NI production company’s tractor racing show gets commissioned for BBC Three

Head-to-head racing between souped up tractors will form the basis of a new BBC Three series – an idea hatched in Northern Ireland.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 12:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 1:02 pm
The Fast And The Farmer(ish) – devised by NI film and TV production company Alleycats – will be presented by YouTube star Tom Pemberton

The Fast And The Farmer(ish) is the first commission for the channel that has come as a result of the collaborative partnership with BBC Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen.

The tractor-based television series from Londonderry-based Alleycats TV and film company got the nod over Scran With My Nan, an idea from Rare TV, when the two pilots went up against each other to be chosen for a series on BBC Three.

Presented by YouTube star Tom Pemberton, each episode of The Fast And The Farmer(ish) – a working title – pits two teams of petrol heads and their ‘souped up’ tractors against each other in a series of entertaining and imaginative challenges that puts their driving skill and vehicle power to the test.

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Across the series consisting of seven 30 minute episodes, teams from Wales, England, NI and Scotland will compete via heats, semis and a grand final, with the winner claiming overall bragging rights for their nation.

With 11 million people living in rural areas of the UK and about a quarter of these under 30, The Fast And The Farmer(ish) aims to provide a glimpse into the lives of young farmers, in an entertaining new competitive series showcasing tractor-driving talent.

Two more pilot shows from the Province will feature in a second commissioning round when Waddell Media go head to head with Stellify Media.

Waddell’s Stitch, Please! is hosted by drag queen Blu Hydrangea, and sees amateur costume makers and cosplayers try to create incredible outfits against the clock, inspired by iconic characters from the worlds of film, gaming, comic books, high fashion and beyond.

It will go up against Stellify’s Fast Food Face Off – a pilot hosted by comedian Josh Jones, which sees two local celebs and their favourite takeaways go head to head in a battle to be crowned the best in town.

Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, said: “The quality of ideas from the Northern Ireland sector has been astonishing and deciding which idea we took to series was not easy. It’s exactly why this collaborative partnership exists and we’re really excited about The Fast And The Farmer(ish) and what it will bring to BBC Three. We can’t wait to see the new pilots and we already know we’re in for an equally tough decision deciding which one we take forward.”

Eddie Doyle, head of content commissioning at BBC NI said: “Alleycats have a done an amazing job showing how rural competitiveness can be converted into high-octane entertainment.”

Richard Williams, chief executive of Northern Ireland Screen, commented: “Our local indies are bursting with talent and great ideas and it is wonderful to see such a wide range of new formats coming through. We offer our huge congratulations to Alleycats and look forward to seeing The Fast And The Farmer(ish) when it hits our screens. We wish Stellify and Waddell good luck as they take their fast food and fashion formats to pilot stage.”

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