil engineer whose legacy is an one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history, but whose reputation has recently been questioned by historians, who suggest many of his achievements may have been exaggerated. On record, Brunel is credited with building the Great Western Railway main line, introducing regular steamship travel across the Atlantic, and building the first tunnel under a major river. However, modern research depicts a designer who was confrontational, dictatorial and prone to making over-quick decisions. Using letters, sketchbooks, diaries and historical accounts this documentary builds a picture of the man behind the buildings and questions the mythology of a Victorian hero. 

The Real Lawrence of Arabia (w/t) (1 x 120’; HD): The real Lawrence of Arabia was Thomas Edward Lawrence, a British intelligence officer whose daring raids in World War I made him a legend. But who was the man known as Lawrence of Arabia and how is it that he came to lead a small band of soldiers to defeat the fourth largest army in the world? Is he a hero or a villain? This documentary reveals the man behind the myth with captivating expert interviews, diaries, letters and press from the time. From his early years as an archaeology student at Oxford to fighting alongside guerrilla forces in the Middle East, viewers learn how Lawrence’s role set in motion a chain of events that he was powerless to stop. 

About ITN Productions
Formed in 2010, ITN Productions is ITN’s Oscar-nominated, multi-award-winning in-house production company producing non-fiction content for UK broadcasters and networks around the world. It is the world leader in fast-turnaround documentaries, topical debate programmes, hard-hitting current affairs and high-rating popular factual series for major international broadcasters such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky, Discovery, Netflix and CBS. Recent ITN Productions commissions includes: BAFTA Award-winning For Sama, a co-production with Channel 4 News for Channel 4 and PBS Frontline; Harry and Meghan: An African Journey for ITV and ABC; Channel 5 two-parter, Michael Palin in North Korea; observational series for BBC One Inside the Supermarket and Live: Britain’s Next PM – The Channel 4 Debate for Channel 4.  

Blue Ant International is a leading worldwide distributor of high-quality, creative content that engages audiences worldwide and across multiple platforms. The company offers a full-service approach to production partners with sales operations in London, Toronto, and Los Angeles. Blue Ant International has a growing slate of over 3,500 hours of premium content, including distinctive series and formats in five key genres including factual entertainment, specialist factual, high-impact documentaries, kids and family, and scripted. Blue Ant International also has one of the world’s largest offerings of 4K natural history content. Blue Ant International is a division of Blue Ant Media.