Advanced Television

Drama unveils first UKTV Original scripted commission

November 29, 2022

By Colin Mann

UKTV free-to-air channel Drama has revealed its first UKTV Original commission Outrageous (6×60”), produced by Firebird Pictures, and written by Sarah Williams (Small Island, Flesh and Blood, The Long Song).

Outrageous is the true story of six sisters who refused to play by the rules and whose often-scandalous lives made headlines around the world. Set against the gathering storm clouds of the 1930s, Outrageous will bring the full, uncensored story of the Mitford sisters to the screen for the first time – a story of family betrayals, public scandal, political extremism, personal heartache and even imprisonment.

“I’ve been intrigued by these notorious sisters for many years and am thrilled to finally be bringing their stories to the screen,” said Williams. “We’ve seen many fictionalised versions of their lives before, but in this family’s case, the truth really is far stranger and more astonishing than anything you could invent. These six headstrong women have often been accused of being mad, bad and dangerous to know – and a couple of them were – but what they all had was the absolute courage of their convictions and to hell with the consequences. And that makes for a cracking good story.”

Outrageous has been commissioned by senior commissioning editor Philippa Collie Cousins with head of scripted Pete Thornton and is ordered by Drama channel director Emma Ayech. The series will be produced by Firebird Pictures, which is wholly owned by BBC Studios, and executive producers are Elizabeth Kilgarriff and Matthew Mosley. Philippa Collie Cousins will executive produce for UKTV.

“This is an exciting piece of television,” declared Collie Cousins. “A witty, deliciously entertaining and addictive family saga, Outrageous will captivate and enthral audiences – much like a favourite novel you just can’t put down thanks to Sarah Williams’ clever and inciteful writing. Our aim is for each character to resonate with the audience and stay with them for a long time after the end credits.”

“I am delighted to announce the first original commission for Drama which is the next step in our continued ambition to be the destination channel for fans of quality British drama,” commented Ayech. “Outrageous is an instantly gripping story about six fascinating and uncompromising sisters who were the celebrities of their day. Sarah Williams’ witty and highly engaging scripts will bring the glamour, scandal and heartache of the Mitfords’ world to life in a way that Drama’s audiences will relish.”

Cast and crew will be announced over the coming months, with the series scheduled to air exclusively on Drama. Production will commence in summer 2023.

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