21 September 2022

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Channel 5


BRISTOL,  21 September 2022 - Channel 5 has announced two exciting new travel series to be presented by family favourite, Nick Knowles. Revealed at an RTS West of England ‘In Conversation’ session last night, Nick Knowles' Big Adventure-The American Southwest – an adventure series across the US’s Grand Canyon and Death Valley, and Nick Knowles' Big Railway Adventures –a six-part travel series following six iconic railways journeys, have both been commissioned by Adrian Padmore, Commissioning Editor, Non-Scripted, Channel 5/Paramount+ and are to be both produced by VIACOM INTERNATIONAL STUDIOS (VIS) UK.   

Nick Knowles' Big Adventure -The American Southwest is a four-part (4 x 60’) television special, where Nick Knowles turns adventurer for the very first time and is plunged into the extremes of the last remaining untamed frontier of the USA... The Great Southwest. Nick will be pushed to his limits as he descends into one of the deepest canyons on the planet: the mighty Grand Canyon. Here he'll meet the ancient Native American tribe who call it home and venture deep into the heart of the canyon, to where they still live today. He will kayak in the mighty Colorado River, hike through the spectacular Vermilion Cliffs and see a conservation breeding programme at work which is successfully bringing back endangered condors to the Canyon.  The series will also follow Nick 400 miles to the west to the fearsome cauldron of 'Death Valley', where he will spend time with locals and learn how to survive in the hottest place on earth with temperatures regularly hitting 50 degrees centigrade!   

Nick Knowles says: “I’m so excited to be out travelling again and working with an exceptionally talented team of film makers. It’s going to be cinematic, epic and full of big skies and joyful, fascinating personal encounters. I’ll be pushing myself to the limits with heat, altitude, deep caving, kayaking and trying to overcome my natural vertigo (which I’ve kept quiet until now)  It includes some of the most inhospitable terrains on the planet and some of the most hospitable people. I can’t wait to share my adventures.”   

Nick Knowles' Big Railway Adventures follows Nick as he travels the world by train in six one-hour-long episodes (6x60’) of Big Railway Adventures. Nick's epic journeys will take in multiple countries and continents to see some of the most dramatic railways the planet has to offer. Along the way Nick will explore the lifestyles of the richest and poorest in some of the world's most exotic- and beautiful- destinations. Nick will delve into the communities that have it toughest, from the slums to the lavish in this immersive travelogue experience. Journeys will include the 4th highest railway in the world leading to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Copper Canyon Railway in Mexico and Norway’s Nordland line from Trondheim to Bodo within the Arctic Circle.  Later journeys include iconic routes  through Alaska, Malaysia and India.    

Nick Knowles adds: “My love of trains developed when I was a child and my father would take me to stand on a bridge in Southall, London, to watch old steam locomotives run by underneath. I have also been fascinated by, have visited and have even lived with indigenous cultures in Australia and the Navajo in the US. A chance to combine the two with some of the best camera men and film makers to showcase the wonders of the world is a lifetime’s ambition made real.  There’s so much to show from the cloud forests of Peru to the Fjords of Norway, Ancient India to the vast and epic Copper Canyon in Mexico. I know these films will be a visual feast and full of amazing people living extraordinary lives.”  

Channel 5, Non-Scripted, Commissioning Editor,  Adrian Padmore says: “We’re thrilled to be launching Nick Knowles compelling talent into a completely different factual space. Big Adventure and Big Railway Adventures will see him like we have never seen him before, from facing death defying environments to extreme railway journeys. We’re hoping this will be an eye opening treat for the Channel 5 audience.”   

VIS UK Head of Factual, Oliver Wright says: “Nick Knowles is one of Britain’s best loved talents and in his new role as adventurer he excels.  He’s the perfect fit to take us off the beaten track into exciting landscapes meeting incredible characters and communities along the way.”   

Nick Knowles' Big Adventure-The American Southwest and Nick Knowles' Big Railway Adventures  are commissioned by Adrian Padmore for Channel 5, and executive produced by Oliver Wright at Viacom International Studios (VIS) UK.  For both series, Nick Knowles' Big Railway Adventures and Nick Knowles' Big Adventure-The American Southwest, the Series Editor is Grace Kitto, the Producer is Andy Hall and the Series Director Ben Southwell.   


For more information please contact: Jamila Atta – jamila.atta@vimn.com   


 About Channel 5 

Channel 5 is a public service broadcaster and the UK’s third largest commercial TV station. Launched in March 1997, Channel 5 has been part of Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) since its acquisition in September 2014. Channel 5 and its digital brands – 5STAR, 5USA, 5Select, 5ACTION and the on-demand service My5 – offer a diverse range of issue-led documentaries & popular factual celebrating the British countryside and drawing talent to the channel, accessible history, premium drama and critically-acclaimed children’s, news and current affairs programming. Through its agenda-driving commissions, Channel 5 leads on societal issues from inequality to homelessness and mental health, aiming to tell the story of modern Britain by reflecting the lives of people across the nation. In 2018, Channel 5 won its first BAFTA for Cruising with Jane McDonald. The following year, Raped: My Story won best Single Documentary at RTS. In 2020, it won crowned Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Awards and by the RTS. In addition that year, it secured its first ever Grierson award win in the ‘Best Single Documentary – Domestic’ category with Suicidal: In Our Own Words. In 2021, it won best factual entertainment at the Broadcast Awards for Springtime on the Farm. It also won best drama at Voice of the Listener & Viewer for All Creatures Great & Small the same year.

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