Jodie Whittaker heads a stellar line-up of talent coming to ACC Liverpool in February for the world’s biggest international TV marketplace event. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool is once again set to host the world’s biggest international TV marketplace event in February when the BBC Studios Showcase 2020 returns to the city.
The annual four-day event attracts hundreds of top TV buyers, producers and financiers from all over the world looking for new shows to broadcast on their own networks. For the last few years the showcase has been held at the waterfront ACC Liverpool complex.
Jodie Whittaker, the 13th actor to play Doctor Who, heads a stellar line-up of talent who will be attending the event from February 9 to 12. Also joining her will be Richard Dormer, Will Arnett, Stephen Merchant, Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness, Chris Harris and Bollywood stars Ishaan Khatter and Tabu.
Now in its 44th year, BBC Studios Showcase is the world’s largest international content market hosted by a single distributor. Representing British creativity, BBC Studios spans content financing, development, production and sales for both its own productions and programmes and formats made by UK independent producers.
Along with leading on and off-screen talent, the event plays host to creatives, commissioners, producers and the hundreds of buyers who come to Liverpool to screen content and hear first-hand about the TV shows of the future.
Paul Dempsey, president global distribution for BBC Studios, said: “This is my favourite time of the year, when the BBC Group, our indie partners and now our colleagues at UKTV come together to present the best British creativity to international TV buyers who fly in from all over the world to be with us.
“We’ll be joined in Liverpool by some of the biggest on and off screen names in the business and will be teasing a range of exciting new programmes and projects.”
Comedy heavyweights descending on Liverpool include Canadian-American actor Will Arnett (Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman) and executive producer Tom Werner (Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun) along with writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley (The Inbetweeners).
They will give delegates a first peek of their new show The First Team (Fudge Park), a six-part series following the mostly off-the-pitch misadventures of three young football players at a fictional Premier League club. Other highlights include the new series of the hugely popular Spy in the Wild (John Downer Productions) and Animal Impossible (BBC Studio Productions).
Actor, writer, director and TV producer, Stephen Merchant (Jojo Rabbit, The Office) will be at Showcase to launch his new comedy-drama, The Offenders (Big Talk/Four Eyes), about a group of criminals doing community service.
BBC Studios Showcase will also be welcoming Top Gear (BBC Studios Productions) hosts Freddie Flintoff, Paddy McGuinness and Chris Harris who will take to the stage to share an exclusive look at their latest high-octane adventures.