‘Ant Middleton & Liam Payne: Straight Talking’, a unique and brand-new interview special, will launch on Sky One and NOW TV in November 2019 with extreme adventurer Ant Middleton and special guest and singer/songwriter and former One Direction star, Liam Payne. The Sky original, produced by Potato, part of ITV Studios, will see Ant Middleton travel with Liam to Southern Africa, leaving the hustle and bustle of day to day life to allow honest conversation and self-discovery to thrive.
In the episode, former Special Forces Soldier Ant Middleton (SAS: Who Dares Wins/C4) will take on a journey of a lifetime across Namibia as the show kicks off with Liam Payne. With only a 4×4, a backpack and each other’s company, Ant and Liam will drive into the heart of big game country and camp under the stars surrounded by some of the world’s deadliest animals.
Conversation is candid and revealing as the pair bond on their trip, with Ant discussing a variety of subjects relating to Liam’s public and private life. Liam opened up on the journey about life in the public eye; and likewise, got to ask Ant a few deep questions of his own experiences.
Ant Middleton adds: “It’s been a real adventure filming in Namibia with Liam. He really opened up on the trip and we connected over our experiences in the most inspiring location. I am very excited to share our journey with everyone when the show airs on Sky One later this year.”
Phil Edgar-Jones, Head of Entertainment at Sky adds: “There’s more to Ant Middleton than being an SAS tough guy. He’s also a smart and empathetic interrogator, so we wanted to turn that skill into a unique new interview show which will see Ant probe his subject in a spectacular setting over an extended period. We’re delighted that the brilliant Liam Payne has joined for the special programme to him lay himself bare.”
Ant is highly trained in interrogation and strategic questioning and so pairing this with his open and friendly nature sees him get to know the real, off-stage Liam, all the while experiencing a trip full of adventure crafted by Ant himself. The pair take on thrill-seeking ventures including hopping a freight train, train surfing at high speed and swinging high above a canyon in the Spitzkoppe mountains.
The show was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky and Phil Edgar Jones, Head of Entertainment at Sky. Shirley Jones is the Commissioning Editor. For Potato, Phil Mount and Michael Kelpie are the show’s Executive Producers and Craig Pickles is the Series Director.
The special is the latest in a string of recent commissions as Sky continues to more than double its investment in original content, including the creation of Sky Studios. Forthcoming Sky originals include Catherine The Great starring Helen Mirren; Code 404 with Stephen Graham and Daniel Mays; Brassic with Michelle Keegan and Joe Gilgun; Hit Men, Mel and Sue’s first scripted comedy series and a second series of movie panel show There’s Something About Movies, hosted by Alan Carr.
2019 has been a record year for Sky originals with 19-time Emmy-nominated Chernobyl becoming the most watched original ever with over 4 million viewers of the season finale. And away from the screen, Sky secured a record BAFTA haul with seven awards, including A League Of Their Own winning Comedy Entertainment Programme.