Internationally acclaimed and number 1 bestselling crime author, Ian Rankin, has been unveiled as the writer of the innovative new six-part series, MURDER ISLAND, which is produced by STV Studios and Motion Content Group for Channel 4.
Rankin penned the gripping story behind the ambitious format that blends factual, drama and competition, which filmed during the summer and is due to air next month.
Shot on the remote Scottish island of Gigha, the six-part series is based around a murder plot – written and developed by Rankin – which will see members of the public take on the role of detective and lead their own investigation. The amateur detectives will compete to solve the crime and build a watertight case that can stand up in court, all under the watchful eyes of some of Britain’s leading Senior Investigating Officers.
Murder Island is funded from Channel 4’s Contestable Pot – a ring fenced grant, funded by Motion Content Group, to find the next innovative, channel-defining format for Channel 4, and is described by the broadcaster as a bold, noisy, compelling idea that brings together two really popular genres centred around the enticing question, ‘could you solve a murder?’
Ian Rankin said: “When it comes to writing a whodunit I usually call the shots, taking the reader only to the places I want them to visit and showing them only the characters I want them to see. Murder Island is different. The detectives can follow any strand, uncovering clues as they go and asking the suspects any questions they like. Will I manage to stay one step ahead of them? I think I’ve constructed my twistiest story yet – so let’s see!”
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Deputy Director of Programmes and Head of Popular Factual at Channel 4, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working with the world-renowned Ian Rankin, STV Studios and Motion in making this ambitious, challenging and genre-busting series. In a television first, members of the public step into the crime scene and compete to solve the murder.”
Craig Hunter, Creative Director Factual at STV Studios, said: “I’m thrilled that Ian agreed to work with us on this project. It was certainly a leap into the unknown when he set out to write the plot for Murder Island. But, in true Rankin fashion, he has created an incredible narrative, from which this exciting new format hangs…”
Melanie Darlaston, Executive Producer, Motion Content Group said: “It has been a pleasure working with STV Studios on this innovative new C4 series. Ian Rankin’s plotline will no doubt keep our wannabe detectives – and viewers – guessing to the bitter end.”
Craig Hunter, Creative Director for Factual, will be Executive Producer for STV Studios, alongside Jonathan Smith (24 hours in Police Custody, The Murder Trial), Sara Evans (Hospital, 24 Hours in Police Custody) and David Clews (Educating…, The Real Marigold Hotel) who is on a short secondment from Two Four and who also Directed the series. Executive Producer for Motion Content Group is Melanie Darlaston. Sarah Forster is Head of Production and Nina Robertson is Line Producer.
The series was commissioned by Channel 4 Factual commissioners Alisa Pomeroy, Madonna Benjamin and Harjeet Chhokar for the C4 contestable pot fund headed by out-going Deputy Head of Programmes Kelly Webb-Lamb.
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